The Practical Virtues of Tile
Tile design is exploding today with such force it seems as if the material has just been invented. Instead it is being reinvented, again and again, in exuberant, stylish, smart ways that give testament to its flexibility. It is being explored to its fullest potential, although that potential seems to be limitless. Its possibilities are as varied as the visions each artist has for it. Jill Herbers, in Tile.
Tile murals have decorated homes and businesses for centuries. The use of tiles dates back over 6000 years to Egypt. The history of tile is entwined with the history of civilization, and shows no sign of losing its luster in times to come. People all over the world decorate with tile. The inclusion of hand painted tiles can consist of a few interspersed with field tile and range to huge tile murals covering entire walls.
The durability of painted tile is evident in Lisbon, Portugal, where the oldest tile painting still intact remains vivid and beautiful. It was installed in 1565 and is entitled "Suzanna and the Elders." Aside from its durability, tile is fireproof, water and stain resistant, hygienic and easy to keep clean. Simply wipe with nonabrasive cleansers. Also, unlike carpeting, wood or wallpaper, tile will not fade in sunlight.
Today, a homeowner or interior designer can stop at a chain building supply store and pick up a commercially produced tile mural and have it installed the same day. While convenient and cheap (in more ways than one), these mass manufactured murals cannot hold a candle to the quality, personality, and distinction of my custom designed, hand painted, original tile murals.