Tile | Styles

It goes without saying that you should use that unique sense when choosing ceramic tile. The ceramic tile that you select will impact your home’s interior beauty, design, décor, comfort, livability and upkeep.  It’s a fact, floor coverings can make, or break, a home.

Due to the number of tile choices, patterns, colors, textures and price points can intimidate even the most experienced shopper.


3 types of ceramic tile

Glazed

  • coated with glass-forming minerals and ceramic stains
  • yypically have a matte, semi-gloss or high-gloss finish
  • offer better stain and moisture resistance than unglazed
  • high gloss finishes- more slippery and show scratches
  • matte or textured finishes- help with traction and scratches, dirt is less visible

Unglazed

  • hard and dense
  • various surface treatments and textures
  • typically installed outside
  • good slip resistance
  • do require sealing to help prevent staining

Porcelain

  • fall in the ceramic tile category
  • hardest and densest tiles available
  • color goes all the way through
  • non-porous
  • resist scratching
  • can withstand temperature extremes

Size

  • manufactured in sizes ranging from 1” to 24” square
  • normally boxed and priced by the square foot
  • tile size is relative
  • referred to by nominal size, not its actual size
  • during firing ceramic tile will shrink by about 10% in size
  • most popular are larger sized tiles (13” by 13”, 16” by 16” and 18” by 18”)
  • determining tile size starts with the size of the room
  • small rooms don’t necessarily call for small tile
  • incorporating a larger size tile in a smaller room will visually increase the size of the space
  • fewer grout lines will help create a cleaner surface appearance
  • using a tile size that’s too small creates more grout joints that may make the floor look too busy

Cost-effective alternative

  • consumers prefer ceramic tile over stone due to price and maintenance
  • tile can also be made to feature heavy textures, chiseled and hammered edges, and resemble tumbled stone
  • tile texture is related to its style
  • feel of a tumbled stone or slate looking ceramic tile will be irregular and somewhat rough
  • tile simulating marble or granite will have a very smooth, polished feel
  • textures also vary in degree of shine, ranging from dull to semi-gloss to glass-like

Exterior

  • tile is a versatile product
  • outdoor tile features non-skid finishes designed for safety
  • outdoor tile is resistant to frost
  • tile manufactured for outdoor use has very low water absorption, minimizing the cracking, chipping and other effects of expansion when the temperature falls below freezing

Customization

  • manufacturers also offer decorative inserts, medallions and mosaics
  • tile size 2”x2” and smaller are usually referred to as mosaics
  • often used with different colors to create a pattern or decorative inset
  • smaller tiles also come in different shapes, such as hexagon
  • patterned borders can be made up of different size tiles
  • variations in color, shape or size can be patterned within a room, or across adjoining rooms
  • “field tile” -the more prominent tile that is throughout the largest areas
  • floor and wall tiles may be designed to look similar
  • floor tiles are generally thicker and are textured to be safer to walk on

Grout

  • impacts the overall look
  • type of cement that is used to fill the space and provide support in tile joints
  • two types of grout; Portland cement based, and epoxy based
  • both may have sand added for additional strength
  • Sanded grout is for tile joints 1/8th of an inch and larger
  • Unsanded grout is an option used in joints that are smaller than 1/8th of an inch
  • can be pigmented to many colors, shades and hues
  • pigment is added to the cement at the job site when the grout is mixed
  • color and thickness will change the appearance of the floor
  • white or a light colored grout highlights the color in tile
  • dark grout with a light tile, or light grout with a dark tile, will emphasize the geometric pattern of your layout