Tile

Mission, or barrel, roof tiles

A tile is a manufactured piece of hard-wearing material such as ceramic, clay, stone, porcelain or even glass. Tiles are generally used for covering roofs, floors, and walls, or other objects such as tabletops. The word is derived from the French word tuile, which is, in turn, from the Latin word tegula, meaning a roof tile composed of baked clay. Less precisely, the modern term can refer to any sort of construction tile or similar object, such as rectangular counters used in playing games (see tile-based game).

Tiles are often used to form wall and floor coverings, and can range from simple square tiles to complex mosaics. Tiles are most often made from ceramic, with a hard glaze finish, but other materials are also commonly used, such as glass, slate, and reformed ceramic slurry, which is cast in a mould and fired.


Roof tiles

Fancy Japanese roof tiles The largest (6000 m²)
wooden shingle roof
in Europe: Zakopane, Poland

Roof tiles are designed mainly to keep out rain, and are traditionally made from locally available materials such as clay, slate, or wood (wooden tiles are called shingles). Modern materials such as concrete and plastic are also used. Some clay tiles have a waterproof glaze.

Because of their long history, a large number of shapes (or "profiles") of roof tiles have evolved. These include:

  • Flat tiles - the simplest type, which are laid in regular overlapping rows. This profile is suitable for stone and wooden tiles, and most recently, solar cells.
  • Roman tiles - flat in the middle, with a concave curve at one end at a convex curve at the other, to allow interlocking.
  • Pantiles - with an S-shaped profile, allowing adjacent tiles to interlock. These result in a ridged pattern resembling a ploughed field.
  • Mission or barrel tiles are semi-cylindrical tiles made by forming clay around a log and laid in alternating columns of convex and concave tiles.

Roof tiles are 'hung' from the framework of a roof by fixing them with nails. The tiles are usually hung in parallel rows, with each row overlapping the row below it to exclude rainwater and to cover the nails that hold the row below.

There are also roof tiles for special positions, particularly where the planes of the several pitches meet. They include ridge, hip and valley tiles.

Floor tiles

6"x6" porcelain floor tiles

These are commonly made of ceramic, clay, porcelain or stone. Clay tiles may be painted and glazed. Small mosaic tiles may be laid in various patterns. Floor tiles are typically set into mortar consisting of sand, cement and oftentimes a latex additive for extra strength. The spaces between the tiles are nowadays filled with sanded or unsanded floor grout, but traditionally mortar was used.

See Laying tile

Wall tiles

Tilework on the wall of the Bond Street tube station

While ancient Roman building bricks were broader and thinner than modern ones and are therefore usually called tiles, the term wall tile is normally applied to finishing tiles. These are usually ceramic, but other materials such as mirrored glass or polished metal can be used. Wall tiles are usually glazed, and are often patterned by painting or embossing. Pictorial tiles, consisting of many tiles that the installer assembles like a jigsaw puzzle to form a single large picture, are available.

Modern wall tiles are fixed to a wall using a synthetic bonding agent tile adhesive for dry areas, or a cement-based mortar for areas prone to moisture, such as bath or shower walls. The spaces between the tiles are filled with a fine cement called unsanded grout. The excess grout is scraped off with a hard rubber block called a float immediately after applying; further, the grout is wiped again with a moist sponge before it completely hardens. The sponging provides added moisture to strengthen the grout as it cures. Finally, a cloth is rubbed over the wall tile to remove any haze which may remain from residual grout.

Decorative tilework

Ancient mosaic in the British Museum. Typical tilework on buildings in Santarém, Portugal.

Decorative tilework typically takes the form of mosaic upon the walls, floor, or ceiling of a building. Although decorative tilework was known and extensively practiced in the ancient world (as evidenced in the magnificent mosaics of Pompeii and Herculaneum), it perhaps reached its greatest expression during the Islamic period.

Some places, notably Portugal, have a tradition of tilework on buildings that continues today.

In the United States, decorative tiles were in vogue, especially in southern California, in the 1920s and 1930s. Prominent among art tile makers during this period was Ernest A. Batchelder.

Islamic tilework

Tilework of Hazrat Masoumeh shrine, Qom. First constructed in the late 8th century.

Perhaps because of the tenets of Moslem law (sharia) which disavow religious icons and images in favor of more abstract and universal representations of the divine, many consider decorative tilework to have reached a pinnacle of expression and detail during the Islamic period. Palaces, public buildings, and mosques were heavily decorated with dense, often massive mosaics and friezes of astonishing complexity. As both the influence and the extent of Islam spread during the Middle Ages this artistic tradition was carried along, finding expression from the gardens and courtyards of Málaga in Moorish Spain to the mosaics of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.

The mathematics of tiling

Certain shapes of tiles, most obviously rectangles, can be replicated to cover a surface with no gaps. These shapes are said to tessellate (from the Latin tessera, 'tile'). For detailed information on tilings see the tessellation page.

History of tiles

Tiles were developed as a product of earthenware pottery, either as an alternative use for fragments of broken pottery (called potsherds) or as an independent invention. Tiles have been used in construction for at least 4000 years, by the Romans, Greeks, Babylonians, Phoenicians and many other cultures.


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Tiles have been used in construction for at least 4000 years, by the Romans, Greeks, Babylonians, Phoenicians and many other cultures. He loves feminine things, acts delicately, and often holds a hand mirror which he stares into at his reflection and kisses often. Tiles were developed as a product of earthenware pottery, either as an alternative use for fragments of broken pottery (called potsherds) or as an independent invention. Vanity Smurf, though male, is an effeminate and stylish smurf, the epitome of metrosexuality, most of the time wearing a pink flower on his hat. For detailed information on tilings see the tessellation page. Such artistic works served to warn viewers of the ephemeral nature of youthful beauty, as well as the brevity of human life and the inevitability of death. These shapes are said to tessellate (from the Latin tessera, 'tile'). Upon closer examination, it reveals itself to be a young woman gazing at her reflection in the mirror.

Certain shapes of tiles, most obviously rectangles, can be replicated to cover a surface with no gaps. An optical illusion, the painting depicts what appears to be a large grinning skull. As both the influence and the extent of Islam spread during the Middle Ages this artistic tradition was carried along, finding expression from the gardens and courtyards of Málaga in Moorish Spain to the mosaics of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. All is Vanity, by Charles Allan Gilbert (1873-1929), carries on this theme. Palaces, public buildings, and mosques were heavily decorated with dense, often massive mosaics and friezes of astonishing complexity. A young woman holds a balance, symbolizing justice; she does not look at the mirror or the skull on the table before her.[5] Vermeer's famous painting Girl with a Pearl Earring is sometimes believed to depict the sin of vanity, as the young girl has adorned herself before a glass without further positive allegorical attributes. Perhaps because of the tenets of Moslem law (sharia) which disavow religious icons and images in favor of more abstract and universal representations of the divine, many consider decorative tilework to have reached a pinnacle of expression and detail during the Islamic period. A painting attributed to Nicolas Tournier, which hangs in the Ashmolean Museum, is An Allegory of Justice and Vanity.

Batchelder. Behind her is an open jewelry box. Prominent among art tile makers during this period was Ernest A. In his table of the Seven Deadly Sins, Hieronymus Bosch depicts a bourgeois woman admiring herself in a mirror held up by a devil. In the United States, decorative tiles were in vogue, especially in southern California, in the 1920s and 1930s. She admires herself in the glass, while we treat the picture that purports to incriminate her as another kind of glass –a window- through which we peer and secretly desire her."[4] The theme of the recumbant woman often merged artistically with the non-allegorical one of a reclining Venus. Some places, notably Portugal, have a tradition of tilework on buildings that continues today. Often we find an inscription on a scroll that reads Omnia Vanitas ("All is Vanity"), a quote from the Book of Ecclesiastes.[3] "The artist invites us to pay lip-service to condemning her," writes Edwin Mullins, "while offering us full permission to drool over her.

Although decorative tilework was known and extensively practiced in the ancient world (as evidenced in the magnificent mosaics of Pompeii and Herculaneum), it perhaps reached its greatest expression during the Islamic period. Other symbols of vanity include jewels, gold coins, a purse, and often by the figure of death himself. Decorative tilework typically takes the form of mosaic upon the walls, floor, or ceiling of a building. The mirror is sometimes held by a demon or a putto. Finally, a cloth is rubbed over the wall tile to remove any haze which may remain from residual grout. She attends to her hair with comb and mirror. The sponging provides added moisture to strengthen the grout as it cures. During the Renaissance, vanity was invariably represented as a naked woman, sometimes seated or reclining on a couch.

The excess grout is scraped off with a hard rubber block called a float immediately after applying; further, the grout is wiped again with a moist sponge before it completely hardens. In secular allegory, vanity was considered one of the minor vices. The spaces between the tiles are filled with a fine cement called unsanded grout. In Western art, vanity was often symbolized by a peacock, and in Biblical terms, by the Whore of Babylon. Modern wall tiles are fixed to a wall using a synthetic bonding agent tile adhesive for dry areas, or a cement-based mortar for areas prone to moisture, such as bath or shower walls. Vanity hungry is spiteful."[2]. Pictorial tiles, consisting of many tiles that the installer assembles like a jigsaw puzzle to form a single large picture, are available. Friedrich Nietzsche wrote that "vanity is the fear of appearing original: it is thus a lack of pride, but not necessarily a lack of originality."[1] One of Mason Cooley's aphorisms is "Vanity well fed is benevolent.

Wall tiles are usually glazed, and are often patterned by painting or embossing. In some religious teachings it is considered a sin, likely to cut the sinner off from the grace of God. These are usually ceramic, but other materials such as mirrored glass or polished metal can be used. Vanity (compare Pride) is the excessive belief in one's own abilities or attractiveness to others. While ancient Roman building bricks were broader and thinner than modern ones and are therefore usually called tiles, the term wall tile is normally applied to finishing tiles. ^  Edwin Mullins, The Painted Witch: How Western Artists Have Viewed the Sexuality of Women (New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1985), 62-3. See Laying tile
. ^  James Hall, Dictionary of Subjects & Symbols in Art (New York: Harper & Row, 1974), 318.

The spaces between the tiles are nowadays filled with sanded or unsanded floor grout, but traditionally mortar was used. Essential Vermeer. Floor tiles are typically set into mortar consisting of sand, cement and oftentimes a latex additive for extra strength. Small mosaic tiles may be laid in various patterns. Clay tiles may be painted and glazed.

These are commonly made of ceramic, clay, porcelain or stone. They include ridge, hip and valley tiles. There are also roof tiles for special positions, particularly where the planes of the several pitches meet. The tiles are usually hung in parallel rows, with each row overlapping the row below it to exclude rainwater and to cover the nails that hold the row below.

Roof tiles are 'hung' from the framework of a roof by fixing them with nails. These include:. Because of their long history, a large number of shapes (or "profiles") of roof tiles have evolved. Some clay tiles have a waterproof glaze.

Modern materials such as concrete and plastic are also used. Roof tiles are designed mainly to keep out rain, and are traditionally made from locally available materials such as clay, slate, or wood (wooden tiles are called shingles). .
.

Tiles are most often made from ceramic, with a hard glaze finish, but other materials are also commonly used, such as glass, slate, and reformed ceramic slurry, which is cast in a mould and fired. Tiles are often used to form wall and floor coverings, and can range from simple square tiles to complex mosaics. Less precisely, the modern term can refer to any sort of construction tile or similar object, such as rectangular counters used in playing games (see tile-based game). The word is derived from the French word tuile, which is, in turn, from the Latin word tegula, meaning a roof tile composed of baked clay.

Tiles are generally used for covering roofs, floors, and walls, or other objects such as tabletops. A tile is a manufactured piece of hard-wearing material such as ceramic, clay, stone, porcelain or even glass. Mission or barrel tiles are semi-cylindrical tiles made by forming clay around a log and laid in alternating columns of convex and concave tiles. These result in a ridged pattern resembling a ploughed field.

Pantiles - with an S-shaped profile, allowing adjacent tiles to interlock. Roman tiles - flat in the middle, with a concave curve at one end at a convex curve at the other, to allow interlocking. This profile is suitable for stone and wooden tiles, and most recently, solar cells. Flat tiles - the simplest type, which are laid in regular overlapping rows.

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