What is Victorian and Federation tiling?

The Victorian era spanned from around 1860-1900 and was named after the English Queen Victoria. Bold colour schemes and elaborate ornaments characterise the Victorian era. The tiling used during the Victorian era fused elements from different time periods, such as romanticism and classicism. It can seem a bit over the top for some people, but just right for others.

The Federation era spanned from 1890-1915 and is still one of the most popular styles of architecture in Australia today. While decorative, it’s more simple than Victorian-era homes.

The tiling used during the Federation era complemented the red bricks and the wooden ornaments of the time. You’ve probably come across Federation tiling without even being aware of it.

Where should you have Victorian and Federation tiling?

The places you can add Victorian and Federation tiling to your home is only limited to your imagination. If you want to keep it traditional, however, we’ve rounded up some of the most common places we’ve installed these kinds of tiles in Melbourne homes.

You’ll usually find them in…

  • Bathroom floors and walls
  • Fireplace hearths
  • Home Entrances
  • Hallways
  • Kitchen floors and splashbacks
  • Laundries
  • Living room floors
  • Paths
  • Verandahs

What are the Victorian colours and patterns?

Victorian colour schemes typically include green, pink, turquoise, and yellow. While you can stick to these colours, it’s also perfectly possible to give it a more modern feel with a more monochromatic colour palette.

The tiling patterns used during the Victorian era were many. Depending on how busy your home is in terms of decoration, you could go for intricate geometrical designs or a simple checkered pattern.

victorian and federation tiles Melbourne

What are the Federation colours and patterns?


The colours used during the Federation era weren’t as flamboyant at those used during the Victorian era. Think natural colours like earth and rust-brown and leaf and grass green.

The tiling patterns were also simpler than those of the Victorian era. You’ll often see simpler designs on the surface, which hides a subtle complexity if you look more closely. The dot and octagon tile pattern became popular during this time.

What are the most common types of tiles and patterns?

Now that you have a general idea of what was common during the Victorian and Federation eras, it’s time to look at some concrete examples of tiles and patterns.

Here are some of the Victorian-era tiling we’ve installed:

  • Classic checkerboard patterns (Bath & Nottingham)
  • Intricate geometrical patterns (Bristol & Glasgow)
  • Bold patterns (Fitzroy, Manchester & Woollahra)

And here are some of the Federation-era tilings we’ve worked with:

  • Decorative screenprints
  • Intricate York encaustics
  • Killara patterns
  • Octagon and dot patterns
  • Paddington pattern
  • Raised embossed tiles
  • Subway tiles
  • Tessellated patterns

Victorian and Federation homes are among the most beautiful buildings in Melbourne, and we’re proud to have assisted our many clients with restoration and maintenance.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a home from either era, then we’d love to discuss tiling with you. But before you dive in, maybe you’d like a bit of background first.

On this page, we’ll answer some of the most commonly asked questions about Victorian and Federation tiling. If you have any questions not covered here, then feel free to give us a call on 0414 555 433 and we’ll be happy to have a chat.

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