The word "tile" comes from the Latin word "tegula" which is derived from "tegere" meaning "to cover". In old English the word was "tigele" which eventually turned into the word "tile". Out of interest the word "tegula" also mutated over the years into "thecca" which we now know as "thatch".
Ceramic tiles are made from mixtures of clays, sands and other natural substances. The body of the tile is moulded into shape and then fired at extremely high temperatures in a kiln.
The most common tile shapes are square and rectangular, but there are others such as hexagonal, Provencal, and octagonal. Tile sizes range from 1 cm x 1cm to over 100cm x 100cm. Current trends are heading towards larger and larger sized tiles.