Choosing a Tile
For the process of installing tile you will first want to speak with one of our experts on selecting a particular tile of your choice. The most popular Tile options are typically Ceramic or Porcelain. With Porcelain and Ceramic tiles there are endless options for shape, size, color, design, and the option to have them glazed or un-glazed (Full-Body Tile). Glazing tile adds an extra thin layer of liquid glass to give the tile a particular color. Glazed tile can have a polished or matte finish to it. Ceramic and Porcelain tiles can often mimic the design or characteristics of other materials such as wood, marble, concrete, or other natural stones.
Porcelain is technically a specific type of Ceramic. However, Porcelain tile is denser, more rigid, and less likely to crack or break. Porcelain tiles are also fired longer and at higher temperatures for an extended period of time. Porcelain comes in multiple sizes, designs and colors, and can re-create the look of stone, but for a much lower price. Porcelain is a more water durable option, and it is about 30% harder than natural stones like granite or marble.
Porcelain tiles are easier to take care of and clean when necessary. They are available in matte or glossy finish. A glossy finish is more likely to show fingerprints or footprints, and you are also more likely to notice a scratch on the glossy finish. Porcelain holds up well for outdoor use on patio floors and the like because it can repel water and survive cold temperatures. It is the most popular choice of tile material because it is durable, dynamic, and can go just about anywhere. Porcelain is a little more expensive than Ceramic, but it’s worth the cost.
Ceramic tiles are made of water, sand and clay. They are heated in a kiln and then dried. They are thinner and lighter than porcelain. The color does not bleed all the way through a ceramic tile as it does with a porcelain tile. Ceramic tiles are good for walls, fireplaces, and backsplashes, but not as good on floors and high traffic areas because they have a greater tendency to crack or chip. Some forms of ceramic tiles can also be slippery when wet. Ceramic tiles are more porous than Porcelain, which means it absorbs water and moisture more easily. Porcelain tiles are non-porous and therefore are better for outdoor areas and places where moisture collects.
Glass tiles are not as durable as ceramic, porcelain or stone tiles. They cost more, and are typically more difficult to install. In fact, you do not want to install glass tile on your own. Also it's a bad idea to use glass tiles on the floor because they can be very slippery. Glass tile can also scratch easily, so make sure you’re using the right kind of grout. Nonetheless, Glass tiles can add quite the element of beauty, and look great on backsplashes and smaller accent areas.
Blended Tiles often have some combination of glass, metal, and stone, and are used often as kitchen backsplashes, showers, bathrooms, or an accent or feature wall. There is usually mesh mounted on the back for easy installation.
Natural stone TILE
Natural Stone Tiles include; Marble, Granite, Travertine, Slate, Onyx, Quartzite, Sandstone, Limestone and more. Natural stone is quarried from the ground and usually costs the most because it is considered exotic and beautiful in appearance. Stone comes directly from the earth’s natural supply and each piece is different from the next. These kinds of tile are higher maintenance, and are better for accents, backsplashes, countertops and vanities, but can still work well for walls and floors. Most stone tiles must be sealed for protection to prevent surface stains from becoming engrained. You will want to have a professional come and do a full sealing every couple of years. Allowing a manufacturer to polish your stone can add an extra layer to protect from staining, but it still must be sealed.
Marble is a classic choice that is perfect for bathrooms, backsplashes, and accent walls. Marble is softer and more porous than Granite, and can stain from acidic substances. Some experts would advise against using marble because of its tendency to stain. However, it's one of the most breathtaking natural stones.
Granite is a non-porous surface that stands up to typical household liquids and foods. It works great for countertops and flooring and will not stain as bad as marble would, but it can stain some and does need to be sealed. Granite does not scratch easily and will not be damaged from hot pots and pans. Granite can be used for flooring tiles in public spaces and on statues and monuments as well. Granite is generally a bit more “busy” in appearance and has a more traditional feel to it.
Travertine is usually formed by natural hot springs that leak into the limestone below, and then hardens again. This is why you will find the appearance of air pockets and divots on its surface. Travertine has a special rustic feel that is widely used in bathrooms on walls, floors, and vanities. It is more easily stained than Granite or Marble and you should safeguard it with a sealant.
Slate is a homogeneous metamorphic rock that contains shale and quartz in thin layers, and can be formed by clay or volcanic ash and residue. The beauty and durability of slate make it perfect for outdoor tile work such as patios, pool decks, and roofing. Slate has a very low water absorption index, making it virtually waterproof. It is also great for kitchen floors and foyer entrances.
Onyx is a bit on the softer side, its crystalline appearance works well for accent spaces and tile flooring. Onyx is actually a special kind of Quartz. Its natural beauty stems from its translucent nature and its unique assembly of colors.
Quartzite is formed by a union of sandstone and quartz crystals under tremendous heat and pressure, Quartzite is a great stone for outdoor patios and spaces exposed to rain or water. The texture is grainy and will most likely show streaks of quartz. It’s use as a kitchen counter surface is increasing year by year because it is more elusive to staining than granite. Quartzite also imitates the “fresh” look of marble very well. However Quartzite cannot handle a hot pot will scorch the surface.
Quartz is a man made version of Quartzite. Quartz countertops are made of crystals found in Quartzite, but man-made processes combine crystals with various materials such as resins, pigments, and broken glass.
Limestone is known for its wide variety of color options and unique appearance due to the earth substances trapped within them. Limestone goes well in bathrooms, living rooms and entrance areas, but it is more prone to stain and therefore should not be used in kitchens.
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock similar to Limestone that comes in a range of earthy tones. Most Sandstone contains quartz or feldspar. Some Sandstone can has consistencies with wood grain, and can be used for outdoor areas. Sandstone can come in any color, but the most likely colors are white, black, grey, red, pink, tan, brown and yellow.