May 2, 2012

A guide to tile.

Whether you need tile as flooring, countertop, or backsplash material, you should know the different types of tile available. Do your research to find the right look, colors, and scale.  The possibilities are endless and the costs are varied enough to find the right tile for every application. Here’s a quick guide to the main types of tile available today:

GLASS: Not a passing trend, it equals stone in the number of times it's used in modern baths and kitchens.You can use simple back-painted glass tiles in a 3 x 6 subway stile style, install handmade poured glass mosaics, and even combinations of colors and sizes to suit any style home.  Glass is durable and non porous, so spills and splatters simply wipe off.  Linear patterns are popular  and glass tile mixed with stone is also a popular solution, offering exciting ways to coordinate stone flooring and wall mosaic applications. 

CERAMIC:  Made in nearly any shape, texture, or color.  Classic subway tile is becoming very popular again in both sleek and modern interiors and more embellished traditional ones.  Many companies make beautiful, complex ceramic mosaic patterns for a distinctive design statement. Ceramic tile’s primary advantage is that the glazed surface is very durable and maintenance free, so it makes a great backsplash surface.

PORCELAIN: With a huge change in technology, porcelain tile comes in designs, scales, and finishes unimagined a few years ago. A great new product is porcelain slab, ideal for walls, counters and even flooring. Want the look of stone, concrete, wood, or woven fabric on your floors, but not the maintenance? Porcelain tile is the answer. It has outstanding durability and no maintenance other than a quick mop as with any floor, making it the perfect choice for high traffic floors. For the best porcelain tiles with the most innovative finishes, choose Italian manufactured  tiles. 

STONE:  An oft-used favorite, the old-world look and textured face is one the key reasons people use stone. From polished to honed to brushed to tumbled, stone surfaces add visual interest to walls, back-splashes, and floors. Stone tiles are available in almost any size, from small mesh-mounted bricks to large 24”x36” tiles and patterns. You can find nearly any color, and the degree of variation will make the installation interesting. The care is not as simple as other surfaces, and it will need to be sealed since it's porous.