The first evidence of tiles being used by architects’ dates back to around 4000BC and the ancient Egyptians but it is also known that the ancient Assyrians and Babylonians also used tiles made from either mud or clay. Since those early times, tiles are known to have been used in India, China, Greece, Rome and Tunisia. In all of these instances, it would appear though that tile was only used in important buildings or in the residences of the wealthy. It was in Italy during the Middle Ages that tiles once again became popular but once again were only used for the wealthy or for important buildings. Italy continued to develop different types of tiles and is still today the leader in the field of tile designing, with over 300 tile factories in the Sassuolo alone, a town located in the Emilia-Romagna region. It was in the 1950s that tiles really started to be used in the homes of the less wealthy and since then, many new homes have had tiles as one of their top selling features. Advances in tile making with different designs and made from different materials continued to today with there now being available, tiles made from ceramics, metal and glass as well as natural stone. Even today it is Italy that leads other countries in new tile innovations but today, it is China which both makes and uses the most tiles. Although tiles have always been popular in the UK, since the 1950s at least, it are tiles which are made from natural stone which are appearing to start to become popular, especially among tiles west london. Even though natural stone tiles may not be as readily available as they are in west London, because that is where the tile manufacturers are located, as these manufacturers own their own quarries, they can still make deliveries of tiles anywhere within the UK, one day after the order for the natural stone tiles is made.
Although natural stone tiles are thought to be weather proof, which they are to a certain degree, there are some considerations that should be kept in mind when deciding where to use them. Travertine tiles for instance, can be porous and so they need to be treated properly before being used in some places. Another example is marble tiles which although weather proof, can be prone to stains and so if they are to be used in a kitchen, some care should be taken in avoiding spills of vinegar, coffee or alcohol also spills o tomato and butter products should be avoided if possible as any of those things could stain marble tiles. Ant natural stone tile can provide a unique look as no two tiles will ever look identical and this is just the nature of the stone but different tiles can also be cut in different ways to make another whole new set of differently designed tiles. A mosaic of several different types of natural stone tiles can look provide an even more impressive look.