The history of tile roofs began thousands of years ago. Around 5,000 years ago, ancient records show that the Chinese began creating clay roofing tiles. Also around that time, flat earthenware roof tiles were also seen in Greece. Over time, Romans took the Greek flat tile and started to use clay they had in their environment to form the tiles. Eventually the Romans took their clay tile to England, where it replaced the common stone and slate.
Around 1850, Bavaria became the first country to commercially produce roof tiles. Using natural cement to form concrete, the tiles were created by hand and semi-operated machines. The concrete tile has lasted to this day. Once the concrete tile was introduced in the 1900s to England, Holland and other European countries, it became common practice to add a coloring pigment. This pigment allowed the concrete tile to imitate a traditional clay roofing tile. Now not only was durable concrete tile available to put on roofs, but it also displayed colorful oranges and reds making it appear exotic and grand.
The first power-driven tile making machine was developed in the early 1920s in Denmark. The machine, known as the Ringsted, poured concrete mix into cast-iron pallets and molds. Over the subsequent years after 1920, improvements were made to the power-driven machine. The tedious hand work required was eliminated, and the tile-making industry developed rapidly as a result.
82% of all domestic roofs in Great Britain in the 1960s were made of concrete tile. Recent estimates show that concrete tile now accounts for 90% of all roofs in Europe and the South Pacific Basin, with nations such as China, Japan and America rapidly converting from other products. Concrete tile is a good roofing solution if you want style as well as durability.
“5000 Years of History.” MonierLifetile, A Boral Roofing Company. The Tile Roof Provider. MonierLifetile. Web. 19 Dec. 2011. http://www.monierlifetile.com/company/tilehistory.html.
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