Everyone knows brick has been around for a while, but exactly how long has brick actually been used as a clay-based building block? Well, let’s put it this way: Great Britain and Ireland were still connected to the rest of Europe. As in, the sea levels hadn’t made England an island yet. From 7000 BCE to today, brick has been an architectural staple. Humans were building with brick back when we still had to hunt and gather food, which gives you an idea about how long-lasting this miracle material really is! How can something so old still feel so modern? That’s all part of the magic of thin glazed brick.
When you look at the history of brick in Europe, it’s easy to become fixated on the stunning Industrial era buildings that populate the UK and parts of Western Europe. The truth is, brickwork was actually first used in Turkey and the Middle East, followed by the Ancient Greece and Rome. After that, it moved its way up to northern Europe during a period that was deemed the “Brick Renaissance.” (Yes, that’s the actual name!) It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution in the late 1700s that bricks were used to secure factory buildings in England. That’s right! It wasn’t all brownstones and pubs back then, brick actually had a mostly utilitarian purpose.
Natural brick comes in lots of different shades and earthy hues, but the stereotypical rust red wasn’t created just for looks. “London Fog” was coined a term for a reason. Londoners were once known as “Pea Soupers” because of the thick fog that permeated the city as a result of the damp climate and air pollution. Back when London was at its very foggiest, red bricks were actually used to make buildings more visible from the street! So, next time you gaze at stunning gothic buildings or quaint ivy-covered pubs, remember that the bricks have a purpose beyond just giving off major storybook vibes.
The Industrial Revolution sped up the production of manufactured brick, making crafting brick by hand an obsolete task. This is when brick REALLY exploded. By 1855 machines were capable of producing up to 25,000 bricks a day. At this point, Great Britain basically said, “Why not use this for EVERYTHING?” So, a lot (like, a lot a lot) of brick buildings in that region were consequently built during the 1800’s.
So, why exactly did we choose to bring thin glazed brick to the states (and beyond)? First of all, it never goes out of style! Not only does it look good with a modern interior, it stays sturdy through 21st century wear and tear. Thin glazed brick can look contemporary or traditional, and these tiles are super easy to take care of. They are A-Okay for freeze thaw and can be installed indoors OR outdoors. They may have been used as a building block before, but our glossy brick tiles can be used as interior decoration for your kitchen, bathroom, fireplace, or floor!
Zia Tile may be based in Los Angeles, but we have fallen in love with the universal marvel that is brick. We chose to introduce a new line of thin glazed brick for our fellow clay lovers who want something with a little edge and a lot of history. From its use in ancient Jericho to modern downtown lofts, humans continue to be eternally charmed by brick. Thin glazed brick is sleek, chic, and hyper versatile. Ready to learn more about our exciting new collection? Chat with our team and we’ll give you the 411. Make history in your home today!