World Class Handmade Barrell Tile

History of Barrel Tile

Barrel Tile Roofs, An Ancient Tradition

This ancient method of hand forming barrel roof tiles dates farther back than Greek and Roman periods. It can be found throughout the inlands and coastal regions of the Mediterranean,South and Central America, Cuba and other former Spanish colonies in the Caribbean as well as the United States.

From Tuscan villas in Italy to structures in Palm Beach, Florida across to California, true handmade barrel tile is used when Purity and Authenticity is mandatory. The unique handmade process captures the true timeless essence beauty, texture and color shift array that cant be duplicated with mundane machine pressed or "cookie cutter" extruded clay tiles. Architects and Developers like Addison Misner and George Merrick noticed this as well.

In Miami, Florida as far back as 1920, real estate developer George Merrick set out on a venture to create an actual city from Spain , which encompassed Residential, Commercial and Government projects within a village. This city he named "Coral Gables" or the "City Beautiful". Merrick was a "Purist" architecturally speaking and in order to create this "Old World" theme community , his architect Mr. Denman Fink sent an expedition to Cuba with the intent of collecting truly unique and aged products.


Artezanos Sustainable 
			Handmade Pan Tile   "We came back and Coral Gables began to take form. We put up half a dozen houses as specified in our program and then we stopped. There was something lacking in the effect we wanted. Then we discovered that it was the roofing. The American-manufactured tile did not harmonize with the glint of sunlight on the buildings. At the suggestion of Mr. Fink we sent a man to Cuba and he bought several old buildings there from which we took the old tile roofing. It was between 100 and 200 years old and had changed into a blend of colors during the centuries that it had been exposed to the elements. We brought it  here to Coral Gables and covered one of the houses with it and found that this had been the difficulty".

"From that time," Mr. Merrick said, "there has not been a house erected in Coral Gables that has not been covered with ancient, handmade tile, moulded over the knee of the artisan. We exchange new American tile for the old. We found that Cuba was unable to supply the demand and so we sent men into every one of the Mediterranean countries whose style of architecture we have selected. The natives there have not the fondness for the old tile that you would expect. They will frequently accept in exchange American-made tile and consequently, at only a little additional cost , we get the genuine , frequently rich in history. And we tell the owner of every house in Coral Gables from what ancient castle, mission or public building his roof comes".

Artezanos Sustainable 
			Handmade Pan TileMerrick discovered and quickly purchased used "Old Cuban Roof Tile" from the homes of the Cuban noblemen. Furthermore, he discovered that this "Cuban Tile" was already hundreds of years old when it arrived to Cuba. Originally from Spain, it was collected from homes, factories and outposts, then loaded on Spanish Schooners headed to Cuba used as ordinary ship ballast. However, to Merrick it was what he needed as the "Crowning Jewel" on each one of his achievements.

In 1926 Merrick spared no expense and commissioned notable poet  Rex Beach to write "The Miracle of Coral Gables" Merrick was so enamored with the use of  ancient handmade barrel tile it is mentioned in this 1926 copyright, by George Edgar Merrick.

"Walls capable of such variety in treatment can be made beautiful, but that which first strikes any eye are roofs, and the roofs of Coral Gables are like fine old oriental rugs. Most of them are of Spanish tile moulded by hand over the naked thighs of workmen now long dead. Cuban roofs, torn from crumbling convents and ruined haciendas, their patterns blended,their colors softened by tropic sun and weather, have been re laid here and they are a delight to behold".

Finally, Merrick possessed the handmade roof tile that gave his projects the design edge, the "OLD WORLD" look that he so desired and made his unique community world famous. Even today exist select architects,designers and homeowners following in his footsteps, attempting to recreate the beauty and simplicity of the past.

Nothing comes close to the genuine look of Handmade Clay Roof Tile. All of our roofing tiles are Florida and Miami Dade County Product Control Approved. And of course time approved.

Artezanos Roof Tile

The Advantages

Easy to Install
100% Recyclable
Energy Efficient
Low Life Cycle Cost
Uses Less Materials
Fire/Hurricane Resistant
Retro-Fit Upgrade

& Approvals

Class A Fire Tested
Wind Tested
Miami Dade County Approved


PDF Brochure

The Universal Hybdrid Roof Tile System
(1.5mb PDF)

More Videos on