A Guide To 6 Common Tile Types
With over 20 years of experience in the tiling industry, My Tile Market is one of the largest dealers of quality tiles, pavers and natural stone in Sydney. Our friendly in-store tile experts are always available to help you find the best materials, tools and styles to suit your tiling project, no matter the size. Installing indoor or outdoor tiles can increase the value of your home or business, as well as help create a particular design style, effect or atmosphere. However, certain types of tiles are more suited for particular uses and spaces than others, particularly where durability, safety and maintenance are concerned.
In our new blog post, we present a guide to 6 common tile types:
Ceramic tiles have been used in building and decoration for thousands of years, with researchers dating the earliest examples of glazed clay bricks to the 13th century BC. Ceramic tiles are made from clay and baked at extremely high temperatures in a kiln until they harden. Ceramic tiles can be glazed or unglazed, with the colour of the glaze dictating the colour of the finished tile. Ceramic tiles can be used for both interior and exterior applications, including on the walls and floor, as pool surrounds, and as features or splashbacks. This type of tile comes in an extensive range of patterns and colours, is relatively durable and does not require much maintenance.
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Like ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles are made from clay and baked at a high temperature. However, porcelain is subjected to a longer baking process and exposed to more extreme heat, creating a denser, less porous tile with a lower water absorption rate than ceramic tiles. The durability and versatility of porcelain makes it suited for a variety of residential and commercial uses. Porcelain can be both glazed and unglazed, with a natural, matte, textured or polished finish. The natural resistance of porcelain to stains and scratches also makes it ideal for high traffic areas of your home or business.
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Marble is a type of natural stone prized for its durability, range of colours and patterns, and the variations between each tile as a result of the minerals which make up the stone. Marble is associated with luxury and high-class living, and is a very popular material for flooring and feature walls. Marble comes in a variety of finishes including polished, brushed and honed. Although resistant to wear, marble is a very porous material and must be sealed to prevent damage from stains or water absorption. Marble is also relatively expensive compared with other types of natural stone, and marble tiles require a higher level of maintenance to keep them in good condition.
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Granite is an igneous stone formed from volcanic activity, with a crystalline structure composed of quartz, mica, feldspar and various other minerals. These interlocking elements make granite a particularly strong and durable stone, resistant to stains and minor damage, and suitable for high traffic areas of the home. Granite has a distinctive speckled appearance, and is available in a range of colours and tones. This natural stone is often used for bathroom, kitchen and commercial benchtops, and is a popular choice for both interior and exterior tiles. Granite is ideal for those who like to make tiles a feature of their home, as the content and variation of minerals in granite makes each granite floor, feature wall or benchtop unique.
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Travertine is a type of limestone, created from geothermal spring deposits. This natural stone is porous, with a rough texture and wide range of colours as a result of air bubbles and organic matter beneath its surface. Travertine was widely used in Ancient Rome to build temples, theatres and baths, and is still suitable for a number of interior and exterior applications. Because travertine is naturally slip-resistant, this stone is ideal to use in areas where water is regularly used. Travertine is also very versatile, and its availability in various sizes and patterns means that this natural stone can be used for tiling floors, walls, backsplashes, bathrooms, pool surrounds and fireplace surrounds.
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Lastly, mosaic tiles consist of small, often square tiles laid on sheets to create a larger visual effect. Mosaic tiles tend to be made from stone, ceramic or glass, but can also be made of other materials such as natural stone or porcelain. The appeal of mosaic tiles comes from the intricate designs they create when laid, which is why they are often used in splashbacks and feature walls to add colour or interest to a particular space. Mosaic tiles come in a wide range of patterns and colours, meaning that you are sure to find a design to fit the style of your home or business. The durability of and level of maintenance required by mosaic tiles will largely depend on the material they are constructed from, as well as where they are being used in the home.
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