Tiles History
History of Ceramic Tiles

The latin word tegula and its french derivative tuile mean quite precisely a roof tile of baked clay.The english tile is less precise, for it can in addition be used for any kind of earthenware slab applied to any surface of a building.

The word ceramic comes from the greek word keramos meaning pottery, it is related to an old sanskrit root meaning to burn but was primarily used to mean burnt stuff.


Historically, man has desired to create living spaces which were beautiful, durable and user friendly. With that in mind, ceramic tile has been made by man for 4000 years. Beautiful tiled surfaces have been found in the oldest pyramids, the ruins of Babylon, and ancient ruins of Greek cities.

Decorative tile-work was invented in the near east, where it has enjoyed a longer popularity and assumed a greater variety of design than anywhere in the world.

During the Islamic period, all methods of tile decoration were brought to perfection in Persia.

In Europe decorated tiles did not come into general use outside Moorish Spain until the second half of the 12th century. The tile mosaics of Spain and Portugal, the Majolica floor tiles of Renaissance Italy, the Faiences of Antwerp, the development of tile iconography in England and in the Netherlands, and the ceramic tiles of Germany are all prominent landmarks in the history of ceramic tile.