The concept of flooring tile goes back thousands of years when hard surfaces of various rock forms, baked clay, and ceramic were being used. The early users of these initial tile flooring types needed something to cover their dirt floors that were of a size that could be easily carried to where the floor was located. These hard surface types of flooring preceded woven grasses and fabrics that were used to cover the ground such as mats and rugs. As civilization progressed, wood tiles and certain forms of metal, glass and rubber tiles were used. Also, finely finished rock such as limestone and granite were being improved for the, now, classic look of stone tiles.
Flash forward to the mid-nineteenth century and you find the first carpet tiles being used. It was then that a small Dutch company outside of Amsterdam, Holland made the first “true” carpet tile. The name of this company was Heuga and their initial business was making bicycle seat covers with animal hides. They purchased a needle punch machine which enabled them to use the horse and hog hair yarn to manufacture wider width fabric ideal for carpet tiles. Heuga strived, at this relatively early date, to make sure that they were using a waste by-product from local slaughter houses. Not only did they continue to cut their bicycle seats from this new fabric but they began to sell rugs and broadloom carpet. However they were still concerned with using as much of the product as they could to eliminate waste. They began experimenting with putting an Asphalt (Bitumen) backing on their fabric to give it stiffness and further durability plus dimensional stability and they cut it into 10 inch squares so the homes and commercial buildings using their product didn’t create the waste they did when cutting in a wall-to-wall carpet installation.