Tile Roofing is Old, Crazy Old. Tile Roofing is about as old as pottery is, if you’ve got no idea how old that is, it predates written history, yes pottery is over 8,000 years old. The Earliest samples of Tile roofing we have discovered are easily over 5,000 years old. that doesn’t mean there wasn’t tile roofing before then, it just means we haven’t found evidence of tile roofing before then.
one of the difficulties involved with researching the age of tile roofing is that not only is it difficult to tell the difference between paving tiles and roofing tiles, but ancient people discovered it was much easier to remove old roofing tiles from old buildings and put them on their new home than it was to make new tiles. Also since roofing tiles tended to last a hundred years or so they got moved around a lot.
Ancient tile roofing was discovered in both the greek and chinese cultures, and it appears to have been developed independently. the romans of course adopted the greek concept of tile roofing and spread it across europe. as time passed tile roofing became more common and more complex, eventually dominating the roofs of europe and the east.
It wasn’t until the 1920s that the first power driven tile machine was developed in denmark. The Ringsted (that’s the name they gave the machine) had a line of molds that were driven under a hopper full of concrete, the concrete got poured into the molds which then passed through a kiln. A copy of this machine was purchased about 5 years later by an english tile company who quickly improved upon it. Automated manufacture made tile roofing much cheaper and even more widely available.
This new, Cheaper and more plentiful Tile roofing made tile roofers even more in demand as tile roofing became much more popular, by 1961 over 80% of all homes in britain used concrete tile roofing. To this day Tile Roofing remains a popular choice due to it’s inherent style, fire resistance, durability, and european mystique.