Types of Tile
A visibly granular, igneous rock; generally ranging in color from near-white through the spectrum of golds, pinks, greens and blues, to grays and blacks. Granite consists primarily of quartz, mica and feldspar. Granites are the hardest architectural stone, making them ideal for counter tops and high-traffic areas.
Ceramic tiles are thin and composed of various clays. Ceramic tiles are fired in a kiln at temperatures around 2000 degrees Fahrenheit to reach hardness. Their face may be glazed or unglazed. Glazing liquid is prepared from a glass derivative called frit and colored dyes. The glaze is applied by either a high-pressure spray or is poured directly onto the tile.
A metamorphic rock possessing a distinctive crystalline texture. Marble is composed principally of the carbonate minerals calcite and dolomite, singly or in combination. Marbles are typically softer than granite, and are available in a wide spectrum of color and veining.
Porcelain tile is made up of 50% feldspar and is fired at a much higher temperature than regular ceramic tile. This makes porcelain tile much harder and more dense than other tile products. Because of its highly durable make-up, porcelain is more resistant to scratches and can withstand temperature extremes. Also, because porcelain is non-porous, it's very stain resistant, has very low water absorption ratings (Less than 0.5%) and thus can be used for interior and exterior applications as well as heavy-use and commercial areas. Finally, because porcelain's color goes all the way through, small scratches or chips are less noticeable.
A micro crystalline metamorphic rock commonly derived from shale. Slate is primarily composed of mica, chlorite and quartz. Slates are predominantly available in cleft-finished tiles; ideal for use in exterior, non-freeze settings.
Tile Floor Installation
Ceramic tile, porcelain, stone and tavertine are versatile, durable, and beautiful. They can be used in an assortment of residential and commercial applications. The choices in tile are virtually endless. Just try to imagine what look you want in your home. There are tiles for walls, floors, countertops, porches and patios. Their strength and wide range of styles, colors and finishes make them perfect for almost any application.
Tile Flooring Projects
Tile Flooring Questions
What is the difference between natural stone tile vs. ceramic/porcelain tile?
Both materials are of excellent quality and durability. Ceramic/porcelain tile is a man-made product and natural stone is quarried from the earth. Natural stone is varied in color and no two pieces ever look the same. It is unique and timeless. Many ceramic/porcelain tiles are made to mimic some type of stone. They are a bit more controlled in range and variation, however many people have difficulty distinguishing between natural stone and ceramic/porcelain tile due to the advanced technology used today. Natural stone requires periodic maintenance vs. ceramic/porcelain, which requires no extended upkeep and is virtually maintenance-free.
Can slate be used in the shower?
Slate is not usually recommended for inside a shower area due the oxidization that can occur. However, we recommend other materials that don't oxidize, such as quartzite. Quartzite has some of the variation you see in slate, but is comprised of other minerals that tend to hold up better in a shower application. Quartzite is a natural stone, therefore sealing is recommended. Another alternative would be porcelain tiles, which resemble the look of slate and do not require sealing.
Can ceramic tile be used outdoors?
To be used outdoors, the tile must be frostproof and unglazed for floor use. Make sure the absorption rate is 0.5% or less. Porcelain is ideal for outdoor applications as it has zero absorption and is freeze proof.
How big of a grout joint should be expected for tile/stone?
For non-rectified tiles, 1/8" is the smallest grout joint we recommend for ceramic/porcelain tile. Some tiles require a 3/16" grout joint and for stone that has a straight edge, 1/8'' to 1/16" grout joint is recommended. If the stone is tumbled, than your grout joint will be larger. Many factors determine the size of a grout joint, therefore it is important to discuss this with your installer.
Will setting tile on a diagonal require more material?
Yes, typically more material is required when tile is set on a diagonal versus a straight-set. Please refer to your installer when determining how much more material is needed.
Can the holes in travertine be filled?
Yes, and it is recommended to fill the holes. When the installer sets your floor, he/she will fill the voids with the grout color of your choice.
Thanks for the super job on retiling my bathroom floor!
Ralph, thanks for the super job on retiling my bathroom floor!. You were right on the schedule set out in your bid and the house was left so clean. All I had to do was enjoy the new look.
Judy Ferguson - 2010
Flooring Masters, LLC.
Serving Louisville, Kentucky, Southern Indiana and surrounding areas.
Telephone: (812) 944-6383
FAX: (812) 948-9723