Types of Tile: Comparing the Materials
Tile is a durable and environmentally friendly material that many builders and homeowners use. Tile comes in many shapes, colors and sizes but they are not all created equal. Each type of tile has its own pros and cons that you should consider when planning a design project that involves tiling.
Here are some of the most popular types of tiles:
There is nothing like marble tile. It has a gorgeous veiny look that is unlike any other tile material. The variety of color options, variations in shade and swirling patterns make marble a very popular choice to compliment the design ones home. However, because of these variations and unique qualities in each tile, matching tile to tile can often be challenging. We suggest that if you are going to use marble, that the tile pieces come from the same original batch so your contractor has a better chance making them match. Another perk to marble tile is that it ages extremely well. Over time this material gain elegance and character only adding its overall quality and timeless classy look.
Tiles made from ceramic are composed of thin slabs of clay and other materials that are hardened by firing in an oven and then coated with a glaze. Ceramic is extremely durable and is a great choice for bathrooms and kitchens because of it is easy to clean and there are vast color choices. Glazed ceramic tile isn’t porous offering ease of maintenance. Another plus side is that it doesn’t harbor any type of germs or bacteria. One caveat with ceramic tile is that each batch can vary in size and color so make sure you request the entire batch is derived from the same lot.
This flooring material is made by exposing chips of marble in concrete and polishing until smooth. Terrazzo is a gorgeous tile, shiny and mesmerizing. It is often used in homes and public buildings because of its longevity and can be refinished over and over again. Because Terrazzo is so shiny and smooth, it is often slippery. Homeowners wishing to use this type of tile should collaborate with their contractor, as they will likely be familiar with non-slip additives that can be added to the surface of the tile for safety precaution.
Tile that is made out of slate is extremely heavy and very durable. Made from a kind of metamorphic rock, slate is naturally textured and comes in darker more earthy colors such as grays, purples and blacks. It is a great choice for kitchens and hallway or foyer floors that see a lot of foot traffic because it hides wet and muddy footprints. Slate is also used as roofing shingles and works well both outside and inside.
Granite is an igneous rock that has a very distinctive appearance. It comes in a range of colors with varying shades of veining and specks. This material is impervious to scratching and is a great choice for counters, shower walls and flooring in high-traffic areas. Granite tiles, like glazed ceramic, are naturally antibacterial because they are not porous and aren’t affected by water or liquid. Granite does require some regular maintenance to keep the surface in tact, but it’s a fairly straightforward process. Granite can fair on the pricier side and can present some challenges if you’re looking to match it perfectly. However, your contractor will help you choose the right vendor to ensure the best quality product.
Travertine is a limestone that has a crystallized appearance and comes in a variety of earthy tones. It is soft and porous and features natural divots and pitting. It is not good for places such as kitchen floors because it is easily scratched and stained. Entryways, bathrooms and kitchen backsplashes are ideal places to install Travertine. In warmer climates, such as Hawaii and Southern California, Travertine is oftentimes used throughout the house to keep the temperature inside cool.
Limestone comes in a variety of both light and dark shades and is a type of sedimentary rock. This tile material can be textured or polished so it is smooth. Limestone can be stained quite easily to achieve the optimal shade but can also scratch and is not recommended for areas of high traffic or kitchens. Backsplashes and bathrooms are a good match for limestone tile.