Upon entering a respectable and luxurious mid-19th century mansion, a visitor would be greeted with an exquisitely decorated entrance hall. There was little doubt that the best mode of treating a hall floor, whether in town or country, was to pave it with inlaid tiles, which were referred to as encaustic tiles in the Victorian era. These ceramic antique tiles featured patterns that were created with different colors of clay.
By the mid-19th century great technical perfection, as far as material and color were concerned, made this style of antique tile a means of decoration that was not only durable but could be mass produced. A variety of pavement tiles and antique tile borders were manufactured by companies in London, such as Minton. In the United States, encaustic tiles were manufactured by the American Encaustic Tiling Company in Zanesville, Ohio.