Tiles are a very economical, durable and environmentally friendly material making it a common choice for flooring applications.
Being made from natural clay and often from other (recycled) materials means tile manufacturing does not require the use of heavy chemicals or other harmful substances that are used to make other flooring types.
Stone, metal, terrazzo, clay and quartz are among the few types of tiles used for residential and commercial interiors.
The most commonly used types of tile for flooring are ceramic, porcelain and natural stone.
The tile you choose in a room, whether it be on the floor or wall, can transform the feel of the space. Today there are tiles to suit every style and budget.
Ceramic tiles are light weight clay-based tiles. They are pressed and fired at lower temperatures than porcelain and are almost always finished with a durable glaze which can be either gloss or matte.
Ceramic tiles are very cost effective but still give a superior look and are great for use indoors on both floor and wall applications.
They are available in so many types, colours, textures, and sizes that the design possibilities seem endless.
Porcelain is more expensive and can be harder to work with. However, it offers great durability, natural stain resistance, minimal water absorption and has limitless selection of colours and styles making it an ideal choice for walls and floors in any bathroom, kitchen or outdoors area.
Porcelain tiles contain a white dust called ‘Feldspar’ and are pressed and fired at high temperatures making them very dense and durable.
Natural stone tiles
As the name suggests, stone is a natural product. So, unlike the manufacturing processes of ceramic and porcelain tiles, natural stone tiles are produced from natural materials that are quarried, slabbed, finished, and cut to size. Each type has thousands of varieties with characteristics that depend on where and when the stone was quarried.
Natural stone can give a relaxed feel with a rough organic look or be more formal and refined with a beautiful polished finish.
Several types of natural stone tiles, which are used for flooring and walls are:
- Granite– Granite stone is very granular in texture has been used for kitchen countertops for years. Also very popular for shower walls and bathroom counters. Granite tiles are naturally antibacterial and aren’t damaged by water contact making it a great choice for kitchen and bathroom applications.
- Slate – Slate tiles are growing in popularity due to their versatility. They are even used as roofing, shingles. Slate is a natural material and is available in several colour ranges, from grey to purple to black. Slate is used outside as well as inside because of its natural look and range of colours.
- Travertine – Travertine is a form of sedimentary rock. This natural beige stone is commonly used for bathroom flooring, kitchen splash backs, and mosaic tiles in showers. These stones are ideal products to be used internally and externally.
- Marble – Marble is a versatile natural stone, which has been used for over many years in all styles of homes to create a luxurious and unique look. Because marble is a natural stone, there are variations in the colour of each tile.
- Onyx – Onyx is well known for its creamy, pearl-like look. Onyx is not a common choice for flooring, but it is used on some occasions. It is used more frequently for skirting around bathtubs and mosaics.
- Sandstone – Sandstone, which is extremely durable, has a grainy look and feel. It is often used for wall applications and for outdoors.
Depending on the type natural stone tile you choose and its intended application we suggest consulting with a stone fabricator to determine the best surface finish for your project.