Ceramic and Natural Stone Tiles: What You Need to Know

tileAre you thinking about remodeling your kitchen or bathroom sometime soon? If you are, probably one of the main areas you’ll want to pay attention to is your tile surfaces. After all, over time your kitchen and bathroom surfaces become worn, chipped, scratched, stained and discolored by harsh cleaners and time.

Before you settle on any specific type of tile, learn more about the different types that are available to you, in order to make the perfect choice for your lifestyle, budget, and aesthetic:

Ceramic Tiles
Ceramic tile is usually produced from different clay materials, which are formed into a mold. Common forming methods include dry press, extruded, and slush mold. In general, ceramic tiles can be grouped into two categories: porcelain vs. non-porcelain. The traditional ceramic tiles that you are likely familiar with are non-porcelain and are made from white, red, or brown clay, whereas porcelain ceramic tiles are made from clay and other minerals in addition to 50% of feldspar, a white sand made out of a crystal found in rock. The feldspar melts into a glass-like material during the kiln-drying process, bonding all the material together.

Both varieties of ceramic tiles can come either glazed or unglazed. Glazed tile has a matte, semi-gloss, or high gloss finish, and has the added benefits of having higher stain resistance, scratch resistance, and traction. Ceramic tile installation is also very flexible and can be modified for irregularly shaped surfaces and floors.

Stone Tiles
The most common types of stone that are slabbed, finished and cut to size to use as tiling are granite, marble, limestone, and slate. These types of stone come in endless varieties based on where and when the stone was quarried.

Stone tile flooring usually has one of three different types of finishing applied to it: natural, honed, or polished. The type of finish you choose should depend on the type of activity you are doing in that particular room. Natural surfaces are unfinished, and texture and pitting might be visible. Honed surfaces, with their smooth, matte texture are great for high-traffic areas, like kitchens. Polished surfaces are highly reflective, but create a very slippery surface.

Once you choose the type of tile you want to use, you can hire tile installation contractors to do the job and help make your bathroom or kitchen a whole new type of paradise.