Encaustic tiles were first made in Europe in the late 19th century. They were used to decorate the floors of palaces in St. Petersburg, Gaudi’s distinctive houses in Barcelona, and grand hallways from Paris to Saigon. Today they are to be found in countless chic bars, restaurants and designer-homes in London, Paris and New York. Natural Stone Gallery's collection of hand-made decorative tiles are made using the ‘encaustic’ technique with cement where the pattern is inlaid into the body of the tile, so that the design and colour remain, even as the tile wears. These differ from ceramic tiles, where the surface pattern is the product of the finishing glaze printed on the surface.