American Institute of Building Design (AIBD)

A Tribute to Timeless Design and Craftsmanship

Published about 2 months ago • 1 min read

Hello Reader,

Today, we honor a timeless element of architecture and design - the tile.

According to, the art of tilemaking has ancient origins, dating back to the 4th century BC in the Holy Lands.

This craft was later adopted by the Romans, who introduced it to Europe.

In the 8th and 9th centuries, the Uighur people of northwest China developed what later influenced 13th-century Turkish and Middle Eastern tiles, renowned for their geometric symmetry and botanical motifs.

The Roman art of tile-making dwindled, only to be revived by the Cistercian monks in the 12th century. They created a unique kind of pressed tile with an imprinted pattern known as encaustic tiles.

After nearly four centuries, Herbert Minton re-established encaustic tile-making around 1843 in England. This technique was subsequently replaced by machine-pressing drier clay to mass-produce tiles. The United States began importing tiles from Europe until we established our own industry starting in 1870.

Historically, tile was a luxury only the wealthy could afford due to the expense of handmade or small-batch production. However, with the advent of the Industrial Revolution, tile not only became more affordable but the designs and features also expanded with the technology.

#NationalTileDay (observed every February 23) was initiated by Coverings, the largest international tile and stone show in North America, to highlight the benefits of tile in residential and commercial design.

Today, we invite you to:

  • Appreciate the quality craftsmanship of tile work around you.
  • Consider incorporating tiles in your designs for added texture, color, and warmth.
  • Share images of your creative use of tile with #NationalTileDay on social media.

Lastly, consider registering for Coverings 2024 at no cost to "Discover your material moment."

Coverings is a hub for thousands of industry professionals, journalists, reporters, and bloggers contributing to the vibrant tile and stone industry.

Explore the latest trends, source global products, network with industry peers, gain project inspiration, and experience "Inspiration that's rock solid."

Mark your calendar for Coverings from April 22-25 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The A-Team

P.S. - Architect, author, and trainer, Sam Rasken is presenting his Housing 2.0 Workshop in person on Tuesday, April 23, at Coverings.

American Institute of Building Design (AIBD)

The American Institute of Building Design (AIBD) is a professional association that promotes the highest standards of excellence in residential building design. AIBD offers a variety of resources to its members, including continuing education, networking opportunities, and marketing assistance. AIBD is a valuable resource for anyone interested in a career in residential building design. If you want to improve your skills, network with other professionals, and stay up-to-date on the latest trends, AIBD is the perfect organization for you.

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