Tile designs are as unique as the idea, space and creator. That is why there is such a wide variety of materials that can be used in home renovation and construction projects. Depending on the space, placement and application, these most common and widely used materials are the most creative ways to showcase originality and design excellence. At Alita Tile, our design center specialists will work closely with you to help make informed decisions and achieve the look and style you envision.
The tile is made from clay that has been permanently hardened by heat, often having with decorative glaze. Ceramic tile is a type of tile that is typically made from red or white clay. Ceramic tile can be used in several areas throughout the house. This means that it is not frost-proof, and it may chip or damage more easily than porcelain tile.
Marble is a very popular natural stone that is quarried and cut into slabs and tiles for a variety of residential and commercial building applications, including countertops, floors, and wall tiles. Granite typically has a pebbly or spotted color pattern, while marble usually has a wavy veined pattern. Marble tiles are one of the most popular flooring options. That’s because marble offers a range of benefits. It looks gorgeous, it is durable, hardwearing and resistant to shattering, it is an excellent insulator, and it reflects light. You can use marble tiles in any room and marble is also affordable as well. The most important characteristics of marble tiles can be classified into the following categories: color, texture, hardness, porosity, solubility and resistance.
Cement-look tiles are made of ceramic or porcelain. These are a great lower cost option to achieve an authentic look that is still very durable.
Travertine is a type of limestone that is formed by mineral deposits from natural springs. This sedimentary stone is created by a rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate, known as calcite. It is a very durable stone, and while it is easier to care for than some types of natural stone, travertine is very heavy, and its porousness requires that you seal the surface regularly. But a properly installed and cared for travertine floor can add a unique blend of beauty to interior spaces. Travertine is often sold as marble or limestone, even though it’s neither. Travertine is a natural stone, just like marble, granite, and limestone—in fact, travertine is a type of limestone, as is marble.
Natural stone tile is exactly how the name sounds. It’s a non-man-made, all-natural material straight from nature. Natural stone comes from various mountain-born minerals, usually slate, granite, marble, limestone, travertine and sandstone.
Tile is manufactured so there is no type of tile that inherently looks like marble. However, ceramic and porcelain tile can be made to look virtually indistinguishable from real marble. Marble look porcelain tiles offer a wide variety of colors, textures and patterns.
Glazed tiles are subjected to a second firing process where they are covered in a protective coating of liquid glass. This protective coating makes the tiles somewhat slick, but also allows them to be printed with a wide variety of designs and colors using inkjet technology.
Slate-look porcelain stoneware is a ceramic tile inspired by the single color of Slate stone: this semi-hard rock is distinguished by flaws and by a dark grey hue. Slate is a natural stone, which has the densest formation. Meaning, it is less porous than other natural stones.
Glass tiles are made from thin pieces of glass with translucent glaze fired onto the back of each tile. They’re sold either individually or in predesigned mosaic patterns set on a mesh backing. Traditional ceramic tiles are made from firing clay at a high temperature. Glass tiles are typically used for walls, bathrooms, in window details, or for decoration. However, some glass tiles are manufactured for use as floor tiles. Glass floor tiles are often textured to prevent slippage when wet.
Limestone is a natural stone that is made from sedimentary rocks. It is formed under the bottom of the sea and is pressurized, which makes it durable, yet porous. With the right seal, limestone can be very durable flooring that can handle heavily trafficked areas. Limestone remains a very popular option for flooring. It has high mineral composition which makes floor tiles extremely durable and able to stand the test of time. As a matter of fact, limestone tiles will last a lifetime if properly sealed and maintained which is why its popularity has increased for use in bathroom tiles
Polished marble has been smoothed and shined using abrasive materials so that it reflects light. This gives it a bright, polished appearance. Marble floors and tile can be finished in four distinct ways — with honed, polished, tumbled, or brushed finishes.
Matte-finish tiles are slip-resistant and are low on maintenance. The non-reflective surface of matte-finish tiles is good at concealing stains, smudges and dirt. Porcelain tiles can be given a smooth, honed, or matte finish.
On the production side, it’s manufactured with three natural ingredients—sand, limestone, and soda ash, plus an all-important fourth: recycled glass crushed into a granular state known as cullet. Glass tiles are made from thin pieces of glass with translucent glaze fired onto the back of each tile, made from firing clay at a high temperature. They’re sold either individually or in predesigned mosaic patterns set on a mesh backing. The translucent surface offers a look not found in other, more common types of tile.
The process of firing the tiles infuses the glaze into the top layer of the clay of the tile. But, if no coating is applied on the tile before firing it, then it will be called an unglazed tile. Unglazed tiles are ideal for wet areas and outdoor applications.
These elegant looking mosaic tile stones are made of polished pebble stones and are made by cutting pebbles into halves and fixing them to a mesh backing. They are usually mesh-mounted in a patented interlocked pattern for a seamless pebble floor or wall.
Carrara, Italy is the origin of true Carrara marble, mined in this location since the times of ancient Rome. Carrara marble is often classified as much softer looking than Calacatta because of its subtle light gray veining that can sometimes hue toward blue.
Commonly used to cover floors and walls, porcelain tile has a water absorption rate of less than 0.5 percent. The clay used to build porcelain tiles is generally denser and can either be glazed or unglazed. Porcelain tiles are one type of vitrified tiles and are sometimes referred to as porcelain vitrified tiles.
Historically, porcelain was not the usual material for tiles, which were much more often made of earthenware (terracotta) or stoneware. Interestingly, the first porcelain tiles were made in China where the tiles were used for walls. In Europe, a few rooms were made in palaces of porcelain plaques, often with forms in high relief, which have the prominent features of hand painted patterns undercut. Often, high relief ceramic tiles are suitable to decorative kitchen backsplashes, bathrooms and in ornate outdoor gardens.
Of note, the primary differences between porcelain and ceramic tile are composition and the manufacturing process. Porcelain is made using a mixture of finer clay packed at higher pressures and baked at higher temperatures in the kiln. Ceramic tiles are more porous and often have a higher water absorption rate. Porcelain tiles are denser than ceramic, and therefore less porous. Meaning they’re harder, therefore more durable and absorb less water. This makes them more suited to high traffic areas which will see heavy use.
Wood look tile is porcelain tile that looks like wood; it is nearly impossible to know it is not real wood. Wood look tiles are hard, extremely durable, easy to clean, and UV resistant, an ideal choice for use in any room of the home.
Mosaic tile is any combination of tile sizes, colors, shapes and/or materials, set in a sheet for easy installation. They can be ceramic, porcelain, glass, natural stone and even metal or mirror, set randomly or in a pattern, and usually on a mesh-mounted sheet.
Calacatta Porcelain Tile is a sweeping white and cream porcelain with darker elegant veins of gray and browns. It is recommended for interior applications and is available in a wide variety of tile sizes for ultimate coordination for flooring, countertops, and backsplashes in kitchens, bathrooms, and foyers.
Large format tile is square or rectangular tiles larger than 12×12, including popular wood look porcelain planks in sizes like 6×24 and 6×36. They are durable, and fewer are needed per space, meaning fewer grout lines making cleanup and maintenance a breeze.
Patterned tiles are created using a mold that follows the lines of the pattern. The top 7 tile patterns are Herringbone, Brick Bond, Vertical Brick Bond, Linear, Hexagon, Modular and Basket Weave. Patterned tiles add a timeless charm to any space.
Glazed tiles are coated with a layer of enamel or liquid glass before going through the process of firing them at high temperature. Glazed tiles are used as kitchen backsplashes, giving you the flexibility to choose a color scheme to match the style of your space.