Are you thinking about adding a new backsplash or retiling your bathroom? Thankfully we live in a world where there is no shortage of choices in style and material when it comes to tiles. There is quartz, clay, stone, terra cotta, and much much more. But also, as a result of the abundance of choices available, it can be difficult to know where to start or how to decide what you like best for your project. If this is the boat you are in, allow us at Grout Medic to help break down the different types of tile for you, so you can be better equipped to pick a style that fits you best.
Ceramic tile may come in either porcelain or non-porcelain material. The non-porcelain tiles are made from materials such as brown, red, or white clay. Porcelain, on the other hand, is made from clay and minerals along with feldspar, a white sand or dust found in rock. Both porcelain and non-porcelain tiles are available in glazed or unglazed options. Glazed tiles are scratch and stain resistant and are less water absorbent than unglazed tiles. Glazed tiles can come with a semi-gloss, high-gloss, or matte finish.
If you are looking for the budget friendly option, non-porcelain is the way to go, especially when it comes to covering large areas, such as flooring. Porcelain, while it can be a bit more expensive and more difficult to work with, offers more durability and stain resistance. Ceramic tile is popular, and therefore comes in many colors and patterns. Because of this, it can be easy to find a style that you love. You will not have to settle.
Natural stone is quarried, cut to size, and finished from natural materials. Examples of stone tiles would be, marble, granite, limestone, slate, and travertine. Each type can have many different variations based on where it was quarried. Granite, for example, is quite hard and dense. Because of the unique minerals inside of the rock, it has a distinctive appearance. Also, when polished, this stone is scratch resistant. For this reason, many people choose to install it in high traffic areas like the kitchen.
Marble stone can be quite beautiful and is available in a variety of colors. Unless you are interested in sealing these tiles regularly, however, marble is not recommended for kitchen areas because it is so porous.
If you love an earthy vibe, limestone tile could be right for you. It can be easily stained and polished but also easily scratched. So, it may be wise to avoid placing it in high traffic areas. Travertine is a type of limestone with a more crystallized appearance. Be mindful, though, that this tile does require special surface sealing and care to maintain.
If you are in need of something for those high traffic areas, slate can be your MVP. It is very durable and dense and a great candidate for floors and more. It is available in dark earthy tones, which are also ideal for those high traffic areas in your home or building.
For stone tile finishes, you have your choice of honed, natural, or polished. A honed look would be matte and smooth. It is slip resistant and prevents wear to the tile. This type of finish is ideal for busy walkways. The natural stone finish is going to give you a dull and earthy look. If you are looking to preserve some of the natural characteristics of your tile, this type of finish will give you that flexibility. Last, but not least, polished tiles will have a high shine, mirror-like appearance. Since it is highly polished, it will also be slippery, which is something to keep in mind if choosing this finish for flooring.
Hopefully this comprehensive guide has enlightened you and made your tile decision making just a little bit easier. If you need someone to help install the tile you choose, or are in need of some grout TLC, why that is just the kind of thing we do here at The Grout Medic. Be sure to give us a call to schedule an appointment.