Tile, Tile, Tile – Oh My! 

These days, tile is a very popular flooring choice in most homes and there are so many different types of tile flooring to choose from. There are good reasons that tile flooring is so popular. Tile offers a huge range of benefits for your home. It will outlast most any other floor material and can help to keep your house nice and cool in the summer. Tile makes a good investment as it will almost always increase the value of your home and keep it looking its best for many years to come (with proper professional cleanings of course!).

Tile is: 

  • A cost-effective way to make a statement by using patterned tiles
  • Hygienic
  • Non-allergenic
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Hardy
  • Water-resistant
  • Low maintenance
  • Available in many colors and styles

But with so many different types of tile flooring to choose from, how do you know what’s best for your home?

Tile flooring is made from a variety of materials that can include clay, stone, metal, or quartz.  Each type of tile has its own characteristics.  These characteristics should be matched to the size, style, use and budget for the space you are tiling. 

 

Here are just a few examples of different types of Tile Flooring:

Travertine:

Travertine is a type of limestone that is a byproduct of natural artesian springs, hot springs and caves around the world.  It is a natural, porous stone.  Travertine’s rough texture and pitted appearance is created by air bubbles and organic matter.  This is also what gives travertine tiles varying colors.

In Ancient Rome, travertine was used when building temples, bathrooms, statuaries and theaters.  Travertine can definitely stand the test of time.  This type of tile is best used for both indoors and outdoors.  It is naturally slip-resistant which makes it an excellent choice for tiling bathrooms, walkways, pool decks or other places where water may be present. 

a white couch setting on travertine tile
An area rug on top of ceramic tile in a bathroom

Ceramic:

Ceramic tiles are made from clay that is quarried, prepared and then formed into a mold.  They are usually characterized as either porcelain or non-porcelain. 

Porcelain tiles are often extruded and have less impurities than non-porcelain ceramic tiles.  This clay is denser and less porous than ceramic clays, which makes porcelain tile harder and more impervious to moisture than non-porcelain ceramic tile.  The porcelain ceramic tile is considered more durable and better suited for heavy usage.

There are advantages for using non-porcelain ceramic tile too.  These are one of the most economical ways to tile your home.  Non-porcelain ceramic tile costs about 60% of the price of porcelain tiles.  They are also easier to cut than porcelain tiles, making it easier for DIY homeowners to tile themselves.

Faux Wood:

Faux wood tile is one of the newest trends in tile.  These tiles offer the natural beauty of wood together with the durability of tile.  While the tiles look like wood flooring, they are actually ceramic tiles.  They come with the benefits of being more durable than hardwood, more water-resistant, and free of termite risk.  Faux wood tiles require very little maintenance and offer unlimited design possibilities. 

a woman working on a computer sitting on a chair in the middle of a floor of faux wood tile

Marble:

Marble is a highly durable stone that comes in almost every color because of the variability of the component minerals.  This type of tile comes in multiple finished from polished to hones and brushed to tumbled.  The many finishes make marble an ideal choice for any room in your home. 

As a natural stone, marble tile offers high aesthetic value.  It also adds both elegance and value to any home.  However, marble tiles are costly.  Care for marble tiles can be time consuming.  They have an absorbent nature which makes them prone to stains.  Marble is not generally recommended for use for exteriors or landscaping.

Marble floor with area rug

Slate:

Slate is a metamorphic rock found in large deposits all over the world.  It has been used for centuries as flooring.  This tile comes in a range of colors including blue/grey, green, red, orange or brown.  Often there are veins of colors running throughout the tile.  No slate tile is identical. 

Naturally slip-resistant, slate makes an ideal material for kitchens, bathrooms or pool areas.  Even when wet or greasy, slate stays slip-resistant.  Slate is also very durable.  It can be used to help keep rooms cool or warm, especially with the use of a circulating system that runs under the tile.

In high traffic areas, slate should be periodically stripped and resealed to keep it looking great.  And regular mopping with plain water is a must, as well as periodic professional cleanings.

Slate tile floor

Granite:

Granite is a type of igneous rock that is very dense and hard.  It has a distinctive appearance due to speckled minerals found within the rock.  Granite’s unique veining means no two granite floors are the same.

Once granite is polished resists scratching well.  This makes it an ideal choice for the kitchen and other high traffic areas.

Onyx:

Onyx is a translucent, calciferous stone that is similar to marble.  It is a more fragile stone.  Therefore, it is frequently produced with a mesh, resin, or fiberglass backing to help give it strength as a tile. 

This is a popular choice for indoor, light traffic floors or countertops.  Each onyx tile varies in color, making its usage completely unique.  Because of the variations in color of onyx tile, before laying this type of tile, a dry layout should be performed.  Mix up the different colors of the onyx tile so that the color variation is well presented. 

onyx tile floor in bathroom

Quartzite:

Quartzite is a durable, non-slip, attractive stone that is one of the most popular tile choices for homes.  It is a high-quality alternative to paving in pool surrounds, driveways and paths.  When hones for a smooth finish, quartzite tiles also make an excellent addition in any kitchen.  It can also be crystalized and sealed with a darker shade, giving it a more marble-like finish.

Quartzite tile flooring

Mosaic:

Mosaic tiles are one of the most popular types of tiles for decorative uses or creating a feature.  Consisting of small, often square tiles, mosaic tiles are laid together to create a large effect for a high visual impact.  These types of tiles can be made of varying materials.  Stone, glass and ceramic are the most commonly used materials to make mosaic tiles.

mosaic tile floor
sandstone tiles

Sandstone:

Sandstone has an earthy appeal and comes in a range of colors, sizes and styles.  This type of tile is ideal for pool surroundings, walkways and patios.  Sandstone helps to give your outdoor areas a rich, natural feel.

Terrazzo tile floor with an area rug

Terrazzo:

Terrazzo is a composite material which consists of marble, quartz, granite, glass and other suitable chips.  It is cured, ground, then polished to a smooth surface.  Often it is used for public buildings because it is long lasting.  Terrazzo can also be refinished repeatedly ensuring it stays looking new.  It is very slippery, making it not a typical choice for the home.

Whichever type of tile you use in your home, regularly scheduled professional cleanings is a must.  The professionals at Master Clean Carpet and Tile have a tile and grout cleaning process that helps to keep any tile in your home looking like new.  Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to check out before and after videos of previous tile and grout cleanings we’ve done.  And then call us today to schedule yours!