The design options for stone or tile are endless. That, combined with the ease-of-care makes them a popular choice. We offer all sizes, shapes and colors, as well as the services of a certified tile designer who can help your vision of that perfect backsplash, shower or floor become a reality.
There are eight reasons to consider tile as your choice in flooring:
- Design Versatility
- Low Maintenance
- Water Resistance
- Environmentally Friendly
- Fire Resistance
- Offers Great Value
General Characteristics of Ceramic Tile
All ceramic tiles share unique and exceptional qualities found in no other type of decorative building products.
Abrasion resistance This is a very important consideration when choosing any glazed floor tile. Commercial areas, as well as areas of the home such as kitchens or foyers subjected to heavy usage, demand good abrasive resistance. If the right product is chosen and it is maintained properly it could easily last the lifetime of the home.
Water absorption The glaze on ceramic tile is non-porous so when we refer to water absorption it pertains only to the tile’s body. The water absorption of the tile is important to know in order to make the right selection for outdoor use. If the tile absorbs more than 3% moisture, it is not suited for outdoor use in cold climates where it may freeze and crack.
Frost resistance Frost resistance goes hand in hand with water absorption. The less water the tile absorbs, the greater it’s frost resistance. Your labels will clearly identify those tiles which are frost resistant.
Stain resistance Ceramic material in general is the most stain resistant building product in the world. Glazed tile and even some unglazed tiles resist practically all solutions that could cause staining in other types of products.
Slip resistance The slip resistance of ceramic tile in ordinary applications is comparable to that of most hard surface flooring materials and it’s significantly better than some. Unglazed tiles have greater slip resistance than glazed tiles and are recommended for areas subjected to high water spillage. Many glazed and unglazed tiles also feature an abrasive grit on their surface, increasing their slip resistance substantially. These tiles are particularly suited to public areas with direct access to the outdoors.
Color Permanence While most colored materials will be altered by long exposure to light, colors in ceramic tiles are unaffected and will not change or fade from exposure.
Dirt resistance Ceramic tiles do not retain dust or residues. Plain water or a damp cloth is generally all that’s required to keep the tile clean. With the exception of tiles such as Terra – Cotta, which may be optionally oiled or waxed, no polishing or buffing is necessary to maintain the finish.
Fire Resistance Ceramic tiles are completely fire – proof at any temperature. They will not burn or feed a fire. Their surface will not alter, nor will they give off any toxic gases, smoke or fumes during a fire.
Hygiene The face of ceramic tiles will not retain liquids or absorb fumes, odors, or smoke, allowing for good hygiene. Tiles are suited for any environment where hygiene is essential.
Description of Various Popular Tiles
- These are unglazed tiles made from natural clays and shale.
- Their colors are usually limited to earthtones, ranging from red to a light tan, although some manufacturers offer a wider color range by adding color pigments to the clay.
- Their body is both thick and dense, making them a popular choice for both heavy commercial and residential installations.
- Their surface generally has good slip resistant qualities.
- Porcelain tiles are made up of special clays and minerals similar to those found in china ware.
- They come in a wide range of colors which are achieved by mixing pigments with the clay.
- The special days allow the product to be fired at extreme temperatures resulting in a denser and harder body than most other tiles.
- They are highly stain resistant and strong.
- They come with a plain, rough, or polished finish.
- The combination of beauty and durability makes them ideal for heavy commercial and residential installations.
- These are either handmade or machine made pavers.
- The machine made terra – cottas are much denser than the handmade tiles and can usually be installed outdoors as they are frost resistant.
- The most popular handmade tile is the Saltio tile from Mexico.
- Saltio tiles are crudely made, varying widely in size, shade and texture from one to another. Occasionally they will even be marked with animal tracks.
- These handmade tiles are very porous and must be sealed and waxed to prevent staining and wear.
- The colors range from terra – cotta to yellow to brown. Additional colors can also be achieved with the use of stains.
- Mosaic tiles are small tiles, less than 6 square inches in size.
- They come mounted on perforated paper sheets for easy installations.
- They are usually very dense products that are tough and highly stain resistant.
- Mosaics are ideal for shower floors because their small size gives them the flexibility to follow the contour of the floor as it slopes to the drain. The numerous grout joints also aid in slip resistance.
- Their toughness and stain resistance also makes them ideal for counter tops.
Note: While most quarry, porcelain, terra – cotta and mosaic tiles are unglazed, all of them can be produced with a glaze.