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Knowledge: Origin and Development of Ceramic Tiles

Ⅰ. Origin of Ceramic Tile

1.The usage of ceramic tile dates back many years. Europe, especially Italy, Spain, and Germany, is where tiles first appeared. Ceramic tile usage is becoming more and more commonplace worldwide.

The mosaic of Spain and Portugal, the floor tiles of the Italian Renaissance, the glazed tiles of Antwerp, the growth of ceramic tile drawings in the Netherlands, and the ceramic tiles in Germany are all significant turning points in the history of ceramic tiles.

2. Italian home design became well-known around the world in the 1970s thanks to an exhibition titled “New style and features of Italian domestic products” that was displayed, among other venues, at the American Museum of Modern Art.

To provide the homeowner a sense of attention to detail, Italian designers include their own needs into the design of ceramic tiles. The Spanish ceramic tile design, which is typically rich in color and texture, is another example of ceramic tiles.

Ⅱ. History of Chinese Ceramic Tiles

China is the center of ceramic art. As early as the Shang and Yin dynasties (1523-1028 BC), China produced a kind of exquisite white stoneware, which used the early glaze of China for decoration. For centuries, the decorative effect of ceramic tiles has improved with the improvement of ceramic tile production methods.

For example, in the Islamic era, all ceramic tile decoration methods reached the peak in Persia. Subsequently, the use of ceramic tiles gradually prevailed throughout the world. In many countries and cities, the production and decoration of ceramic tiles reached its peak.

In the historical process of ceramic tiles, the mosaic of Spain and Portugal, the floor tiles of the Italian Renaissance, the glazed tiles of Antwerp, the development of ceramic tile illustrations in the Netherlands and the ceramic tiles in Germany are of milestone significance.

In ancient times, ceramic tiles were all made by hand, that is to say, each tile was hand-formed and hand-colored, so each tile was a unique work of art. Tiles are used in almost all aspects of buildings, such as walls, floors, ceilings, fireplaces, murals and exterior walls of buildings.

Nowadays, in the world, ceramic tiles are no longer made by hand or colored by hand but are produced by automated production technology. Human hands are only used to install ceramic tiles. As in the past, the interior and exterior are decorated with ceramic tiles, such as floors, walls, countertops, fireplaces, fountains and exterior walls.

Ⅲ. Development Status of China's Ceramic Tile Industry

Ceramic tile production and use worldwide have seen significant growth in recent years as a result of the real estate sector’s explosive growth. Many nations and regions around the world are very fond of Chinese ceramic tile products, and the proportion of Chinese ceramic tiles in the global market is rising. This is due to the wide variety, large quantity, good quality, complete range of high, middle, and low grade products, wide choice, and appropriate price of Chinese ceramic tile products.

Due to the phenomenal growth of China’s real estate market in recent years, there is a great demand on the market for building walls and floor tiles that are closely related to real estate. The ceramic tile industry is dominated by customized items, and product development is starting to lean higher end due to China’s ceramic production method and technology’s rapid development.

In order to achieve sustainable development, Chinese ceramic tile businesses are currently focusing on the high-end market, emphasizing product structure adjustments and increases in added value while also taking the industry as a whole into consideration. These efforts include enhancing the technical content of products, boosting independent innovation, developing independent brands, and taking other steps.

The demand for medium and high-end ceramic tile goods keeps growing as personal income and taste appreciation rise. In addition, as a result of rising investments in residential housing construction and infrastructure renovation, as well as the consistent growth of the GDP, the income of the average person has also increased. As a result, they have started to pay attention to home decoration, which is driving up demand for building supplies like ceramic tiles. The market for ceramic tiles has a promising future.


After nearly 30 years of development of China’s modern ceramic industry, enterprises have also developed from the main goal of increasing production in the past to today, not satisfied with low-level cooperation such as purchasing design and introducing equipment from European ceramic powers, but pursuing higher level learning and exchange such as culture and philosophy.

In general, in the future, China’s building ceramic industry has a large space for development. China is known as the “factory of the world”. After decades of development, China has already been able to export large quantities of ceramic tiles and various building materials from China. The quality of China’s manufactured products is more and more recognized. In the future, China’s export potential is growing.

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