Ceiling tiles are a common feature in homes and offices, but that wasn't always the case. Ceiling tiles have a long and varied history, with different techniques and styles popping up all over the globe throughout different points in history. For this reason, the answer to "When were ceiling tiles made?" is a complex one.
First Use of Ceiling Tiles
One of the earliest examples of ceiling tiles can be traced all the way back to the 11th century when they were used in the creation of the Great Mosque of Herat. The Islamic architects who created this structure used tiles to craft intricate and beautiful mosaics all along the walls and ceiling. This technique of crafting ceiling tile mosaics went on to become a common feature in Islamic architecture as a form of both artistic and religious expression.
Suspended Ceiling Tiles
Suspended ceiling tiles first came into use in Japan sometime during the 14th century. Much like the ceiling tile mosaics used in Islamic architecture, these suspended ceilings were created primarily for aesthetic reasons. The Japanese architects who crafted these suspended ceilings would often use simple planks or coffered tiling for their construction.
It wouldn't be until 1956 that the first instance of a suspended ceiling made its appearance in the western world, at the Blackfriars Theatre in London.
Tin Ceiling Tiles
Tin ceiling tiles were created in America during the 1800s. Their invention came about as a way to quickly and more affordably replicate the intricate and ornate plasterwork that had become so prevalent on European ceilings. At the time of their creation, these tin tiles were often painted white in an attempt to emulate the plaster look. However, as time went on and tin ceiling tiles became mass-produced, they began to be offered in a wide variety of colors and finishes.