Ceramic tile is made with a low fired clay bisque that appears either white or red-brown. It is appropriate for lighter usage areas such as bathrooms and kitchen backsplashes. Kitchen counters can be made with some ceramic tiles, but their durability will not be equal to Porcelain grade tile. Colors can range anywhere on the spectrum, from monochromatic contemorary to a heavily varied handmade look. Many ceramic tiles have a wide variety of embossed and painted decorative options. Ceramic grade tiles are generally not recommended for floors.Ceramic tile sizes typically range from 4" to 8" squares, and popular European rectangular sizes starting at 8" x 12" all the way up to 13" x 40"
Porcelain floor tile has become the industry standard for quality and durability. These tiles will offer the absolute hardest, most durable surface you can use on a floor. Usable for both residential and commercial, these tiles will last the life of a structure in most cases with a minimum of upkeep. Once a rarity, now porcelain tiles are available from all of the top manufacturers, especially tiles coming from Italy. Unglazed versions with special textures are available for use outdoors. Many new 12" and 13" floor tiles are available with kitchen counter trim, making them an extremely durable counter surface.Floor sizes typically range from 12" to 20"
Porcelain wall tile is a very high density, high fired product which has superior durability. The clay bisque is a light grey in color. These tiles are appropriate for kitchen counters, shower walls, backsplashes, etc. The glazes on the porcelain tiles are known for a higher range of color variation, giving a rich, custom look. Porcelain tile is also frost-proof, so it can be used in swimming pools and fountains as well as on outdoor cooktops. Finishes can range from glossy smooth to stone rough.
Porcelain wall tiles typically range from 1"to 6"
Quarry tiles are dense, unglazed tiles that are well suited to outdoor applications. They typically are earthtone colors of terracotta-reds, browns, and greys. They are perfect for patios and walkways as well as commercial floors where a non-slip surface is needed.
Quarry tile comes in sizes ranging from 6" to 12".
Caesarstone is the original quartz solid-surface manufacturer, produced in more than 40 colors. Nonporous, stain, scratch and heat resistant and backed by a residential lifetime warranty, it is an ideal surface for kitchen & bathroom counters. Unlike real stone, Caesarstone never has to be sealed, and does not have the acid sensitivity of marble or limestone. Styles range from soft, natural stone looks to sleek contemporary colors.
Slab sizes are 120" x 56.5",
and both 2 cm (3/4") and 3 cm (1 1/4") thicknesses are available.
Marble is a natural, metamorphic stone composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals. As with most stones, natural color variations are part of it's beauty. It is a relatively soft stone and should not be used in applications where it will be in continuous contact with staining agents, such as in a kitchen. Polished marble cannot withstand any exposure to acids such as citric acid from lemon juice. If exposed, it will etch and loose it's shine.
Marble is most appropriate for formal, lightly used floors but it is always in great demand for bathrooms and fireplaces. Not normally for exterior use.
Honed marble is an increasingly popular material for floors due to it's better wear properties, warmer feel and less slick surface compared to polished. 12" and 18" are common sizes for honed marble.
Metal tiles are relatively new to the tile market. They are typically used as accent tiles, mixed in with other types of tile or stone. The tiles tend to have a relief or raised pattern set into them. Metal inlays in a kitchen backsplash are a great way to add another design element as well as a unique way to tie in with metal appliances and cabinet knobs. These tiles work especially well with tumbled and antique stone. Some metal tiles can be used for floor inlays. A natural pewter or nickel look is the most popular, but finishes range from old world rustic iron to stainless steel contemporary.
Travertine is a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs, formed from calcium carbonate. These stones typically have pronounced directional veining which can be accentuated (vein-cut) or more muted (cross-cut) depending on the desired effect. Typically available in a honed or antiqued finish, the stone can have a look anywhere from contemporary to old-world. Travertine is widely used for flooring, shower walls, fireplaces and kitchen backsplashes. Square sizes range from 12” to 24”, while rectangular shapes and interlocking patterns are also available.
Limestone is a stone composed largely of calcite and /or aragonite. Since it is a sedimentary rock, fossils of marine organisms are commonly seen in the surface. Almost always in a honed finish, limestone is used for flooring, showers and fireplaces. More subtle in color and variation than the typical marble, limestone colors are normally warmer beige hues or softer grays and greens. Selected limestone colors are available in a tumbled finish for a rugged look. As with any natural stone, limestone should be sealed after installation. Sizes are normally 12” 16” or 24” squares or 12” x 24” rectangles.
Slates are composed of layers or rock, sometimes showing great color variations from layer to layer. Slate is a very porous stone that must be sealed for any interior application. The material has a natural clefted (textured) surface which makes it a very non-slip surface. It can be used for floors, fireplaces, kitchen backsplashes, etc. Slate makes an excellent exterior material.
Tumbled stone is marble, travertine, limestone or slate that is cut and then tumbled to achieve a very rustic, old-world appearance. They can range in size from 2" to 16". 4" tumbled marble is extremely popular for kitchen backsplashes, especially with granite countertops. Tumbled stones also make very durable, non-slip floors. All tumbled stones should be sealed with a high quality sealer.
Inlaid stone mosaics are created by combining marble or limestone into intricate decorative patterns. They are normally produced using a high pressure water jet cutting system which can create delicate curves not obtainable with normal sheet mounted mosaics. The pieces are then assembled by hand to a backing that holds them all together, simplifying installation. Final finishing includes filling the tight seems and sealing the entire stone surface. The surface finish is normally honed rather than polished. The finished result is a look unlike any other type of stone border. This material has become very popular for kitchen backsplashes, fireplaces and bathrooms. Floor medallions are perfect to create a grand entryway into your home.
Decorative border sizes range from 2" to 6" in width, 10" to 15" in length. Inserts range from 2" to 5". Floor medallions range from 50" to 72" in diameter.
Glass tiles have become more and more popular every year. The translucent quality of glass give it an entirely different look than ceramic tile or stone. The styles range from old world rustic to clean contemporary. It can be used for an entire wall, or inserted as an accent row or inlay with other tile or stone. Because glass is frost proof it can also be used for exterior applications such as pool or fountains.
Sizes range from 5/8" to 12"