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The Basics of Tile Flooring

Tile 101

Tile presents a nearly endless array of design possibilities. There are various types of natural and synthetic stone to choose from, and ceramic tile is available in all shapes, colors and patterns with various options for glaze.

Tile types & sizes

Stone is an all-natural material that’s been used in construction since the dawn of civilization. Today’s manufactured stone tiles are more durable than ever, often consisting of synthetic products. Know your options before you buy!

Natural stone tile
s typically made from one of three different rock formations.

Igneous rock
s cooled lava or magma, with a dense, durable grain that, when polished, boasts a high-gloss finish that resists scratching. Granite is a popular example.

Sedimentary rock
Tends to be more coarse and porous and needs to be sealed. Sandstone and limestone offer beautiful bands and patterns in a variety of subdued colors.

Metamorphic rock
Is the result of one of the other two types of rock being exposed to immense heat and pressure. This makes a happy medium of durability and malleability. Marble and slate are well-known examples that offer color variation and texture.

Ceramic tile
Is typically one of three different types.

Glazed tile
Is coated with a glass finish that resist stain and moisture, available in matte, semi-gloss or high-gloss.

Unglazed tile
Is hard and dense and resists slippage, but require sealing to resist staining.

Porcelain tile
Is fired at a much higher temperature than other ceramics, making them extremely hard and dense. They are the most resistant to damage and small scratches and chips are far less noticeable.

Tips for ordering tile

Before selecting a tile size, measure the dimensions of your room and imagine what it will look like once the tile is laid. It’s not always the case that small rooms look better with small tiles. In fact, larger tile sizes can visually increase the size of the room, showing fewer grout lines.

Be sure to order enough material to complete the job in one shipment! It’s better to over-order than under-order. You’ll avoid getting mismatched dye lots, and it’s a good idea to keep extra tiles on hand if you ever need to repair your floor in the future.