mosaic tile floors

Hot and Hot's vintage mosaic tile floor dates back to the 1950's when Caddell's Creamery occupied the building.

The mosaic tile floor at Birmingham’s Hot and Hot Fish Club is almost as good as the  Tomato Salad there this time of year.  Almost. 

Hey Tracery fans, Doug here–I enjoyed a delicious dinner at Hot and Hot last night with some great new clients we’re excited to be working with.  Between good conversation and delicious food (prepared by our dear friend Chris Hastings, who’s also the Culinary Advisor at the SpringHouse Restaurant we designed at Lake Martin) I was reminded about how much I love the wonderful pattern and colors of the vintage mosaic tile floor at Hot and Hot.  In an otherwise neutral space the floor really stands out as a classic and energizing design element.

Mosaic tile is a pretty old school design trick.  In a lot of new houses today you might find 12×12, 18×18 or even larger tiles on the floor, but we really like to look to the past when selecting floor tile and frequently we find ourselves drawn back to mosaics.  Especially in smaller spaces like bathrooms or showers, mosaics add a classic touch to our work.  Here are a few of our favorites:

After college, I rented a 1940’s apartment in Mountain Brook Village for a few years and the bathroom floor was covered in a tiny pinwheel pattern mosaic of black and white marble.  Walker Zanger has reproduced this classic pattern perfectly in their Imperium collection, pictured here in Bianca Cararra.

Another really fun and vintage look is pennyround tile.  About the size of, you guessed it–a penny, this tile feels really old school when installed.  We love it on the floor but have installed it vertically on walls too.  Pennyrounds come in lots of fun colors and many feature variegated shades like the American Universal Corp tile pictured here.

We love 2″ herringbone tiles for bathroom or shower floors.  The size is still small enough to feel detailed and vintage but it large enough to not be busy visually.  Akdo’s Blue Lagos Hexagon is one of our favorites to use — the varied shades of charcoal grey found in the stone give great depth to this mosaic.

Another Akdo mosaic we can’t get enough of is their Calacutta Herringbone.  We think this tile is so elegant and chic!  Imagine how good this would look bordered with 12×12 Calacutta tiles to form a ‘rug’ in the center of a large bathroom.

Not all mosaics have to be neutral…Waterworks has several really fun colorways in their Penny Tile collection including this pastel blend that we think would be great in a bathroom for kids.

So what’s your favorite mosaic tile look?  Classic and crisp or fun and funky?

15 thoughts on “mosaic tile floors

  1. Love all of these! We put hexagons in our bath. My husband has refused to have to install them again, but they sure are cute! He was also not amused by my wanting to take pictures inside Hot and Hot last week when we were there. There was a HUGE arrangement of hydrangeas on the bar that was so lovely.


  2. great piece, Doug. I’ve just been looking at cararra and calcutta gold marble pieces for my in-the-future masterbath re-do. And love the first image of the vintage tile – so wonderful…


  3. Mosaic tiles are a look that I found to be old fashioned when I first saw them popping up a few years ago, and now I love them! I was looking through some tile baskets for current projects that my architect is working on, and so many of them had mosaic tiles. It is definitely a popular look now, but I also think it is a classic look.


  4. When my husband and I gutted our bathroom a few weeks ago, I thought we’d just waltz into a local tile store to pick up some white hex tiles, since they are all over the place in original bathrooms around here. Boy was I wrong! They had to be special ordered! I think white, black & white, and marble mosaic patterns are classic. In my next house, I’ll be lobbying for basketweave carrera.


  5. Thanks for sharing these mosaic tiles, I love how creative you can get with these. My favorite of the ones listed above are the black and white marble, but the pastel blend is also very fun. To answer your question, I think that both could add so much texture to a room, depending on the look that you/client is going for!


  6. I’m looking for a small tile 3X5′ apx. entrance way. Small flat look with perhaps a border. Something retro — perhaps 1950’s style.May have to settle for a white solid but want something a bit more. Thanks


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