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History of Persian Tiles

History of Iranian Tiles
Table of Contents

Today, ceramic tiles are essential materials in construction and interior design. The market for these products is very popular, especially in countries that need additional resources to produce building materials such as tiles and ceramics, resulting in a high demand for imported tiles. Persian tiles are among the best choices for import due to their high quality, which meets international standards.

In this article, we will discuss the rich history of Persian tiles. If you’re considering purchasing them, we recommend reading until the end of this article.

Different Types of Iranian Tile Designs and Iranian Tiling

Iran has a rich tradition of tile art, with high-quality tiles being prevalent throughout the country. Expensive examples of this architectural element and decoration can be found in many religious and social centers from that time, even without the use of modern technology. A notable aspect of Persian tiles is the use of combined lead and tin colors, resulting in high durability and the preservation of beauty over many years.

Persian mosaic tile, Moaghli tile, Minai tile, and seven-color tile are examples of Iranian tiles crafted by skilled artists. These tiles create a stunning and unique atmosphere in a space. It’s fascinating to learn that different architectural tile works, such as grid tiling and Muqarnas tiling, also contribute to the diversity of tile designs.

Iranian tiles design
Iranian tiles design

Persian tiling is one of the most exceptional ways architects have invented to decorate buildings. This art form has been extensively used in the buildings of Iran after Islam, to the point where it’s rare to find an official building without the beautiful tile work.

Old Persian tiles

Tiling in Iran has a long history, dating back to the ancient city of Bishapur. It was initially used to decorate the walls of palaces and religious sites during the Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sasanian periods. During that time, Persian handmade tiles were crafted from cut stone pieces. These tiles were painted and used as mosaics to adorn cities and royal palaces. It is believed that the art of mosaic work was introduced to Iran during the war of Shapur I with Valerian and the subsequent presence of Roman prisoners in Iran.

Persian tiles designs
Persian tiles designs

Types of Old Persian tiles

The art of tile making in Iran has developed uniquely over time, with designs and arrangements expanding. Persian artisans have created beautiful handmade tiles such as Zarin Fam tile, mosaic tile, Muqarnas tile, Minayi tile, and Seven-color tile. When these tiles are installed, they give spaces a stunning and special feeling.

Ancient Persian Tile Designs
Ancient Iranian Tile Designs

Persian handmade tile

Handmade tiles are special and unique because of the art and innovation used in their production. They were widely used in various buildings and structures before industrialization. Even today, Persian handmade tiles with excellent quality and artistic designs are used to decorate and beautify floors, walls, and other parts of the environment.

iranian handmade tile

It’s interesting to note that different types of handmade tiles are used in various architectural styles. Examples of these arrangements include lattice tiling and Muqarnas tiling. Iranian tiling is considered one of the best and most excellent ways that the architects of this region have used to decorate buildings. Tile work, created by experienced masters, has become widespread in post-Islamic Iran. It’s rare to find an official building in Iran that doesn’t feature stunning tile designs.


iranian tiles


In the following, we will see the development of Persian tile art from generation to generation.

The evolution of Persian tiles and tiling

It is said that the flourishing period of authentic Iranian tiling was in the early centuries after Islam. However, before Islam, this art was common in decorating various spaces.

Iran’s artwork is so unique and strong that the old works with the combined colors of lead and tin remain attractive after many years.

Persian tile work during the Seljuk Empire

The art of tiling developed as an important decorative art during the Seljuk period and the 5th century. In post-Islamic Iran, the Seljuk period was the beginning of the use of Persian tiles in religious structures.


Persian tile work during Ilkhanids

It is said that the Ilkhani rulers attached great importance to the original art of Iranian tiling. For this reason, the Ilkhani era is considered a turning point for Iranian tile art. From that period onwards, Iranian tiling has increased in the design and decoration of religious and non-religious places.


Persian tiling in the Timurid Empire

The art of gilding entered Iranian tiling during the Timurid period. This art quickly gained many fans due to its high execution capacity in tiling. Goharshad Mosque is an example of Irani tiles designed in the Timurid era. Types of tiling during the Timurid Empire:

  • Individual underglaze tiling
  • Seven-color tiling and single-color painting glaze
  • Marble tile and construction method

Most of the Goharshad mosque tiles are covered with mosaic, geometric and Islamic motifs. In Slimi’s designs, the artist was inspired by the twisting of plant stems, and the tiles decorated in this way include curved and circular lines repeated with or without parallel.


Iranian tile work in the Safavid dynasty

Decoration with the art of tiling became popular in places such as mosques, caravanserais, palaces, tombs, baths, markets, and schools in the Safavid era, and there was a great development in Persian tiling.


Persian tile work in the Qajar dynasty

Iranian tile work in the Qajar era was one of Iran’s most important and beautiful handicrafts. In this era, tiles were used to decorate buildings, especially on the walls of rooms and halls.

In the Qajar era, Persian tiles were made by hand and had beautiful textures and artistic designs. Beautiful and rich colors, motifs of flowers, animals, and various geometric shapes were used in Qajar tiles. The changes made at this time compared to the previous period, i.e., the Safavid period, in the art of Iranian tiling, are mainly the result of the cultural connection between the countries where They had a political effect in Iran for a while.

The influence of Western taste and modernity used in Persian tiling has started since the Qajar era. After that and during the Pahlavi period, we see the industrialization of tile production in Iran.

iranian tile art

Types of modern Iranian tiles

Generally, Persian tiles are divided into two groups: porcelain and non-porcelain. The difference between these two types is in the heat and degree of firing, which is why porcelain types have higher resistance when exposed to high temperatures.

Porcelain is one of the types of Persian tiles; both dimensions and strength are higher than other tiles. The reason for the resistance of this type of ceramic is that it is dense and impenetrable. Of course, the price of porcelain tiles is higher than other tiles. Types of porcelain and non-porcelain tiles are also divided into other groups according to the type of glaze, design, and firing method, which we will examine further.

  • Glazed tiles

It is interesting to know that the main difference between tiles and ceramics is their glaze. Tile is one of the glazed products, but ceramic can be seen as both glazed and unglazed. The glaze is usually spread on the tile after the first firing. By adding glaze, a glassy surface makes the tile more shiny and easier to clean. Because of these features, glazed tiles are used in bathrooms, kitchens, and all areas exposed to more pollution.

Tile glaze

Tile glaze

  • Mineral tiles

Due to mineral soil with an orange base, mineral tiles are usually orange or red. These tiles are unglazed, so that they will need sealant during installation. This type of tile is suitable for closed environments and is less exposed to pollution and traffic. Mineral tiles are usually used in commercial centers for their durability and reasonable price.

Mineral ceramics

Mineral ceramics

  • Clay tile

Clay tile is one of the old Persian tiles that has kept its place even today. Due to its high thermal tolerance, this type of tile is used in furnaces and ovens. The method of making clay tiles is to bake red clay at a very high temperature, which reduces pores and increases strength. Clay tile is a type of mineral tile produced in dimensions of 15 to 30 cm and with a thickness equal to 5.1 cm.

Clay tileClay tile

Clay tile

  • Paving tile

Another mineral tile that is made of red clay is stone pavement tile. This type of tile is baked at very high temperatures and has good resistance to different weather conditions. Of course, it should be noted that the thickness of the pavement tiles is also high. The appearance of these tiles is almost like bricks, and their thickness is less than bricks. These tiles are used for building floors, patios, and sometimes bathrooms and must be sealed after installation.

Paving tile sample

Paving tile

  • Ceramic tiles

All the steps of making ceramic tiles are done in high heat. The material used in this tile is made of clay or mineral, produced in two ways, glazed and unglazed.

Ceramic tiles sample

  • Mosaic tile

Another type of Iranian tile, which has a much smaller size (at least 5 cm), is a mosaic tile, which, like ceramic tiles, is available in two types: glazed and unglazed. Mosaic tiles are often made of porcelain and have high resistance. For this reason, this type of Iranian tile is mostly used in wet environments such as bathrooms and swimming pools.

Bathroom floor mosaic

Bathroom floor mosaic

Using Persian Tiles in Decoration and Architecture

As we have read so far, the art of tiling in Iranian houses and the decoration of various environments has been popular since the past and continues to this day.

It is usually thought that tiling is only used for kitchens and bathrooms. Still, tiles play an important role in the interior decoration of the house and create a different and colorful environment for us.

Types of Iranian Tiles in Decoration

Generally, interior decoration tiles are divided into decorative and practical groups.

– Decorative types, as is known, are patterned or colored tiles used to create more beauty and decorate the environment. There are very diverse and high-quality Persian decorative tiles that can be ordered according to the color and arrangement of the environment.

Iranian Tiles in Decoration sample

modern decoration

   – practical Iranian tiles are also used for floor and wall covering in different spaces. They usually use different types of porcelain to provide strength, high quality, brilliance, and beauty.

Today, Persian tiles are mostly produced in the form of ceramic or porcelain tiles, and they are sold in the domestic and international markets in more modern designs such as cement look tiles, marble look tiles, wood pattern tiles, mosaic pattern tiles, and brick patterns tiles.

Unique Features of Persian Tiles That Set Them Apart

Unique features can be seen in the ancient and traditional Persian tile productions. Even today, Iranian ceramic and tile manufacturers, inspired by old architects, offer high-quality and long-lasting tiles. This issue is one of the reasons for the superiority of Iranian tiles and ceramics in the world market. In the following, we will learn the features and advantages of these types of tiles.

  • The strength and durability of Iranian tiles are famous.

With rich natural resources, an expert workforce, and modern equipment and machinery, Iranian tiles are produced with world-class technology and are presented with the best quality.

  • Persian tiles have a fixed color.

Despite the high-quality glazes in Iranian tiles, we will see the durability of the color and strength of the tile, even against chemicals.

  • Iranian tiles are easy to clean.

One of the best advantages of ceramic tiles is that they are hygienic. This is why these products are used in places like bathrooms.

  • In choosing Persian tiles, you have no limitation on design and color.

Many different designs and colors can be seen in Iranian tiles and ceramics, which are marketed in the best quality and according to international standards.

Popular Iranian Tile Patterns and Colors

Iranian bathroom Tile sample

Iranian Tile decor sample

Iranian living room Tile sample

Color and design in modern Iranian tiles

Do you want to get more information about Persian tiles and price lists? So just send us your Email.
Request a free consultation with Araz Tile to learn more about their services and how they can help you import Persian tiles.

As we have seen, the Persian tiles designs are very diverse and eye-catching. This diversity is combined with high quality and strength, which has created a special place for Iranian brands in the world market. The use of high-quality Iranian mineral material and manufacturing and design with the world’s best methods and technology, in combination with the art and creativity of Iranian designers, gives an extraordinary result.

If you are an investor in the tile and ceramic market and are interested in Iranian tile designs, contact us to receive services and free advice on buying Persian tiles at a wholesale price. As a final tip, if you want to know more about Iranian tile export and how to import tile from Iran, you can read the articles on our website or contact us.

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8 Responses

    1. Common motifs include geometric patterns, floral designs, calligraphy, and representations of animals and nature.

    1. Absolutely! The symbolism behind Persian tile designs often reflects aspects of Iranian culture, history, and religious beliefs.

  1. Dear Fatemeh, will all respect 🫡 I think you are beautiful and your glasses look nice on you. 🙂 I was hoping to find some nice traditional tiles to adorn the front of my house. Some modern traditional ones or Iranian tile work during Ilkhanids.
    I live in Mexico, can you help me find some and ship them to me please?
    Have a nice day 😊

    Kind regards,

    Jean Claude Dupre

    1. Thank you for your kindness. ofcourse we can supply you any kind of tiles that you want but also I’m sorry to say that our minimum order capacity is 1 container (about 1200 to 1600 m2)

    1. That’s fascinating! Iranian tiles are renowned for their beauty and craftsmanship. We can help you if again you want to buy Iranian tiles.

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