If you were to walk into our showroom today, you would see that we have hundreds of tile samples available (literally), but would you be able to differentiate them and know which tile would best meet the needs of your project? After all, not all tile is created equal. Some tiles hold up to heat and moisture, making them a great fit for a bathroom, and some don’t. Some tiles can handle years of wear and tear, making them a best bet for flooring in a high traffic area of your home, while some would crack under the pressure. And, some tiles require more monthly or annual maintenance than others. To put it simply, tile can be complicated.
Lucky for you, we’re here to help you with that when you arrive to our showroom. Until then, though, we put together this quick guide detailing different tiles, their properties and best uses.
Ceramic tile is made of clay, sand and other natural occurring materials. Once the tile has been molded into its desired shape, it is fired in a kiln. Ceramic tiles can either be glazed or unglazed, making them a versatile choice for any home.
Uses: Because ceramic tiles are so durable, they make for great floors, especially if there are animals in the home. Ceramic is highly resistant to water, making it the perfect tile for kitchens and bathrooms- both floors and walls.
In general, ceramic and porcelain tiles are quite similar, both being made from clay and other naturally occurring materials, but the clay used for porcelain tiles is more refined and purified, making it even more dense than ceramic.
Uses: Because porcelain tiles offer unmatched design flexibility due to the fact that porcelain can mimic natural stone, such as granite and limestone, they work in any room in your home. And, porcelain allows for a wide variety of color and design, which opens the door for unrestricted creativity.
Glass tile is, you guessed it, made of glass. It is impervious to water, making it perfect for bathroom and shower walls, for example, and comes in a wide variety of colors and finishes. Glass tile differs from other tile in that it is never a do-it-yourself kind of installation. Be sure you don’t fall for the promises of a general contractor who has no expertise in installing glass tile.
Uses: Glass tile can be used all over the home. Whether it be in the kitchen as a beautiful backsplash or in the bathroom as your shower walls, glass tile creates a look like no other. Also, because of how versatile you can be with the colors, glass tile can be wonderful to use as an accent wall.
Cement tiles are made from a mixture of sand, cement, color pigment, and a marble powder that is poured into metal molds, backed by a concrete mixture and then compressed under 2,000 pounds of pressure to give it its durability.
Uses: Cement tile is great for floors and walls. Because cement tiles have high thermal mass (the ability to absorb and store heat) cement tiles are great for keeping your home’s energy bill down and are sure to keep your feet toasty when you get out of the shower on a cold morning.
Natural stone tiles are especially beautiful because each piece of stone offers its own unique form and texture, shaped by the earth itself, making each floor, wall or backsplash unique in its own way. Common natural stone tiles include slate, marble, limestone, granite, quartzite, onyx and sandstone.
Uses: Natural stone tile is perfect for creating beautiful floors, and can also be used for an accent wall or a kitchen backsplash.
In the end, even after you have thoroughly researched your options, it’s best to come speak with one of our designers so we can better understand your project, your goals and what sort of tile would best work for you and your home. Imagine the possibilities… We do!