Tile has many functions. It can be used for floors, walls, and even roofs. People like tile because it can make a home look elegant. Tile can also beautify a home. For centuries, Italian tile manufacturers have turned this function into an art.
Because of its natural resources, Italy was one of the popular ancient tile manufacturers that included Spain and Portugal. The clay that could be found in Tuscany, in particular, could be fired into an excellent ceramic tile.
Types of tile
There are many different types of tiles. Terracotta tiles are clay or ceramic tiles. They are created by firing clay in a kiln to harden it. Modern techniques use press-powdered tile. In this case, machine techniques are superior to hand made tiles. With pressed dust, the tighter the dust is packed the more durable the tile becomes. Extruded, or machine made tile, is superior to handmade tiles because machines can press harder than humans can.
Glazed tiles are popular because they can be painted to add design and color to the look of the floor or wall. Metal oxide glazed tile was created long ago in the Middle East and quickly adopted by Italy. Italian manufacturers developed their own techniques and spread the popularity of this tile throughout Europe.
Smalti or glass tiles can be clear or opaque. Italian designers have also created metallic or gold varieties by threading different metals in the glass. Colored glass tiles are often used in mosaics and other designs.
Porcelain tile became popular because of Italian artisans. Many of the raw materials found in Italy helped to produce durable and beautiful porcelain tiles. While porcelain transferred to other mediums, tiles made from porcelain are popular to this day.
Marble tiles are the ultimate in elegance and stile. Carrara tile is expensive and hard to find because it is one of the world’s greatest lines of marble tile.
Tile as art
Mosaics may have been the first known forms of tile as an art form. During the Renaissance, Italy became known for their hand-painted tiles. Tuscany in particular produced and perfected this art because of its fine clays. Hand-painted tiles were seen in churches, fountains, and bathhouses throughout Europe.
After the Renaissance, the popularity of this art dwindled for a time. Then Art Nouveau and Art Deco revived this unique craft. The popularity continues to this day, and special designers are hired to paint the tiles.
Modern painted tiles are seen in more than just fountains and churches. They are in pools, museums and even in some homes. People can pay thousands of dollars to have them specially designed.
In addition to painted tile and improved pressing techniques, there have been other innovations developed by Italian tile manufacturers. One company, by the name of Fiandre, has made great strides in tile manufacturing.
One type of tile that this company creates is antibacterial tile. This is often used in hospitals, offices, and spas. It reduces the number of germs in an environment to make it healthier and uses green technologies.
Eco tile uses earth friendly techniques to reduce chemicals used, and the amount of pollution generated. These eco tiles are in demand by individuals and businesses around the world. Their popularity grows as they perfect their techniques.
Geo tiles are the epitome of art and function. They are decorated in various geometric designs and come in many different colors. They are usually used for walls but can be used in flooring as well.
Other types of tile that they create are designed to reduce slipping and are extra thick. They work great in swimming pools, health spas and anywhere that water can spill onto the floor. They come in many different colors and are used to form mosaics.
Italian tile manufacturers create beautiful and innovative tiles for many different uses. Painted tiles can beautify a home, and mosaics create intricate designs. Antibacterial tile can be used to prevent people from getting sick, and specially designed tiles can keep people from falling. As technology improves, tile manufacturers continue to find innovative ways to use tile. And for centuries, Italy has been one of the leaders blazing the trail for others to follow.