A Historical Perspective on the Use of Tiles and Which Tiles for Sale Are Perfect for Your Home

When constructing a new house, homeowners usually look for the most affordable tiles for sale while not sacrificing the aesthetic appeal of the house. The use of tiles has actually been around for a long time now. Society has only accepted that it is an integral aspect of a great house because of its beautifying aspect.


Of course, it is undeniable that using tiles on your home’s floor is a great way to strengthen, beautify, and add flair to your already beautiful home, but it is also important for homeowners to know why tiles are such an important part of a home. It is wrong to assume that ever since the creation of the first ever proper house, the use of tiles was already a practice that numerous people followed. So, when exactly did the use of tiles become a practice for people? However, before we go into the history of tiles, it is important to define what tiles really are.



A tile is a mass-produced object made up of hard-wearing material such as ceramic, metal, stone, or sometimes, even glass. It is commonly used to cover different parts of the house such as the roof, floor, wall, showers, or other objects that need a hard-wearing cover such as a table top. However, do not confuse the tile for a house with the object made from lightweight materials like wood, mineral wool, or perlite, that is typically used for wall or ceilings. Another variation of “tile” that you should not confuse with is the construction tile or the rectangular of square objects in games.


The etymology of the term “tile” is taken from the, in its root, Latin word tegula, which means a roof tile composed of fired clay. It is also taken from the French word tuile, but this specific French word also came from the Latin word mentioned above.


The most common use for tiles is to form a wall or floor covering, and it can still range from simple square designs to complex mosaics that bring about a quirky and creative atmosphere in whatever home it is used in. The most common material for tiles is ceramic which is usually glazed for internal uses while it is unglazed when the tile’s primary use is for roofing. However, as mentioned, tiles made of glass, concrete, stone, or any other composite materials. The stone used for tiles are typically from granite, onyx, slate, or marble. Lastly, one of the most important aspects of thinner tiles is for wall use and not for floors because flooring tiles need to be more durable, sturdier, and stronger due to its constant exposure to pressure, impact, and stress.


Since we have defined what a tile is, it is time to for its history and how humans eventually made it an integral part of their homes.


History of Tiles

History of Tiles

If you did not know, the use of tiles goes back thousands upon thousands of years ago. To give you an example, a form of ceramic tile has been known to exist for more or less 25,000 years.


Tiles, as the decorative object in a person’s home, is known to date from 4,700 B.C. in Ancient Egypt while the use of glass tiles are known to be popular among the masses during 2,500 B.C. A discovery in the village of Wittenham in Oxfordshire during 2004 found that countless Roman roof tiles were buried in the village leading the researchers to believe that Roman buildings were plenty in this landscape during the transition from the Iron Age to the Roman period about 2000 years ago.


Let’s go on ahead to the medieval period where tile making was a profession and the use of tiles was mainly associated with churches, monasteries, and palaces. Potters were the names given to the people whose profession revolved around the gathering of materials for tiles, and putting the tiles for sale or making them for different people. The Potters were known to travel around the whole country while carrying local tools and clays and using them on the spot to make tiles, and putting the tiles for sale in front of the crowd. The most common way for them to create tiles were to flatten the clay, then cutting them into shapes that the person who was buying preferred. The only recorded use of machinery for tile creation was the use of a wooden mould that was carved with a design that was used to indent a pattern on the slab of clay. The slab of clay would then be dried and the impression left by the wooden mould would be filed with white pipe clay to give it a more striking accent. After the slab of clay has dried, it would be shaved until it achieves a flat surface. Lastly, a handful of lead ore was dredged on the surface of dried, flattened clay and it would be hardened by heating it.


The official name for these kinds of tiles were “encaustic” or inlaid tiles and they were known to be used from the 12th all the way up to the 16 century. The need for these tiles and profession was slowly dissolved due to the dissolution or closing of monasteries, and it was not used again up until the Victorian era during the 19th century. So, the profession of being a Potter, showcasing tiles for sale on the spot, and the use of encaustic or inlaid tiles were mostly forgotten for an upward of 3 centuries.


Additionally, during the Victorian era, the Industrial Revolution took place, and as a result, the manufacturing process for both wall and floor tiles achieved an all-time high in terms of efficiency, quality, and production number. As the namesake of the Victorian era, the reign of Queen Victoria was where the mass production of wall and floor tiles began and were started to be used on numerous public buildings, shops, houses, and churches all because of the tiles’ capability to beautify a house and also for their functionality. The mass production of wall and floor tiles also resulted to the increase of Potters in the Victorian era – they were considered to be a large but cheap labor force. Consequently, with a large number of people working as Potters, the need for innovative tiles for sale that would make a single Potter stand out became all the rage, so the experiments with regards to tile creation, while most of the work being done by human hands, not machines. Eventually, the use of wall and floor tiles that were adorned with decorations or designs were allowed for the general public to use during the 1870’s.


Then, during the middle of the 18th century, the importation of tiles that were glazed and hand painted that came from Holland started to become popular which led to the imitation of a small number of English suppliers which then led to a small-scale fake market for hand-painted glazed tiles. Fortunately, this instance led to the amazing growth of the tile production industry up until the middle of the 19th century which was led by the porcelain manufacturer by the name of Herbert Minton who again made popular the creation of encaustic tiles and was also the developer of the dust pressing process which is now the most common manufacturing method in modern times.


Aside from the results mentioned above, the Victorian era’s start of tile mass production also led to the steady increase of cheapness and easier installation that which coincidentally led to a constant and fast-growing demand for wall and floor tiles. The most common tile for this time was the encaustic tile which was produced by combining a plain clay tile with an area of filling that is formed through stamping an impression or design on the tile with the use of liquid clay of a color that is different from the initial plain clay tile and then firing them to eventually fuse the two objects.


The process of encaustic tiles and the use of them was brought back after its loss 3 centuries before the Victorian era due to the dissolution of the monasteries. Minton’s, which was briefly mentioned earlier, early creations of encaustic tiles carried the long lasting tradition of encaustic tiles being installed in churches. However, due to the need for innovation, Minton eventually came up with designs for encaustic tiles that made it possible for them to be installed in public buildings and houses. This was also the time where the rival manufacturers of Potters that made encaustic tiles came about. These rivals had a wider scope and variety of tiles for sale which soon posed a problem to traditional Potters such as Minton. The introduction of these rivals eventually led to the production of tiles that were made through technological advancements such as the use of multi-firing which made tiles up to six different colors – all of which required a separate firing process.


When the year 1850 came, tile floors were already a trend for numerous royal or aristocratic locations, which symbolized the lavish and luxurious lifestyles of those who bought the tiles to emulate their superior standing in the society. Although it was possible to buy cheaper tiles through the combination of the relatively expensive encaustic tiles with the much cheaper plain or geometric floor tiles. The most popular area in a house for geometric tiles was the hallway while the cheaper tile class would be installed in the areas where fewer people go to such as the kitchen, servant’s quarters, or areas that are expected to experience wear and tear.


Meanwhile, for the fashionable tiles were shown in the areas where it was always seen by people. Examples of areas like this are the fireplaces, and the homeowners would often hire artists to decorate or design the walls around the fireplace. While the most luxurious tiles were often put in the most exclusive areas such as the reception room or the bedrooms.


Some of the households that were more capable and wealthier than others were more passionate for the Arts and Craft and only used tiles that were made by the hand of famous artists such as William Morris and William de Morgan, and their production process included hand-painting, transfer painting, and the recreation of the turquoise blue and lustre glazes of ancient Persian pottery.


Tiles That Are Perfect for Your Home

Tiles That Are Perfect for Your Home

So, looking at it from a historical perspective, the buying of tiles for sale and installing them in the perfect area of your home has been a practice that was already existing numerous years ago – and the knowledge of knowing where the perfect place is to put the tiles you bought it can be found in the history books.


Take a look back at the previous paragraphs and learn how you should distribute your tiles. Basically, the installation of tiles needs a utilitarian perspective for them to be effective. This means that the tiles you buy should be installed in terms of use, aesthetic appeal, and whether they are needed in that specific area or not.


Why Choose FC Tile Depot

Before installing the tiles in your home, you need to be reassured that the tiles you have are beautiful, versatile, and resilient – and there’s no other place to find the tiles that have those qualities other than FC Tile Depot. We are the Philippines’ foremost tile distribution company, and we ensure that all our tiles exude beauty, sophistication, and resilience. We started back in 1997, and we have only gone up since then. Ever since the start of FC Tile Depot, our focus on delivering and satisfaction to all our customers have never changed.


You have the capability to choose among a variety of tiles that we offer, and all of them have undergone certification and has passed all the standards set by the Philippines’ Bureau of Product Standards.

So, choose FC Tile Depot now! For any orders or inquiries, you can contact us here!