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Since the dawn of time, fire has been central to human existence. It helped our ancestors cook, kept them warm, and helped protect them from wild animals and other predators.

As one might imagine, the earliest fireplaces were rudimentary at best—consisting of little more than an open fire pit in the middle of a room with a hole cut into the ceiling to vent smoke.

In the 12th century, two-story buildings became more common and it was considered a major technological innovation when a fireplace built into an outside wall replaced the open hearth, and led to the invention of the chimney.

Over the next 500 years, fireplace technology would remain unchanged for the most part, with the exception of one important architectural element—the integration of mantels and vertical columns known as a fireplace “surround.” Soon, homeowners would take great pride in decorating their surround with ornamental fireplace tiles that would bring color and vibrance to a room while adding a personal touch of style and
individuality. For many, hand painted Delft fireplace tiles became a very popular choice for hearths.

Hearth Design—A Boom for Delft Fireplace Tiles

Later, in the mid 1800s, as households began burning coal instead of wood, there was a shift in fireplace design to smaller, horseshoe-arched builds. The use of Delft fireplace tiles, however, remained strong. In addition to enhancing the beauty and elegance of the fireplace surround, each handmade tile—composed of thick, tin-fired clay—would play an important role by absorbing and radiating heat from the now smaller fireplace. This “win-win” of form and function helped further advance the popularity of the Delft tile for fireplace applications.

Delft Fireplace Tile Sales Heated Up During the 1900s

The technology of heating homes advanced rapidly during the 20th century. The innovation of central heating meant that the function of the fireplace shifted from a purely practical source of heat to a stylish and comforting feature in the home. Families became less dependent on their fireplace for cooking and supplying warmth throughout the house. Yet, during this time the fireplace continued to serve as the main hub that brought families together. The hearth became widely recognized as an architectural element and design focal point. The desire for homeowners to accentuate this focal point with decorative tiles was stronger than ever.

The Fireplaces of Today

While the overall shape of the modern fireplace has not changed much over time, the design options for today’s fireplaces are more diverse and creative than anyone could have imagined. Still, the unparalleled beauty and elegance of traditional handmade Delft fireplace tiles is a favorite among homeowners across the globe. The use of natural materials, combined with Dutch imagery that includes everything from tulips, windmills, nautical scenes, and farm life to dramatic biblical stories and mythological gods, has given these hand painted pieces of art enormous appeal and staying power.

You’ve Come to the Right Place for Beautiful, Hand Crafted Delft Blue Fireplace Tiles

The fireplace is still the heart of the home. Whether for warmth, aesthetics, or both, a hearth and its ornamented surround set the mood of a room while expressing the homeowner’s individual style. For this reason, Delft Tiles offers an with the friendly and helpful advice of our tile experts. If you wish to enhance your home with the beauty and charm that only high quality delftware delivers, we’ll help you find the perfect fit!

To learn more about Delft Tiles, or to place an order, please visit our or contact us at:

Tel: +31 (0) 6 1600 5000 or +31 (0) 6 1600 3366
USA: 011 31 6 1600 5000 or 011 31 6 1600 3366

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