The Ultimate Guide to Tile

Learn more about all the options you have when choosing tile for your home.

-Durable and low-maintenance tile is the classic flooring for moisture prone room. I'm Lacey Howard. How do you know what's right for you when there's a multitude of shapes, sizes, and colors to chose from. All types of tiles are very durable and resistant to stains, odors, fires, scratches, and water. Tile can be categorized into ceramics and porcelain. At first glance, they look similar. The difference comes in their durability. Porcelain tiles they do have much higher temperature and it's harder, denser, and nonporous. Porcelain is a great choice for floors, where it shows less because the color permeates the tile body. Ceramic tile is a mix of clay molded into a shape and hardened by firing. Ceramic tiles can be glazed, which gives the tile its color and nonporous impermeable finish for interior walls. Unglazed or thorough body construction offers a more dense and durable surface perfect for heavy activity areas. Tiles come in a variety of shape and sizes. Tiles as large as 16 inch and 24 inches square are a popular choice because they allow a solid surface look because of fewer grout lines. At the other end of the spectrum, tiny mosaic tiles are at their largest 2 inches square. They look tricky and time consuming, but they can be mounted on a mesh backing for easier installation. No matter a tile size, check for its ASTM rating. Tiles are measured on moisture and slip resistant as well as abrasion. Abrasion resistance is broken into classes. Class 1 the weakest is suggested for wall applications only. Class 3 can be used for residential floors. Class 5 can be installed anywhere, even commercial setting. Slip resistant is rated by a tile coefficient of friction or COF. Look for high COF numbers for wet floors. Another important rating for [unk] to water is moisture absorption. Non, semi, and vitreous tiles are suited for indoor use only. Impervious tiles are frost prof and can be used in exterior areas where [unk] condition exists. Finally, shade variations is an inherit element in all ceramic products. If you want consistent color and texture, look for low variation ratings. If you embrace naturally occurring changes, random is the highest shade variation available. I hope this overview of tile flooring has given you an idea of what options might work best in your homes.