Fireplace tiles became extremely popular in the UK from the Victorian era. With the rise of consumer culture, several companies began to produce Tiles from Minton to Wedgewood. With a greater proportion of family budgets being spent on decorative items for the home than today, designs became increasingly more ornate.
Arts and crafts style hand painted tiles are some of the more recognisable examples we still see around today alongside art nouveau tiles and majolica tiles. These tiles can a highly decorative addition to the home and are often used to brighten up cast iron fireplaces.
There are is no shortage of examples still in circulation with many produced in bright colours and brilliant glazes. People from all over the world collect English antique tiles and it is easy to see why. Antique examples are usually better quality than the imported examples you see today and are a much nicer alternative to plain modern tiles.
The good news is, that although many of the tiles you will find in reclamation yards could be called antique, they are not as expensive as you might think. There are still plenty of examples from the 19th and twentieth centuries which can be found with a little research.