Tile

A Brief History

Tile has evolved greatly since discovered in ancient Iran around 1250 BC. Glazed bricks were used on the Elamite temple at Chogha Zanbil (one of the few existing Ziggurats which is a terraced step pyramid, outside of Mesopotamia)

Mesopotamia craftsmen were imported for the palaces of the Persian Empire.

Advanced methods are evidenced in second century Sri Lanka. Historians consider their smooth, polished, tight fitting tiles to be of supreme skill for that time.

Medieval Europe tile makers were mainly influenced by Islamic Iberia, Byzantine and Ottoman Empire. The Medieval tile craftsmen made encaustic tiles. This is the method of baking the color through the whole body of the tile.

Today it is widely used and manufactured worldwide.

Manufactured tiles include:

  • Brick
  • Cement
  • Glass
  • Encaustic
  • Saltillo
  • Terra Cotta

The two most common are Ceramic porcelain and non-porcelain. Ceramic manufacturers use quarried clay that is then prepared and formed into a mold.

Porcelain clays use higher quality raw materials with fewer impurities. This contributes to a more durable tile and is preferred for flooring. What differentiates it from regular ceramic is feldspar. Feldspar is a type of crystal found in rock that acts as a flux during the kiln-drying process, melting into a glass-like material and bonding all of the molded ingredients together.