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Ceramic tile is typically used as flooring in kitchens and bathrooms, and it can be commonly found in entryways as well. Its diversity in color and style, especially when creating mosaic patterns, makes it a popular choice. Regular care of your ceramic flooring, as with any flooring, is required. Sweep or vacuum at least once per week. Washing and mopping will remove tougher stains. Ceramic flooring is often used in wet parts of the home; it can withstand wear and tear better than wood or carpeting.
Porcelain is a tile whose biscuit is made of very densely compacted molecules and is far more resistant to wear and tear then ceramic tile and therefore suitable for commercial, public, and outdoor applications. Having a rate of only .5% moisture absorption it is classified as Impervious and frost-proof.
The dense, hard surface of porcelain has made polishing a viable alternative to a glazed surface. This means that a tile can be fired, then a polish cut into the surface, creating a shine without a glaze.
Slate resists fading, abrasion and chemicals and is ideal for interior and exterior floors, walls and tabletops.
Tiles made of vinyl are economical and durable because the material provides cushion-y comfort, then springs right back into form. Modern vinyl designs can mimic stone, ceramic and even metallic tiles.
Monocottura is a type of ceramic tile whose biscuit (or body of the tile) has been baked for a long period of time at 2200 degrees Celsius. The body of the tile is usually red or white bisque with a colored glazing on top. It is highly resistant to chipping and wear and tear but is only suitable for interior residential applications.
Bicottura is a type of ceramic tile that has been double-baked: once, and then glazed, and fired with the glaze once more. It has a red or white bisque. It is suitable as an interior wall decorative product and normally is not durable enough to be used on the floor
Vitreous is the strongest classification for a ceramic tile as it has a moisture absorption rate ranging from .5 – 3 %.
Multi-Shaded Tile is tile that has a several tones/shades/vein-patterning from piece to piece all in the same box. Usually there are seven to twenty different variations for one tile color. This ceramic or porcelain tile is usually more costly because it is purposely made this way to emulate the natural variation that appears in natural stone surfaces.
Natural Stone Products
Natural stone is a high end, luxury product that will add value and elegance to any application. Its natural beauty and luster is a natural solid formation of one or many minerals of the Earth. There are thousands of types of stoned that have been quarried throughout the centuries.
Marble is comprised of Earths calcium formations and can be polished to a high glass like finish. Marble can be used as slabs or tiles in interior or exterior applications such as feature walls, floors, countertops, fireplaces and staircases. It is recommended for low-traffic applications
Granite is a stone comprised of Earths quartz. It is the densest stone available; the molecules are so tightly compacted that this stone is extremely resistant to stains and scratches. For interior application granite is the preferred choice for kitchen countertops due to its strength and resistance in high-usage conditions, however it is frequently used for tiling both walls and floors.
Travertine is a stone made of calcium carbonate-based limestone that can be polished to a medium-sheen, matte finish. Travertine’s distinguishing characteristic is the appearance of air holes that can be as large as a dime in diameter in its polished surface. Therefore travertine is available either in its natural state with the holed unfilled or with the air holes resin-filled and honed down.
A tumbled surface has a slightly honed and sometimes bumpy texture. It is used to complement a rustic of antiqued décor concept.
Glazed to achieve a glass-like finish
Semi-glazed surface that is moderately shiny
Smooth, glazed surface that is not very shiny
Unglazed but smooth
Standard, Slightly Rounded
Most tiles are available in this style that is slightly curved where the tile edge ends in a 90 degree angle. Therefore the tiles must be installed with a wider grout –lines to accommodate the curves that establish the joints between each tile.
Some tiles have irregular edges that appear almost to be rippled, to create a weathered, old world-style. These tiles are usually spaced 3/8” to ½ “ apart to accommodate the Irregularity.
Some tiles have a perfect 90” angle at all perimeters with almost completely unleveled corners. Because of this, the tiles can be installed very tightly together. This type of edge is predominant for natural stone tiles such as marble or granite and many porcelains offer this edge as well.