Tile is a great way to add an accent to your home that can make any room in the house really pop. You can use a single design or combine different looks to really make the décor stand out. When choosing from the different types of tile, you are generally looking at natural stone, porcelain, ceramic, or mosaic.
Here is a quick guide for their characteristics so you can make sure you are getting the right tile for your DIY project:
Natural Stone – tiles that fall into this category are going to be made from granite, marble, slate, travertine, and Carrara. Its appearance is shiny in nature, with an almost mirror-like finish. Natural stone tile can be very expensive, so it is best used for low traffic areas and walls.
Porcelain – this type of tile can be made to emulate a variety of looks, including natural stone, wood, and brick. A great feature of porcelain tile is that a coating can be applied for better traction, making it much more ideal for high traffic or even outdoor uses. It is also generally water-resistant, which makes it a good choice for bathroom, kitchen, and washroom floors.
Ceramic – there are two different categories of ceramic tile: glazed and unglazed. This tile we be rated based on how much moisture it can absorb. Glazed ceramic tiles have a liquid-glass coating that enables the tile to resist fading, fire, scratches, and stains. Unglazed ceramic tile does not have a coating and will have even coloring throughout the tile. If you want to make unglazed tile stain resistant, it will have to be treated. This often used in high traffic areas.
Mosaic – this type of tile is often two inches or smaller in size. It is sturdy, so it will resist both moisture and stains. Mosaic is often used in bathrooms because of those qualities as well as being the perfect tile for backsplashes in the kitchen. It is also a tile that can be used both inside and outside. So, if you are looking for a way to dress up your BBQ station, this would be an ideal choice.
Vinyl – you will more than likely be able to find vinyl tiling at a very inexpensive price. It can emulate richer styles of tiling in its appearance, but the look and feel of the tile is obviously much cheaper. However, for homeowners on a tight budget, it is a very popular choice.
Tile Sizes – you can pretty much walk into any home improvement store and get tile in generic sizes of 12×12, 16×16, 12×24, and 18×18.
Tile Grading – there are three grades of tile. Grade 1 is flawless tile with no defects at all. Grade 2 will have some slight imperfections, but still usable in public spaces. This could be a good choice for a room that will get heavy use from you, but not necessarily seen by guests, such as a laundry room. Grade 3 tiles are very thin and are meant solely for walls.
Tile Shading – the shade rating of a tile addresses the tiles reflectivity and coloration. Ideally, the tile you choose for any project will have a similar shade rating as well have having finished edges (called rectified) to the size of each tile is consistent.
Tile PEI Rating – to be approved for residential use, tiling must have a PEI rating of four or higher. This rating addresses the break and wear rating for the tile.
DIY Tip: when purchasing tile for a project, we recommend purchasing 20 percent more than your measurements call for so you have replacement tile of the same shading ready in case you break some tiles during installation as well as having replacement tile for any tiles that get chipped or broken due to normal wear and tear on the tile. It is unlikely you will be able to find a perfect match if you go back months or years later to find the same exact tile.
Are you ready to shop for some tile? Hipp Modern Builder’s offers a wide variety of tile and supplies to get your DIY project started ASAP! Best of all, your supplies will get delivered right to your door when you order through our online store (click here).
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