When you think of Florida architecture, you’re likely thinking of homes made in one of a handful of styles: Mediterranean Revival, Coastal Contemporary, and the occasional vernacular house. That said, there are many homeowners who prefer the Old-World style of Victorian architecture.
For decades, we’ve helped homeowners get porcelain tile in Miami and throughout the rest of South Florida. This means we’ve helped them find the best tile for a variety of different architectural styles. Today, we’ll explain the history of Victorian tile and discuss which tile works best for these homes.
How Social Factors Influenced Victorian Tile Design
The Victorian era marked one of the biggest growth periods for tile for a combination of several reasons. As our friends at WhyTile explain, it was during this period that:
- Mass production made it easier to produce more tile.
- A growing labor force made it easier to get tile installed in a home, church, or business.
- That same labor force increased the demand for tile.
- English colonialism allowed Victorian trends to extend far beyond Britain.
- Increasing knowledge of hygiene made bathrooms popular in homes for the first time.
All these factors mean that all kinds of people were adding tile to their buildings. This means that there isn’t one specific style we associate with Victorian tile. Instead, you have many design options when tiling a Victorian home.
What Kinds of Tile Would Be Found in a Victorian Home?
Although manufacturing methods have evolved since then, both ceramic and porcelain tile could be found in Victorian homes. The style would vary depending on the room.
For example, all-white tile was most commonly used in bathrooms, whereas the foyer would feature more elaborate, decorative tile. Elaborate tiles could also be found around the fireplace, but fireplaces are, of course, incredibly uncommon in South Florida!
Whichever design you choose, porcelain is likely going to be the material we recommend. This is because the material can accommodate any design we want to add to its glaze. It’s also one of the most practical choices, given its durability and its resistance to heat, moisture, and scratches.
Which Tile Styles Were Most Popular During the Victorian Period?
There were three major styles of tile popular during the Victorian period:
- Nature-inspired – Botany was a popular pastime in the Victorian era, and many people were concerned about mass manufacturing disconnecting man from nature. This is why many Victorian tiles feature natural designs. We've actually seen a resurgence of this with biophilic tile.
- Geometric – Because geometric tiles used fewer colors and were more affordable back then, they were often used in areas that would be less noticed (e.g., the bathroom). They were also used if the building owner simply wanted a more affordable option.
- Delft – Elaborate, illustrative Dutch tiles were extremely popular before the Victorian era, and their influence only diminished slowly.
If you’re unsure which tile will look best in your home, a tile or interior design expert can propose various ideas.
Looking for Porcelain Tile in Miami?
You’ve come to the right place! At D&B Tile, we have a wide range of tile available, sourced from the best suppliers. Our tile experts are prepared to discuss your needs and help you find the material that will be perfect for your home.
We’ve been in this industry for decades, which means we have the expertise that both homeowners and business owners need. If you’d like to book an appointment with a design expert, or you have questions about the tile available at one of our locations, please contact us.