Along with Queen Victoria, we’re longtime admirers of a black and white mosaic tile front paths. It’s a quintessentially English look, with as much curb appeal now as at the height of its popularity in the 19th century. Here are some of our favorite patterns (and tile sources, if you care to lay your own):
Where did the look originate?
We have Herbert Minton to thank for the Victorian Age mosaic tile path. A member of the same family of English potters that brought us Minton china (my grandmother had a Blue Willow milk pitcher and yours probably did too), Herbert Minton decided to manufacture colored tiles in the family factory in the 1830s. He got the idea around the same time archeologists were starting to dig up mosaic tile floors in long-forgotten medieval monasteries. Soon after, Queen Victoria laid a mosaic tile floor. A craze was born.
Above: You can create a Victorian mosaic tile look–or repair a Victorian era path–with geometric, colored tiles available in a wide variety of patterns and sizes. For instance, a classic checkerboard with a simple black border is sold as loose tiles, in standard sheets, or in custom size sheets. The pattern is available in four sizes, including (L) Classic 50 (£221.99 for a standard Sheet) and (R) Classic 100 (£125.44 for a standard sheet) from London Mosaic.
Above: A traditional Victorian pattern with a three-lined dogtooth border, Stevenson 70 is sold either in pre-laid sheets or as loose tiles; £264 for a standard sheet from London Mosaic.
For more tile inspiration, see:
- Design Sleuth: Marrakech-Inspired Tile Garden Path.
- Patchwork Tiles: 11 Mix-and-Match Ideas.
- Remodeling 101: White Tile Pattern Glossary.