Types of Tile: Tile Basics with Ryan Powell

Types of Tile

Picking the correct tile is important. Let’s cover the most common types of tile and what you will need to know to find the best fit for you.

Ceramic tile is the most commonly produced tile. They come in a number of sizes and finishes. Ceramic is great for low-traffic interior floors, walls, or ceilings. The upside is ceramic tile is rather inexpensive and you can find a wide variety of designs. The downside is ceramic tile is less durable and more porous, so you will need to replace it much sooner. ($)

Porcelain tile is kiln fired at very high temperatures resulting in increased durability and is less porous. Porcelain tile is manufactured in all shapes and sizes. More intricate textures and patterns are available than ceramic. Porcelain tile is pressed so that is can almost be indistinguishable from stone or wood, which tend to be more expensive. Porcelain is great in high traffic areas, outdoors, bathrooms, and even around swimming pools. If you are wanting high quality, durable tile, porcelain may be your best option. ($$)

Glass tile is non-porous so it is often used for backsplashes in kitchens and areas where moisture is expected. Glass tile can be scratched or cracked, so don’t use it in places were you expect doors to be swung open or items to be tossed around. Glass tile can bring a beautiful contrast to your project. The price is steeper, but you likely need less square feet. ($$$)

Stone tile is typically made from natural stone like marble, granite, and slate. Stones are cut very precisely into various sizes and shapes. Most natural stone tends to be quite porous and needs periodic sealing. Some stone tile are slip resistant and can add a unique design to your project. ($$$)

Metal tile typically comes in a stainless steel or copper. Stainless steel can be used to match your appliances and is very hygienic which means it is perfectly suited for the kitchen. Copper is often used when you want to add a vintage look or feel. Some tiles that look like stainless steel or copper are actually made from aluminum but are finished to make them look like a different metal. Aluminum along with tin tiles are usually a less expensive choice and are a very common option when it comes to metal ceiling tiles or tile panels. ($$$)

Customizable tile is rare but is available at select specialty shops, like Inventive Tile Inc. An image of your choosing is embedded into the tile.  Almost any high resolution picture can be made into a wide variety of designs. These tile can be used to make murals or used as accents with other types of tile. Customizable tile can be installed on ceilings, floors, walls, shop floors, swimming pools…any where tile can be installed. Glass and ceramic customizable tile are available. ($$$)

My brother Eli and I own a tile shop in Lake Crystal, MN. We would love to help you find the perfect tile for your home or business. Give us a call at (507) 726-6362.

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