Square, straight and level are the three by-words for a professional tiler. So with so many thousands of small pieces cut up into triangles, squares, hexagons, octagons and on and on….. How do you keep it all so straight, level and square and at the same time, have it all looking so good that passersby in the street stop in their tracks to see what I am doing, and (maybe most important of all) that it is making the neighbors jealous?!?
Welcome to the world of Tessellated Tiling. Originally becoming fashionable in 15th century England, some masterpieces can still be seen today on the floors of old monasteries and it was a style favored by King Henry III. King Henry VIII had different ideas though and this magnificent craft fell out of favor. It has come back with vengeance of late and can now be seen on the floors of churches, pubs and fashionable homes, attaining the Victorian or Edwardian look.
Strongly geometric, re-occurring patterns are the typical description for tessellated tiling. Each one of those patterns contains from ten to over fifty individual pieces, each one cut from a larger tile and then laid one by one by the Tessellated Tiler to form the desired pattern.
The logic behind creating such patterns is to treat each ‘block’ or pattern as an individual tile, then set the job up as a whole, making sure the finish will look centered and symmetrical with no small segments of a ‘block’ at the end. That is, start with the end in mind! Then, one by one, these tiny tiles need to be arranged into the blocks, the blocks into the larger pattern and then the larger pattern is usually finished with a tessellated border.