Whether you are installing a tile floor or a shower wall, you'll want to consider how much wear and tear it will face on a daily basis. Apart from selecting the materials that are best suited for your application, you may also wish to take into account the following:
Choosing the Right Tile
Ceramic tiles are made from clay and fired at high temperatures until they solidify. Because they're stain- and water-resistant, ceramic tiles are ideal for indoor use in practically any location (on or above grade). When properly cared for, they can last a lifetime with minimal care.
Tiles made from porcelain are extremely hard and impermeable, making them highly resistant to moisture, stains and wear. They're also easy to install and can withstand temperature extremes, making them suitable for both interior and exterior applications.
Porcelain tile is available in a large array of colours and textures and is divided into two main categories:
Full-body porcelain tile has a colour pigment mixed with the clay body powder, giving the finished tile a consistent colour throughout the body of the tile.
Glazed porcelain tile has a coloured glaze added to the surface of the tile.
Natural Stone Tile
Natural stone tiles such as granite, slate and marble are cut from large blocks of stone mined from quarries. Depending on variety and climate, they can be used for interior and exterior walls, floors and tabletops. Natural stone is known for its luxurious appearance and adds value to any home. Most stones are porous and readily absorb liquids and moisture. Tiles made from natural stone may vary greatly in colour and veining.
Marble has a smooth high-polish surface and tumbled marble bears a weathered and distressed surface to capture the look from centuries past. They are suitable for interior walls and moderate-duty floors
Glass tiles are made of impervious glass and are a good accent choice for walls, kitchen backsplashes and vanity borders. Because of their durability and resistance to water, glass tiles can be used indoors and outdoors, and their translucent nature captures and diffuses light.
Mosaic tiles are small tiles, generally 2"x2" or smaller, and always less than six square inches in area. Mosaic tiles may be made from porcelain, tumbled marble, glass or metal. These tiles are most often mounted on paper, mesh or dot-mounted sheets to facilitate easier handling and installation.
Tiles made of vinyl are economical and durable because the material provides cushion-y comfort, then springs right back into form. Modern vinyl designs can mimic stone, ceramic and even metallic tiles. Vinyl offers versatile installation options; it is available in sheets (glue-down installation), planks (floating installation - where the planks attach to one another) and tiles (peel-and-stick installation).
Enjoy the Warmth of a Heated Floor!
The True Comfort floor warming system is installed under the floor's surface and is compatible with most flooring. Its ability to distribute heat evenly and reduce in-home allergens earns this product The Home Depot Eco Options designation.
Frequently Asked Questions
To be used outdoors, the tile must be frost-proof and unglazed for floor use. Make sure the absorption rate is 0.5% or less; this will more likely be porcelain tile.
It is not recommended. Structurally it would be sound; however, the gloss glaze would eventually show scratches. Consider using natural stone tiles for increased durability and elegance.
Although both are made from clay, porcelain is made from a denser clay dust and baked at higher temperatures than ceramic. Porcelain is much more durable and has a lower water absorption rate.
Stone tiles should be rinsed weekly with warm water and a non-abrasive, clear, non-acidic soap. For polished marble and granite, periodic application of a commercial polish is recommended.
Wood tiles can be installed in patterns with unlimited design possibilities. They are real hardwood products with a self-adhesive backing that are easy to install.