Design writer Siegel takes us on a inspiring tour of the history, stylistic concerns and uses of tiles. Though their cool, hard surface might seem best suited to Mediterranean climates, tiles have enjoyed wide use as far afield as the Netherlands, and any area subject to heavy foot-traffic could benefit from their easily cleaned faces. Lavishly illustrated with color photographs supplied by Country Floors, a well-known tile importing company, the book emphasizes the traditional ``country'' look; a brief, less successful foray into modern styles relies heavily on simple geometric patterns. In his introduction, Country Floors owner Norman Karlson tells how his fascination with tiles developed. Seemingly meant as a sourcebook for designers and tile enthusiasts, the volume offers scant information on the proper application of tiles--only instructions for care and maintenance. Installation, it is hinted, should be left to a specialist.