By Joe WallisThese days, tiles are used in more than just kitchen and bathroom projects. There are many different types of tiles, some of which can be installed both indoors and outdoors. Some are extremely versatile, and can be used just about anywhere.
Before choosing tile, it’s important to learn about the different types and their uses. Whether you want to simply remodel one room in your home or renovate an entire building, here is an overview to 10 different tiles and their uses.
Ceramic tiles are forged from rich clay gathered from deep within the earth. Ceramic has an elegant, yet natural appearance, and the tiles are typically glazed in a matte or satin finish. You can also choose unglazed, or “quarry” tiles, if you prefer a more natural look.
Ceramic tile is usually found in residential kitchens and bathrooms. It can be used for flooring, walls, and countertops. If you’re looking for an extremely durable material that can withstand scratches and stains, then you might want to consider buying ceramic tile.
Marble is extremely elegant. It comes in a variety of colors, with the most common being white, pink, gray, and black. The finish can be either matte or polished. This tile is ideal for countertops and walls in kitchens and bathrooms. Many sinks and vanities are made out of marble as well. Polished marble is not ideal for bathroom floors, as it gets slippery when wet. If you
want to buy marble flooring, be sure to choose tiles with a honed (matte) finish.
Vinyl tile is both durable and low-cost. As such, it’s a popular flooring material in high-traffic rooms. Not only is it resilient to impact damage, it is also supple and comfortable to walk on. As long as they are installed properly, vinyl tiles don’t need a lot of maintenance. It’s ideal for residential flooring and commercial flooring both. If you’re going for an antique look, you can buy vinyl tile that is designed to resemble wood or stone.
Granite is a common building material. It has been used for centuries in both indoor and outdoor applications. It’s a very hard stone that is water and scratch-resistant. Since it doesn’t conduct heat, it can go anywhere in the kitchen. It can also be used for outdoor building projects, such as storage building construction and paving. Granite was even used to construct Mount Rushmore! You can choose granite tile in a variety of finishes, including sandblasted, flamed, honed, and polished.
Porcelain is known for its beauty and durability. It’s easy to maintain and is available in different colors and textures. Porcelain tile is very frost-resistant, and therefore suitable for bathroom furniture, flooring, and walls. Some small
businesses also use porcelain tile since it holds up pretty well as light commercial traffic. Porcelain tile is available in high-polished, matte, and unglazed finishes.
Slate has a rough texture and rustic appearance. However, it still scratches and stains easily, making it a bad choice for kitchen countertops. What it lacks in durability, slate makes up for in versatility. You can use it for interior and exterior projects. Some indoor uses for slate tile include bathroom and
kitchen flooring, walls, and indoor sunrooms. For the outdoors, you can use it as building material for a patio or porch.
Mosaic tile is very translucent, beautiful, and versatile. It is produced in many different colors and textures. This makes it a perfect design for just about any renovation project. Mosaic looks great in bathrooms, kitchens, around pools, bathtubs, and even walls. Some manufacturers even create mosaic tiles for
artistic projects. A lot of artists use this material in their arts and crafts.
Travertine is a stone tile that is used in a variety of residential applications. It’s easy to cut for a stone; therefore, it can be cut to fit any type of area. In addition to flooring, travertine tile can be used on kitchen countertops sinks, in showers, and for fireplaces. For outdoor applications, it can be used as a garden path or patio. Travertine is rather porous and quickly absorbs liquids. For this reason, you need to wipe up spills as soon as they happen. Also, you need to be careful in regards to the cleaning products you use.
Laminate looks like hardwood, yet no wood is used in its construction. Laminate tiles are made up of a variety of materials which are bonded together under high pressure. They are topped with a photographic image of hardwood flooring, followed by a hard, clear coating. Laminate is an ideal choice if you want an inexpensive alternative to a wood floor. It can be installed in just about any room in your home, save for the bathroom and laundry room. This is because laminate tiles can swell when exposed to a lot of moisture.
Linoleum is a great looking tile that looks attractive in both contemporary and traditional settings. Linoleum floors can last for a very long time, and don’t require a lot of maintenance. It’s extremely water-resistant, so you can put it in your bathroom, laundry room, patio, and just about any other indoor or outdoor setting. The downside to linoleum is that it doesn’t do well around heat, so avoid using it near a stove or fireplace.
About the author:
Joe Wallis is the editor of the Learn How to Lay Tile website, which provides information about how to choose tile and set it properly for a wide variety of home improvement projects.