|It is said that the first historically known clay roofing
tiles have been used in Neolithic China as early as 10.000 B.C.!
ago, clay roofing tiles have been used in Babylon.
Babylonian construction site
|From there they made their way via Egypt and Greece to Rome.
Rome was called the city of tiled roofs. The Romans introduced Middle
Europe to their excellent characteristics and long lasting durability.
Even today, buildings that have been "tiled" by the Romans
In the 8th century, the Hiersar Monastery in Calw and later the
monastery in Lorch, Southern Germany.
|Clay roof tiles characteristic as "fire proof roofing" were recognized 1212 AD by King John of England as he issued
building by-laws for London to eliminate combustible roof coverings. The
devastating fires from 1679 in Boston prompted the establishment of building
and fire codes in New York and Boston. By the 18th century, tiled roofs
had become the standard in Europe, wherever there was an abundant local
supply of suitable raw materials. Back then, the "craft" of tile
making was hard labor and required excellent knowledge of the materials
and processes involved. Tile burning was done in piles, in which clay
tiles and burning material, like coal or wood, was layered into stacks and
covered by earth.
hand made tiles
|The first attempts in industrial production of clay roofing
tiles were started in the 19th century. Improvements to the transportation
infra structure and the availability of steam engines helped.
clay tile press
|Advances in material knowledge and the introduction of the
so called "ring kiln" by Hoffman in 1858 allow the further
advance of the quality. With this kiln, continues burning was achieved. It
allowed the gradually rising of the temperature and was fired by coal,
thrown in from above.
raw clay preparation
|New forms of clay roofing tiles were introduced and the
development took a leap forward to the design and characteristics we know
today. Interlocking, strong and durable clay roofing tiles with consistent
quality are available to be used as long lasting roofing material. As the
popularity of clay roofing tiles grew, transport and production were
|Due to the increase in demand the method of delivery was changed.
The use of clay roofing tile used to be limited to areas were horse drawn
wagons could deliver them. This limited their distribution. This all
changed with the introduction of motor vehicles.
tile loading by hand
clay tile factory in Ulm
|Further easing of the work load was achieved with the
introduction of early loading and crating systems.
|In the early 1960s the mining of the raw clay was switched
over to machinery. This was in part to the rise in demand for clay roofing
|Europe has a long lasting clay roof tile history, that is
highly visible if one looks at the roofs of major European cities. Now in
the 21st century, the quality and durability of building materials is
becoming increasingly important for the value minded home owner that can appreciate
the superiority of clay roofing products.