Look Back at the History of Tile

We tend to take a lot of today’s commodities for granted, and that even extends to our flooring materials. Tile has been around for ages and ages, and it’s been used for all kinds of purposes. Here’s a look back at the history of tile.

The Early Days

Tile can still be seen everywhere, and yet it’s been around since as early as 4,000 B.C. At this time, it was used in Egyptian art. It started popping up between the 9th and 12th centuries in Tunisia, Iran, and Middle-eastern mosque, and was a sign of wealth for upper class Europeans in the late 10th century in England.

First Potters and Mass Producers

Despite how long they’ve been used for, ceramic tiles only became an industry in the 16th century in the Dutch town of Delft. The product would develop a reputation over the next half of a century, but by 1725, the industry was on its way out. Britain then took over with mass production of tiles in the 19th century along with the Industrial Revolution, but it declined there as well after the 1800s. American tiles followed a similar timeline, and had to compete with the mass production going on in Britain.

20th Century and On

Eventually people started catching on to the sanitary benefits that come with tile flooring, and societies also started to realize how important sanitation was for the home as well as public spaces. In the 20th century tiles could be found in kitchens and bathrooms, where moisture control and sanitation were especially important, but also in subway stations as art. In today’s American society, tiles are one of the most popular flooring materials. There is an incredible amount of versatility and customization that goes into designing with tiles, and they can be used on the inside or outside of the home.


Talk to the pros in flooring in Tucson at Broadway Carpet for all your flooring needs. We offer ceramic tile, sheet and luxury vinyl tile, and hardwood flooring options in addition to carpet. Call us at (520) 296-8533 to find your flooring.

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