Renovator’s Toolbox explores the materials, techniques and trends you need to know.

A Park Slope bathroom by Elizabeth Roberts Design and MADE Architecture. Photo by Ensemble Architecture

A pop of color, a play of pattern. Ever notice the exotic-looking colorful tile in old brownstone entries and wonder what it is?

It’s called encaustic tile, and it’s been around since medieval times when builders used it for church floors. Today, designers are reviving it for creative kitchens and baths.