FEATURE 18 November 2012

The history of ceramic tiles and other tile materials

We have been using clay for centuries as a building material and although we have sophisticated methods in which to manufacture wall tiles, clay was used in many forms to build and decorate homes of many forms back in history.

Clay was extracted from river beds and formed into brick like shaped where it would be used as a building material for homes. The clay would be left in the sun to dry once installed and made an excellent material for building many things. Wall tiles today are of course much more sophisticated and can be obtained in many styles, designs and colours. The clay used centuries ago would not represent any design that we can develop today but the blocks of clay would be decorated using man made tools and other implements in which to add colour in any way they could.

The Egyptians were some of the first to develop more sophisticated methods of producing tiles that are more like the ones we know today, They realised that by subjecting the clay to high temperatures allowed for stronger materials. As time passed the art of manufacturing wall tiles became much better and wall tiles began to take on quite a revolution and the designs and styles used were becoming more elaborate and creative. Religious buildings and important grand homes were decorated using wall tiles in many different variations of design.

The Romans also widely used wall tiles and floor tiles that were of the ceramic variety to decorate floors and walls. The trend spread throughout the world and China became the first to produce porcelain which was known back then as white china. Porcelain tiles were classed as a luxury and used for cups, saucers and plates before becoming popular as wall tiles and floor tiles.

The 15th century saw many countries including Italy developing wall tile designs and styles and other materials were being used. The trend for wall tiles and floor tiles continued to spread and become more popular as many other techniques were used to develop new and innovative designs.

Today home owners use floor tiles and wall tiles of many materials in which do decorate floors and walls and we have a wide selection in which to choose from. It would be impossible to imagine a bathroom or kitchen without the decoration of wall tiles and floor tiles because as well as the decorative aspect, they provide a vital functionality within the home, Home owners use floor tiles in busy areas such the kitchen to provide excellent functionality and low maintenance as well as a for a decorative aspect.

Bathrooms wouldn't be the same without wall tiles either and in wet and moist areas they are vital to provide a functionality of easy clean and design style. Glass tiles are used widely in bathrooms and kitchens and provide a great solution.

Home owners have many materials in which to choose from and they all range in price from the most expensive to the cheaper options and there is an abundance of style and design, home owners also have an abundance of advice on tiles and tiling and many home owners choose to carry out tiling jobs independently to keep costs down. Although there is more choice now than there was years ago, the notion is still the same as it was years ago, to provide functionality and design to areas of the home.

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