Ceramics - How it's made | Ceramic Tiles


"And now for MANUFACTURE"

Believing that an adequately illustrated description, at once brief and comprehensive, of the manufacturing methods we employ in this year of grace 1937 will not only be of interest to our many friends at home and overseas, but will also serve to demonstrate to all and sundry how excellently we are equipped for the production of high-class tiling, we have devoted the greater part of this our centenary booklet to such a description. 

To begin our manufacturing story by defining the word we shall use so often, " tile," according to the Latin root from which it is derived, means simply a covering. Tiles are, in fact, a specialized form of 
covering for use on building surfaces; and since there are three types of building surface roofs, walls and floors it is not surprising that there are three types of tiles roofing tiles, wall tiles and floor tiles 
With roofing tiles, however, we shall not in these pages be concerned. Beyond the fact that they are of baked earthenware are they have little in common with the other two classes mentioned, and their manufacture is more akin to that of bricks than to that of the more refined products we are about to describe. Our interest is rather with the interior surfaces of a building its walls and floors for both of which it is our business to provide coverings in the form of tiles at once pleasing, hygienic, and enduring. 

Tiles for walls and floors may be either glazed or unglazed. Generally speaking wall tiles are glazed and floor tiles unglazed, but the rule admits of exceptions. " Floor tiles " is, however, understood in the 
industry as referring unless the contrary is expressly stated exclusively to the unglazed kind; and we shall be using the accepted terms in classifying our products under the two general headings of Glazed Tiles on the one hand and Floor Tiles on the other. 

In this brief sketch of our methods of production we shall deal for the most part with the making of ordinary glazed tiles, both because they form the bulk of our output and because only in their case does the full cycle of our manufacturing process come into play. We shall not, however, neglect our other products floor tiles, "Recesso" fittings, and faience which will be dealt with here and there as the special features of their production best link them up with our main theme 


next: tile 'body' and materials

From: "A Century of Progress 1837-1937" a publication to commemorate The Centenary of Richards Tiles Ltd.