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An Introduction to Tile Types

Tile Floor With Decorative Border


There are several types of tile:

  • Ceramic tiles are made from pressed clays covered with a glaze of metallic oxides and ceramic stains or finished with a matte surface.

  • Porcelain mosaic tiles are baked at a higher temperature, which makes them thicker. Their color also goes through the tile, rather than only covering the surface.

  • Quarry tile is an unglazed mix of shale and clays that also has color throughout.

  • The spaces between the tiles are filled in by grout. An epoxy grout is recommended to help resist stains. It's usually best to choose a grout that closely matches the color of the tiles.


Recommended flooring support
Cementitious backer board.


Pros

  • Many sizes, patterns, and colors to choose from

  • Durable

  • Glazed tile resists staining and doesn't require special cleaning or other maintenance

  • Suitable for radiant heat


Cons

  • Glazed tile with no texture may be slippery and pose a safety hazard for the elderly and young children

  • Unglazed tile needs to be treated occasionally with sealants

  • Tile, like stone, can be a little hard on the feet if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen

  • Individual tiles may crack over time; try to get some extra ones with your original batch so that the replacements will match the other pieces

 

Price

About $8-$100 per square foot.

 

 

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