TILE 101: TILE CHOICES
The word tile is derived from the French word Tuile,
which is, in turn, from the Latin word Tegula,
meaning a roof tile composed of fired clay.
Tiles are most often made of Ceramic,
Porcelain, Glass, Concrete, or Natural Stone.
Ceramic or Porcelain tiles are recommended
for use in wet areas like bathrooms and showers
because they can be made more slip-resistant
either by using very small tiles so that the grout
lines acts as grooves or by imprinting a
contour pattern onto the face of the tile.
Porcelain tiles have color throughout
the entire body of the tile, so if a tile is
chipped the color showing through will
be the same color as the tile surface.
A Ceramic tile will be colored either a
white clay or red clay beneath the tile surface
and will be very noticeable when chipped.
AN EASY WAY TO DISTINGUISH A CERAMIC TILE
FROM A PORCELAIN TILE IS TO SIMPLY FLIP
THE TILE OVER AND IF THE COLOR IS RED,
YOU HAVE A CERAMIC TILE!
For high traffic floor areas, Porcelain tile
is recommended over Ceramic tile.
Both Ceramic and Porcelain tiles can be
manufactured from pre-recycled and
post-recycled materials and many are LEED™
certified as sustainable products with lessoned
ecological impact on the environment,
as well as your wallet.
Natural Stone tiles are typically
travertine, limestone, marble,
onyx, granite or slate.
Natural Stone tiles can be beautiful,
but as a natural product they are less
uniform in color and pattern,
and require more planning for
use and installation.
Some stone tiles such as polished
granite, marble, and travertine
are very slippery when wet,
while stone tiles with a split
surface or honed surface will
be more slip-resistant.
Mass-produced stone tiles are
uniform in width and length with
slight variations on color.
Granite or marble tiles are sawn
on both sides and then polished or
finished on the top surface
so that they have a uniform thickness.
Other natural stone tiles such as slate are
typically split on the top surface so that the
thickness of the tile, as well as the coloration
varies slightly from one spot on the tile to
another and from one tile to another.