Flooring Professionals: Tile 101

What is tile flooring?

Tile handles wear and tear very well; in fact it is one of the hardiest types of flooring on the market! Not only is tile flooring durable, it is also incredibly versatile—available in virtually any color, style or texture thanks to modern technology!

Tile flooring can be made from a variety of materials such as stone, ceramic, vinyl, or plastic. All tiling is essentially the same, however different techniques are used to achieve different looks.

There are three main categories of tile: natural stone, ceramic and porcelain. Natural stone tile is composed of natural materials that are quarried, slabbed and finished, and then cut to size. Ceramic tile is made from clay that is either pressed, molded or hardened at an extremely high temperature in a kiln. Porcelain tile on the other hand, is made up of 50% feldspar, and fired at much higher temperatures than ceramic tile.

Natural Stone Tile

  1. Brick: is perfect for outdoor patios and sidewalks—even indoors in kitchens or hallways! Though brick may seem to be a surprising option for indoor flooring, but its warm tones and unique texture exudes a unique rustic feel that many have fallen in love with.
  2. Granite: has been a popular flooring option for kitchens, outdoor walkways and other high traffic areas for decades. This is due primarily to its high density, which resists bacteria and moisture.
  3. Limestone: is commonly known as one of the softer stone tiling options on the market, ideal for bathrooms and kitchens. It exudes a softer, more natural look than some other stone tile options, which many have loved for decades.
  4. Marble: has been a symbol of high-end luxury for centuries with its classic, timeless appearance. It is best suited for bathrooms and lower-traffic areas however, because it is vulnerable to scratches.
  5. Slate: is cut directly from stone, meaning you will come across unavoidable bumps, chips and occasional unevenness, but that is part of its coveted texture! Slate is naturally slip resistant, and incredibly long lasting—making it the ideal flooring option for a number of spaces.

Ceramic Tile

Out of the three categories of tile flooring, ceramic tile is easily the most common. You can find it in a number of sizes, colors and finishes. Though ceramic tile comes in every color on the spectrum, there are two main types of ceramic tile: glazed and unglazed.

  1. Unglazed: also known as quarry tile is the less common of the two ceramic tile options. It is typically left its natural clay color, giving any space a natural, rustic feel.  Unglazed ceramic tile does not scratch due to its composition, but stains are tougher to remove, as there is no finish on its surface.
  2. Glazed: the more popular of the two ceramic tile variations, glazed ceramic tile can be painted almost any color, and is available in shiny, satin or matted gloss finishes with a smooth or textured feel. A major benefit of glazed tile is that it is waterproof and virtually stain-proof, unlike its unglazed counterpart!

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain is the strongest tile on the market, as it is harder and denser than any other tile. It is for this reason that porcelain is the common choice of homeowners for high traffic areas, and even heavy commercial spaces. Porcelain’s high performance, stain resistance and natural stone look have made it a popular choice amongst homeowners and businesses alike for decades!

Need more help choosing the flooring that will best-fit your home? Find your local flooring professional for advice and installation assistance!

SOURCE: WFCA.org, classiccarpet.com, everest-tile.com

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