Tile sets the tone for your space so it is important to know the characteristics and properties prior to investing in the tile.
There are three major groups of tile: Glazed Porcelain, Glass Tile and Natural Stone. Here are some key features to keep in mind:
- Glazed Porcelain Tile: The tile industry has created cutting edge graphics that the countertop industry is working hard to replicate (ie. LG’s Quartzite, Roccoco that looks like Carrera marble). These designs can be customized in color and replicate a look of cement, wood, stone, marble and mosaic. An extremely durable product, porcelain tile is the most dense, strongest and hardest to break. Additionally, it is stain and chemical resistant. Porcelain tile is highly resistant to weather and wear and is budget friendly. The overall look of these tiles is very predictable and refined.
- Glass Tile: Since glass tile is a liquid in a solid state it is obviously a manufactured product that does not want to be pushed beyond it’s ability. Any glass tile larger than 3”x3” is considered a “large format” glass tile and should use caulk instead of grout. Typically, mosaic glass tiles come with 12” x 12” mesh backing, but should be installed carefully to create a pattern or woven in to create blending. Available in several finishes, these tiles have a relatively polished and precise look.
- Natural Stone: Marble, limestone, granite, soapstone, slate and travertine are all natural stones that are beautiful and limited. Each one of these stones have a natural grain that can be used to create a pattern. These stones can also be manipulated with a special finish to be honed, leathered, antiqued or polished. Because these stones are natural, there is no landfill waste and they provide a more organic look.
In my next Blog (Tile 411 – Application & Installations), I will continue the conversation about these three tiles and address the application and installation techniques. Before you invest in tile, decide on the look and feel that you are looking for then address the practical aspects. Stay tuned!