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.
WikiProject Metalworking: This article is part of Metalworking hand tools. 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. Advocates of nanotechnology expect a similar surge as tools move down-scale. For detailed information on tilings see the tessellation page. Machine tools occasioned a surge in producing new tools in the Industrial revolution. These shapes are said to tessellate (from the Latin tessera, 'tile'). Mechanical devices, though known to Alexandrian Greeks, experienced a major expansion in their use in the Middle Ages with the systematic employment of new energy sources: water (waterwheels) and wind (windmills).

Certain shapes of tiles, most obviously rectangles, can be replicated to cover a surface with no gaps. Humans have fabricated knives, amongst the oldest tools, since that time. 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. Use of tools started at the beginning of the Stone age. Palaces, public buildings, and mosques were heavily decorated with dense, often massive mosaics and friezes of astonishing complexity. Many tools or groups of tools serve to perform one or more of a set of basic operations, such as:. 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. In computing, the term tools can also apply to software programs that assist people doing work on computers, such as Computer Aided Software Engineering tools, Lint programming tool, software or web-based collaborative tools, software development tools, programming tools.

Batchelder. a dull plastic knife, or not functional at all. Prominent among art tile makers during this period was Ernest A. Others are less functional, e.g. In the United States, decorative tiles were in vogue, especially in southern California, in the 1920s and 1930s. Some simply consist of a cheap or small version of the real thing, such as a shovel and bucket to use on the beach or in a sandbox. Some places, notably Portugal, have a tradition of tilework on buildings that continues today.
Toy tools make popular playthings.

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.
. Decorative tilework typically takes the form of mosaic upon the walls, floor, or ceiling of a building. . Finally, a cloth is rubbed over the wall tile to remove any haze which may remain from residual grout. Tools can also be purely cognitive, such as a written language. The sponging provides added moisture to strengthen the grout as it cures. Similarly, people can use weapons, such as explosives, as tools.

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. Most tools can also serve as weapons, such as the hammer and the knife. The spaces between the tiles are filled with a fine cement called unsanded grout. Humans evolved an opposable thumb (useful to hold the tools) and an increase in intelligence (aiding in the use of tools). 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. Most anthropologists believe that the use of tools was an important step in the evolution of mankind. Pictorial tiles, consisting of many tiles that the installer assembles like a jigsaw puzzle to form a single large picture, are available. Later, philosophers thought that only humans had the ability to make tools, until zoologists observed birds[1] and monkeys[2][3][4] making tools.

Wall tiles are usually glazed, and are often patterned by painting or embossing. But observation has confirmed that monkeys, apes and other animals, mostly primates, but also some birds (ravens, for instance), and sea otters can use tools as well. These are usually ceramic, but other materials such as mirrored glass or polished metal can be used. Philosophers once thought that only humans used tools, and often defined humans as tool-using animals. 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. The further out from the pivot point, the more force is transmitted along the lever. See Laying tile
. For example, a crowbar simply functions as a lever.

The spaces between the tiles are nowadays filled with sanded or unsanded floor grout, but traditionally mortar was used. The most basic tools are simple machines. Floor tiles are typically set into mortar consisting of sand, cement and oftentimes a latex additive for extra strength. A tool is a device that (most commonly) provides a mechanical advantage in accomplishing a physical task. Small mosaic tiles may be laid in various patterns. Seizing and holding (pliers, glove, wrench, ...). Clay tiles may be painted and glazed. Protecting.

These are commonly made of ceramic, clay, porcelain or stone. Guiding (set square, algorithm, straight edge, tradition, ...). They include ridge, hip and valley tiles. Concentrating force (hammer, maul, screwdriver, whip, writing implements, ...). There are also roof tiles for special positions, particularly where the planes of the several pitches meet. Cutting (knife, scythe, sickle, ...). 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. Memorization, such as being mindful that physical tools may be recalled from a list.

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

Modern materials such as concrete and plastic are also used. Multitools such as Swiss Army knife or Leatherman. 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). Special use tools such as Buggy whip or whetstone. . Writing instruments such as ballpoint pen​ ​​or pencil.
. Eating utensils such as chopsticks, fork, knife, or spoon.

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. Heat-based tools such as soldering iron, welding torch and thermic lance. Tiles are often used to form wall and floor coverings, and can range from simple square tiles to complex mosaics. Hydraulic tools such as the Hurst tool or hydraulic ram. 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). Machine tools such as lathe, milling machine or shaping machine. 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. Power tools such as drill or wood router.

Tiles are generally used for covering roofs, floors, and walls, or other objects such as tabletops. Agricultural tools such as scythe or sickle. A tile is a manufactured piece of hard-wearing material such as ceramic, clay, stone, porcelain or even glass. Hand tools such as pliers, adze, or axe. 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. Machines can function as ordered systems of tools or as super-tools. These result in a ridged pattern resembling a ploughed field. Utensils aid in eating.

Pantiles - with an S-shaped profile, allowing adjacent tiles to interlock. Instruments are concrete or abstract tools, especially if they are refined. Roman tiles - flat in the middle, with a concave curve at one end at a convex curve at the other, to allow interlocking. Devices often typify newly invented or specific-purpose tools. 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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