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Ceramic Tile Basics
Made using a variety of natural materials including different types of stone and clay, flooring type is typically sorted into one of two broad categories:
Ceramic tile is made from clay that has been molded and then heated under extreme pressure. There are two main types:
- Porcelain tile is a ceramic material that contains up to 50% feldspar crystal, which, when heated under extreme pressure, becomes a glasslike material with incredible hardness and durability
- Non-porcelain ceramic tile is the traditional variety made from any combination of minerals that include white, red and brown clay
Ceramic tile of either type can also come in glazed or unglazed varieties. Glaze is a glass-like surface coating that can be any color or pattern. This opens up a world of design possibilities, while adding extra stain, scratch and moisture resistance to the tile.
Natural stone tile can be made from any variety of stone, including granite, marble, limestone, travertine and slate.
- Granite tile has a speckled appearance. The dense makeup of these tiles makes them scratchproof, perfect for kitchens and other high-traffic rooms in your home.
- Marble is well known as an elegant, decorative stone. These tiles are soft and porous, not well-suited to practical use.
- Limestone is a less dense sedimentary material that is more susceptible to damage than some other types of stone. However, its porous nature holds color well.
- Slate is similar to granite in density. Dark and sleek, it’s great for classy kitchens and entryways.
Ceramic Tile Installation
When thinking about types of flooring, it is important to understand the room and its usage before purchasing the flooring material for the room.