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January 10, 2014

Different Tiles, Different Uses

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With so many different types of tiles on the market, it can be difficult to know where to begin.

We think it’s best to begin at the beginning – by understanding the differences between each tile and deciding which is most suitable for your project.

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are both made of clay – the difference is in the types of clay used and the pressing and firing process.

Ceramic tiles are made with clay, minerals and water. Because the clay is porous, they are fired in a large oven called a kiln. The minerals in the clay turn different colours when they are fired, and this gives ceramic tiles their colours and textures. Ceramic tiles are then coated with a glaze that makes them waterproof.

Porcelain tiles are made of clay mixed with lots of sand, then heated and put under intense pressure to form the tile shape. Porcelain tiles are more dense and absorb a lot less water, making them ideal for outdoor areas. Due to the manufacturing process, porcelain tiles are also stronger than ceramic tiles, and are best used in high-use areas.

Stone tiles are made from thin slices of natural or manufactured stone, and create a beautiful finish on floors and walls. Stone tiles have a huge variation in strength and colour, and will usually be a more expensive option due to their more intensive manufacturing process and the effort required to lay them. The special thing about natural stone it comes with a history: it has been created over millions of years is a popular choice for a natural look and feel.

Glass tiles can be used to create feature walls within your home or business, and new tiles are being made of polished or recycled glass that can be used on walls or surfaces. Glass tiles give a stunning finish, but do scratch easily so are best used in low-usage areas like kitchen backsplashes or feature walls.