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Modern Classics: The Perfect Blend Of Past & Present

From bringing retro back to reviving traditional tile laying patterns. Modern classics combines past and present tiling styles.

Traditional tiles are a range of styles that have a rich history, whether that’s to do with colour, shape, design or laying pattern. Modern classics is the perfect meeting ground between past and present, with tiles that have their roots in the past but all the practicalities of the present.

Revived laying patterns

Imaginative tile laying patterns have been used for centuries with many traditional tiling formations seeing a resurgence, and classic tile formations are now modernised using colour and material.


A classic Victorian tiling laying style is the famed chequerboard pattern, most often used in grand entrance halls, hallways and bathrooms. This looks best with black and white marble tiles, such as our Fitz Black Honed Marble and Fitz White Honed Marble in square format. This pairing can be used to recreate the elegant chequerboard formation.


Though the chevron pattern is believed to originate thousands of years ago in Greece, chevron tiles were used in abundance during the mid-century modern era. Here, our Piazza Amber Matt, Piazza Grigio Matt and Piazza Nero Matt porcelain tiles, all with beautiful, subtle marble-like veining, are laid as a combination to create an eye-catching twist on the classic chevron pattern.


Inspired by a classic Victorian era laying style, our Calacatta Tumbled Marble Octagon with a washed tones and tumbled edges to provide a softer, worn look. This tiling pattern offers elegance and style to both kitchen and bathroom flooring.


For tiling that’s reminiscent of the 1920’s Art Deco era, use the basketweave pattern. Carrara Honed Marble Basketweave Mosaic supplied on mesh-backed sheets, is perfect for recreating this classic early 20th-century style. The pearlescent appearance of these marble tiles adds luxury to any bathroom.


Another tile formation used in the 1920’s right through to the mid-century is herringbone. Our Rosalina Honed Marble Herringbone Mosaic is perfect for today’s interiors, with its on-trend soft pink tones and the delicate small format of these delightful mosaics.


Parquet wooden flooring is another flooring style that we’re glad has re-emerged. With its rich history dating back to 16th century France, parquet was originally achieved using wood blocks to create interlocking shapes and patterns. Now being reinvented using practical porcelain tiles, our Jakob Ash Parquet is an example of wood effect tiles in a parquet pattern that is both easy to lay and durable underfoot.

Retro Vibes

Pink tiles have seen a resurgence in bathrooms. We’ve noticed them increasingly being combined with retro colours such as blue or green (also one of our favourite pairings!). Our Oska Powder Pink Matt Porcelain used here with our Paintbox Aqua Gloss Ceramic laid in a subway formation combines a classic Victorian bathroom style with modern, confident and complementary colours.

Another bold colour used throughout the ’60s is a deep, almost mustard yellow. Our Paintbox Canary Gloss, a rich and glossy ceramic tile, will add vibrancy to any kitchen or bathroom wall.

Make an impact with the ultimate retro-look of onyx effect tiles. Our Onyx Nouveau Amber Gloss and our Onyx Nouveau Amethyst Gloss have the same glowing sheen as real onyx and are reminiscent of the plush colours and carved onyx objects widely popular in the mid-century.

Terracotta and Terrazzo

The two T’s of the moment. Terracotta and Terrazzo are tiles that have been used throughout history. Terracotta flooring is traditionally associated with Mediterranean homes, whereas Terrazzo was created in Venice during the 15th century, both remain popular today.

Our Breton Blanc and Breton Gris are subtle and practical interpretations of the Terrazzo style. These large, washed-out square porcelain tiles can be used individually or together as shown here, to create a subtle chequerboard floor design.

The favoured flooring choice in Mediterranean climates, terracotta has gained favour here too, with its earthy hues creating a warm, welcoming feel in our homes. Due to the porosity of terracotta it’s essential to seal thoroughly during installation. Our Alicante Terracotta Hexagon tiles offer an eye-catching format and tactile feel.

Handmade Artisan Feel

Achieve that handmade, crafty look with modern porcelain tiles. Created using the latest tile technologies, our Zen and Riad tile ranges have that old, artisan feel whilst being incredibly practical.

Our Riad collection offer small brick tiles in a wealth of shades. We love the contrasting tones and surface finishes of our Riad Terracotta Matt and Riad Rouge Gloss have been used to create a harmonious space. The porcelain nature of these tiles makes them a practical option for bathrooms, but with all the character of a traditional artisan tile.

The subtle shade variation and imperfect nature of our Zen range gives this tile a handcrafted appearance. This bathroom features our Zen Blue Gloss, a deep blue glazed tile available in three different size options.

Why not incorporate modern classics into your home? Visit one of our 13 UK tile showrooms where our friendly and knowledgeable teams can help you choose the tiles for your project.

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Wilmslow Weybridge Tunbridge Wells Primrose Hill Petersfield Monmouth Outlet Warehouse Monmouth Monmouth Head Office Marlow Harrogate Fulham Road Exeter Cheltenham Cardiff Cambridge Bristol Bath
Wilmslow Weybridge Tunbridge Wells Primrose Hill Petersfield Monmouth Outlet Warehouse Monmouth Monmouth Head Office Marlow Harrogate Fulham Road Exeter Cheltenham Cardiff Cambridge Bristol Bath