Apart from the obvious – wanting a specific colour, size or style of tile for your design – there are other questions that are frequently asked of us here at The Tile Barn such as suitability, manufacture differences and post install treatments.
Today I will discuss five of the different types of tile available, and their usages and finishes.
Fired at a higher temperature than ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles are denser and less porous.
They are extremely durable which makes them ideal for outdoor as well as indoor use as they remain immune to rain, ice and other elements. Suitable for most wall and floor applications they come in all sizes, colours and finishes.
Wood effect porcelain has grown in popularity and is hugely effective, often cheaper, low maintenance replacement for real wood floors. We have quite a selection here at the Tile Barn.
Ceramic tiles are low maintenance. Glazed tiles are water and stain resistant. Some ceramic tiles are not suitable for floors as they are softer, so it’s best to check with us.
There’s a rainbow of colours and sizes available to suit all tastes. Matt and gloss finishes are also available.
The Marlborough Tile Company launched their Pendragon Range of ceramic tiles with a matt finish and hand painted designs. These give a relaxed, traditional styling that works well paired against other natural finishes such as wood and stone.
A popular rustic look is a ceramic tile with a crackle glaze. Please remember these tiles will require a sealant post instalment to seal the tile against water damage. This may seem an extra expense, however if you use a product recommended by us this will only need to be applied once or twice over several years. It will ensure the tiles remain as good looking as the day you bought them!
Terracotta, Terra Cotta or Terra-Cotta! A clay based unglazed or glazed ceramic is one of the oldest man-made materials and is still widely used in homes for wall and floor.
To retain its finish, regular maintenance is required. The use of specific cleansers and sealants will mean your Terracotta will remain in top condition for years. The products we offer are the best, so application can be done every few years.
Natural Stone –
Sturdy and durable, natural stone is used to great effect indoor and outdoor. Natural stone tiles have a reasonable amount of insulation, keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer.
Being quarried from the earth means they can be some variation in colour. We will always check if the stone is the same batch to avoid this. One of the main draw backs of natural stone however is the higher cost per m2.
Some types of stone will require the use of a sealing agent to prevent water damage and staining so always best to ask us.
In certain areas of the home you may want to soften the look and feel of stone floors by including rugs. If you choose to do the entire ground floor of your home in natural stone, rugs can also help define areas, such as seating or dining.
Limestone is very popular here at the Tile Barn, and the Cotswolds is renowned for it. Limestone come in various finishes:
Polished: the porous holes of the limestone are reduced through filling before the stones surface is polished until bright and shining.
Honed: Filled as above, but the polish is lighter with a matt finish.
Tumbled: Corners and edges are rounded and uneven creating a more natural look.
Granite is also a great choice as a natural stone finish however as it is extremely heavy and does require support. When used as flooring it may be best suited to ground floors in some cases.
Glass Tiles & Mosaics –
Mosaics were popularised by the ancients and were used for creating hugely intricate designs on floor and walls. Nowadays they are mostly used to effect in bathrooms. Often made of glass they can add a glamorous look to your design.
Although single mosaic tiles are available, they are mostly supplied on sheets, which means easier installation and added strength. They can then be used on floor and walls; fully tiled wet rooms are attractive and practical.
Other glass tiles in brick or square format are popular in modern homes, even mirrored tiles are available. However, as they are larger, they are susceptible to damage so are best suited to wall application.
This guide lists the most popular tile choices but its just the tip of the iceberg. It can be very daunting when faced with tile choice, but we are here to help.
As far as design and styling ideas go, and keeping up with the latest tile trends, why not check out our Pinterest boards?
**Prices correct at date printed and subject to changes from outside suppliers.