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30 Jun 2022

There exists today a huge and vibrant market for designer bathrooms. Variety is key as many hundreds of different effects, designs, and colour schemes are on offer, from ceramic tomosaic effect floor tiles and beyond. But how did we get here? What is the history of the carefully manufactured tiles which now adorn so many of our homes? 

The history of ceramic tiles and other designs such as stone, metal, and even glass goes back tens of thousands of years. The 2004discovery by archaeologists of dozens of Roman roof tiles in Wittenham, Oxfordshire demonstrates the importance of the material at the time when the Iron Age gave way to the more civilized efforts of the Roman Empire. 

During the medieval period, tile-making in Europe was mostly associated with palaces and monasteries. The practice first found popularity in Spain, having beenimported by moors of Islamic areas such as Persia and Tunisia, which were home to some of the most spectacular early examples of decorative tiling. 

With the advent of the industrial revolution came the mass production of tiles for the first time. As well as this, tiles were popularized during theVictorian era when there was a big push for cleanliness and public health. As a surface that can easily be cleaned and sanitized, tiles fit right in with popular thought and began to be used all over the UK. 

To see how far we've come just consider this; before the second world war it could take up to 70 hours to commercially manufacture dust-pressed glazed tile. With modern automation and conveyor systems, the process from start to finish now takes as little as two hours. 

There are hundreds of tile designs and aesthetics to choose from these days. It is worthshopping around, and as you do know that you are part of a history that goes back over 25,000 years!