The influence of the History of Tiles in the field of interior design cannot be ignored. It can be used to add a colorful backsplash to your kitchen, create an Art Deco-style wall in your living room, provide durable waterproof flooring in your bathroom, and even enhance your appearance.
But not all types of tiles are alike. Before you take on your next home renovation project, you’ll want to consider tiles available in terms of type and categories and their unique features that separate one from the other as well as the differences between wall tiles and flooring tiles.
Unlike decorative wall or backsplash tile, tile flooring must hold up against foot traffic, dirty shoes, pet messes, and more—all while looking beautiful. The good news is that most tiles are naturally water-resistant, slip-resistant, and stain-resistant, which is why so many homeowners choose to use tile in both their kitchens and baths.
Tile is an excellent flooring and wall option all around, even though some materials are stronger than others. Let’s take a look at the three main types of tile. This walk-through is one of the vital steps toward making your next home design project a smooth adventure.
When it’s time to decide on a tile for your home, you can’t go wrong with ceramic, porcelain, or stone. However, you’ll want to consider the differences in appearance, durability, and thickness. Each flooring tile type is unique in its way, with porcelain tiles being the strongest and impervious to water damage, and ceramic tiles being easier to cut and having a textured appearance that adds depth to your design.
Tile can also come in many different shapes and sizes, from Classic Square to wood-like planks. Factors such as layout, installation, and grout influence the appearance of tile flooring. Whether tiles are placed edge to edge or used with grout can change the look of a space.
We introduced A Guide To Choose The Right Tile Size in detail in our previous article. If you are interested, you can click to view it.
As an alternative to grout, you may consider using smaller mosaic tiles between the primary tiles to create a unique look. Layout design can also deliver a similar effect, by having a pattern laid with tile or just by placing the tile on a diagonal. When thinking about types of tile flooring, you should also consider the factor of thickness.
A thicker tile is great for the floor—it will add durability and stand up to heavy foot traffic—while a thinner tile will be better suited to wall mounting. Mosaic tiles are great for accents and backsplashes because their smaller size lends to more intricate patterns.
The types of tile floors you choose can also influence your color options. While ceramic, porcelain, and stone are mostly neutral in color because of their natural makeup, new tile technology adds the option for fun mosaic colors and patterns.
For a splash of brighter hues, you can always opt for glass tiles. Don’t be afraid to mix and match tile materials to create texture in your space or to fit tiles to your color palette and design taste!Generally, there are 3 principal types of tiles available for use.They are Ceramic Tile, Porcelain Tile, and Natural stone.
These are made from fired clay and finished with a glaze. They are hard-wearing, waterproof, and fireproof. They are available in a wide range of designs, colors, sizes, and finishes, and at a range of different prices.
Ceramic tile is easy to clean, durable, and available in many styles and textures. Whether you’re looking for a beveled tile, a crackled texture, or a matte finish, ceramic tiles offer endless design options. If you have kids or pets, consider textured tiles, as they are less slippery and a safer flooring option
Porcelain tiles are made of hard, fine clay. They used to be made using different manufacturing methods, such as Glazed Porcelain Tiles which resulted in designs running through the tiles – but now they are usually glazed and fired in the same way as tiles. They tend to be harder and denser than ceramic tiles.
The difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles can be confusing. They are made by firing at an even higher temperature. This creates a denser tile that is more durable than ceramic tiles. Porcelain is so durable that it is often used in commercial applications where the floor must stand up to high foot traffic and wear and tear.
With a greater density, porcelain is more resistant to moisture, making it a great choice for bathroom floors. Not only is porcelain durable, but it’s highly coveted for its style. Porcelain stone lookalikes come with authentic color variations, veining, and pitting while porcelain wood lookalikes perfectly copy natural graining and hardwood patterns.
Porcelain tiles are up to date on the latest trends with styles like washed cement effects and block flooring. In my experience, ceramic tiles can often give the same effect as porcelain tiles but at a lower cost. However, the choice is yours, and I can give an equally beautiful result with either type of tile.
Natural stone tiles are just that – slabs of natural stone that have been cut to size and shape. Stone tends to be heavier than ceramics, and has a natural variability in color and surface finish. Natural stone floor tile comes in a variety of colors and textures giving you a wide range of options.
Stone floors are perfect for kitchens, bathrooms, and entryways. Depending on the type of stone you select, stone tiles can complement a wide range of styles from rustic to contemporary. You’ll also find that no two tiles are exactly alike, giving your space a unique character.
Moreover, installing natural stone tile will increase the value of your home, as this material is highly coveted for its elegance and longevity. Affordable and accessible, you can easily update your kitchens with granite or add marble tiles to the bathroom all while boosting your home value.
Examples of natural stones are
True quarry tiles are extruded (that is, squeezed out) rather than pressed, as most ceramic tiles are. This gives a slightly rougher finish and greater variability in shape. Traditionally a reddish brown color, they are now available in various shades of grey and black, too.
Terracotta tiles are traditionally fired at lower temperatures and have more natural variation in the individual tiles. Modern terracotta tiles can be finished with a glaze or can require surface treatment to seal them once installed. They tend to give a more rustic, less formal effect.
Travertine tiles are natural limestone, laid down in layers over millions of years as a sedimentary rock. Although technically incorrect, their appearance means they are often counted as marble tiles, They are usually a lighter color, varying from pale to darker pinks and creams.
Marble is similar to travertine, but is a metamorphic rather than a sedimentary rock. This means that it has been compressed, heated, and cooled during its time in the ground so that it is a mass of little crystals. It is harder, denser, and less porous than travertine, and has a different color palette. Marble tiles give a very classical appearance, with a natural variation in the color inclusions.
Slate was formed in layers at the bottom of the ancient seas, then compressed and heated. It comes in a range of colors, including greys, greens, pinks, and purples. Slate is notable for having more natural variability than almost any other flooring material, both in surface finish and in thickness.
This means that it is impossible to achieve a completely even finish with a slate floor. This may be an effect you want to achieve – but this can be a disappointment to some people. Slate can look wonderful in the right setting, but you must be aware of the inherent variation if you choose it for your home.
Features & Benefits of Tiles
Let us conclude with a summary and comparison between Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles.
• Porcelain tiles are fired to higher temperatures than ceramic tiles (1200C +) and as a result, become almost impervious to water penetration. This means that porcelain tiles are extremely durable, stain, scratch, and impact resistant, and can be used in high-traffic commercial areas.
• Ceramic tiles can be cheaper to purchase but are more susceptible to chipping, breakages, and general wear and tear over time.
• Porcelain tiles are made in larger formats than ceramic, e.g. 600x600mm, 750x750mm, 800x800mm, 1200x600mm, 1000x1000mm, 1200x1200mm, 3000x1000mm, etc.
• New technologies have allowed porcelain tiles to appear like natural stones, wood, and marble. However, porcelain tiles have more technical advantages than the materials that they imitate. For example, stone, marble, and wood can stain and scratch more easily than porcelain.
• Porcelain tiles are more suitable than ceramics for use in high-traffic commercial areas.
• Porcelain tiles can be suitable for use outdoors (check with georgeceramic for recommendation) as they are generally frost resistant. Ceramic tiles (generally) should not be used outdoors as they are not frost-resistant.
• Porcelain tiles come in many different sizes and finishes and some of these finishes are suitable for use in areas that require anti-slip flooring.
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