The history of the tile begins in the East where, even in very early times around 2000 BC, people decorated their houses built from sun-dried or burnt brick with ‘tiled’ floor coverings.
In 711, the Moors set foot in Andalusia on the European mainland and conquered large parts of Spain. Over the years, the Spaniards adopted the Moors‘ techniques and laid the foundation for today‘s definition of a tile. Their ‘azulejos’ (Arabic: al zulaich = small stone) now had fixed dimensions and had fully-glazed surfaces.
The mechanical manufacture of tiles in Germany began in 1852. They were called ‘plates’ at the time by Villery & Boch. As the surfaces of the first Villeroy & Boch floor tiles were mosaics, ‘Mettlach mosaic plates’ or ‘Mettlach plates’ for almost a century, as generic terms for floor tiles.