I've been working on a project recently that requires tile floors. Since painting faux marble is not my strong point, and I also figured it would take me more time and materials to make them from scratch, I set out on the web in search of miniature marble tiles.
I quickly discovered that most of the full-service miniature shops on the internet all carry the same few lines of tile. Primarily those made by Model Builders Supply, which are very nice sticky-back tiles in a nice marble pattern, but they only come in a few colors (none of which were what I wanted, of course.) The other options are limited selections of plastic sheets and such, in a few basic colors.
Not too exiting. I figured I was stuck with dark green marble that was going to clash with everything else, or else I was in for a big mess of plaster and paint as I tried to come up with my own.
But, never fear - I found two great sources for beautiful, unique tile that will make your dollhouse stand out!
The first is Earth & Tree Miniatures, located in Amherst, NH. I used to live near them, and they're one of my favorite miniatures shops. A huge selection, and the best service around - they really go out of their way to take care of their customers. (Disclaimer - I don't work for them, I've just purchased from them a lot.) So it should have been no surprise to find that they have a great selection of floor tile.
The first interesting line is by Old World Tile. These prefinished floors reproduce the look of old world style (natch) in a variety of stone, brick, and tile patterns. They are beautifully printed on some type of thin foam board. I'm not sure what it is exactly, but I've seen them at shows (and met their creator, Beth, very nice lady) and they are wonderful and look very realistic. I've had the Stone Diamond Floor on my wish list for ages! Each one comes with a stylus that you can use to indent the grout lines, bringing the whole thing into relief. They come in 10"x16" sheets, so you can trim to fit and glue into place.
The second interesting line at Earth & Tree is by Miniature Corner. First off are their Checkerboard Marble Tiles, which come in several pretty color combinations. They also make Mosaic Floor Tile sheets, that have been pre-punched so they can be easily separated into individual tiles and then laid in as usual. And if you like the look of wood parquet, they have Parquet Floor & Border Tiles which are printed on laminated cardboard. I've never seen any of this company's tiles in person so I don't know what the quality is like, but I'd like to try them out as they are all very attractive.
The other company I found is called Tierneys Tiles. They make real miniature ceramic tiles in sizes from 1/8" to 2" and in a variety of shapes. They have a rainbow of basic colors to choose from, but the real treat is their handcolored specialty tiles: Swedish, Dutch, and English patterns; storybook and alphabet accent tiles; fireplace hearth murals; floral, fruit and seasonal tiles; Art Deco and Southwestern themes. They're all gorgeous. I want to collect the whole Aesop's Fables line!
If none of these fit the bill, then there are still plenty of options for making your own flooring. Below are a few articles with tips and tutorials to get you started:
- Floors: Working with Wood Veneer & Vinyl Tile, from TreeFeathers
- Create A Stone Floor For Dollhouses, from Custom Styled Dollhouse Kits
- Deb's Scored Hardwood Floors, from the Greenleaf Gazette
- Making Stone from Styrofoam, from Nancy
- Making a Stone Floor using drywall compound, from Grazhina
- How to Paint Faux Marble Technique, from THAT Painter Lady