Cement tiles were first produced in the south of France in the late 19th Century. By 1900 they had caught on in the USA, especially in California, where they were considered a high-end floor covering and remain intact in many landmark buildings. Cement tiles became more generally fashionable there in the Roaring Twenties, the colourful art deco patterns very much part of the Jazz Age.
Real life Gatsbys would have had their mansions or Manhattan apartments done out in their pretty and lively patterns. However, during the Great Depression, the look seemed a tad too frivolous and fell out of fashion, to be forgotten until a revival got going in the 1990s, which continues apace, as architects and designers see their possibilities in restaurants and hotels and homeowners – jaded with dreary neutral colour schemes – fancy something to delight the eye: something with heritage behind it.