Types of Tile

tile samples

There are so many different colors, patterns, and styles of tile today, we cannot possibly show you all of them, but we will break them down into the different tile materials they are made of and tile categories. We will also give you descriptions on the different tile material advantages and disadvantages here. For some of our more popular tile samples, please look at one of our distributor’s website. There are just too many tile options for us to show them all.

Porcelain Tile:

Porcelain tile has been a popular tile for years. Mostly because porcelain tile can be made to look like just about anything in any color. It is a man-made tile, made from very fine porcelain clay and then fired at high temperatures to make it hard and durable. Porcelain tiles are harder and more durable than clay tiles, come in glazed or unglazed finishes and porcelain tiles are available in a high gloss sheen, refined or textured surface.

Porcelain tiles can be used indoors or out, and can be made to look like brick, stone, granite or highly-polished marble. A style of porcelain tile quickly becoming popular is the wood look tile mentioned below.
There is a new style of porcelain called thin porcelain that is being used for countertops and walls because it is more lightweight than granite but can look just like granite but a bit less expensive. Thin porcelain slabs are nonporous, etch and stain resistant, and heat resistant, making the material very suitable for kitchen and bathroom remodeling and can be installed over some existing surfaces. So if you are thinking about granite countertops, thin porcelain may be a cheaper, easier and more practical countertop material than granite. Thin Porcelain tile slabs are lightweight, durable, and suitable for accent walls, backsplashes, countertops, and other home remodeling projects

Ceramic Tile:

Another popular tile is ceramic tile, also, because like porcelain tile, it can be made to look like just about anything. Ceramic tile is not quite as durable as porcelain tile to cracking if something heavy is dropped on it, but it tends to be a less expensive tile. Ceramic tile can also be used for floors, walls and countertop designs.

Ceramic tiles come in various sizes, colors, textures and appearances.

Vinyl Tile:

Vinyl tile is experiencing a small comeback as the manufacturing of it, and durability of vinyl tile has greatly improved over the years. You know what vinyl looks like, it’s very inexpensive, easy to keep clean and virtually maintenance free. The biggest drawback to vinyl tile is that it is not very durable. Vinyl tile will wear out over the years, get scratched, gouged, torn and fade. This makes vinyl tile not a very good choice for long term durability. Stone and ceramic / porcelain tile add value to your home; vinyl does not.

The best application for vinyl tile is in an entry or laundry room / mud room where it won’t get much sunlight or much traffic.

Travertine wall tiles multi
Travertine wall tiles multi

Travertine Tile:

Travertine tile can be used for both floors and walls. It is made from a type of limestone that is unique to natural spring areas all over the world, so travertine is a natural stone tile material that is very durable. Travertine tile always has an earthly appearance but will vary greatly in color depending on the location it comes from as well as the lot, so be sure to order plenty of travertine in one lot because if you run out and need more and the tiles come from a different order lot, they will look completely different from the travertine tile you already purchased.

Homeowners like travertine tile because of it’s neutral colors and natural stone look. Travertine tile naturally has a flat sheen to it.  To shop for travertine tile, go to our distributor’s website for a large variety. https://www.msistone.com/travertine-tile/

Slate Tile:

Slate is formed by compressed layers of sediments under the ocean. Slate tile is tough, resistant to fading, scratches, and even chemicals. Although it needs to be sealed regularly, slate tiles last virtually forever with a little maintenance. Slate tile comes in a variety of colors, but all basically have a common pattern to them.
One thing to keep in mind when using slate is that many styles of slate tile have a very rough, uneven natural surface that makes it not very suitable to place furniture or tables on. Slate tile is good for sunrooms, around fireplaces and stoves, or in entry ways where you will not be using much furniture. Slate has lately been gaining popularity as a bathroom tile, and can look very rustic and colorful on bathroom walls and around showers.

Wood Look Tile, or Wood Grain Tile:

Of course, the advantage to wood look tile is it won’t age like wood, it won’t ever need re-sanding and refinishing, and it doesn’t scratch as easy. Wood look tile, or wood grain tile is made from porcelain typically, so it offers all the advantages of porcelain tiles.

Granite Tile:

Of course, granite is a natural stone tile, formed by volcanic activity. Granite tile and countertops come in many colors and patterns, each one being completely unique. Granite countertops have become a very popular fad in the last few years. Keep in mind though, that many homeowners having gone along with the granite countertop craze later discovered that granite countertops are very detrimental to glassware. If you even just tip a glass over on a granite countertop it will often shatter into a million little pieces. Something to keep in mind around children.

Granite is better for bathroom countertops and floors where you will not frequently be using glassware.

Quartzite Tile:

Quartzite tile is made from is a very hard metamorphic rock that was originally sandstone and through a process of high heating and pressurization, is transformed into quartzite. An extremely hard and durable natural stone,  quartzite tiles often have a wondrous sparkling texture as individual quartz pieces recrystallize in high heat. Have you seen tile that almost looks like it has glitter in it? That would be a quartzite tile.
Its incredible strength makes it ideal for flooring applications. Quartzite tiles are easy to maintain and are an eco-friendly tile flooring option.

Green Onyx tile sample
Green Onyx tile

Onyx Tile:

Onyx is a form of quartz and one of the more popular precious gemstone tile flooring materials. Onyx tile has a natural translucent look to it, similar to quartz rocks,  and contrasting colors running throughout which defines the unique color characteristics of this natural stone. Onyx tile colors are soft, pastel and can be very dark and rich at the same time: anything from a pearl look to a rich, dark brown.  Onyx tile requires some care, but with a little maintenance, you can keep it looking nice for years.

Cork Tile:

Cork is still evolving as a viable tile and flooring option. It tends to not be as durable as other flooring materials, but comes in some very interesting colors and patterns for wall tile. Cork tile quality varies greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Redstone Remodeling only offers and will only work with top quality cork products because we want our customers to be happy with their investment.

Cork flooring is also a very eco-friendly flooring product because it is made from recycled wine bottle corks and other cork products. Natural cork is an outstanding sound barrier for all types of flooring, including: ceramic and porcelain tile, stone, marble and engineered hardwood and laminate floors. Besides being an environmentally friendly option, cork is also a healthy choice. It is naturally hypoallergenic and contributes in creating a healthy indoor air quality. Just be sure to buy quality manufactured cork or you may be sorry when it falls apart or fades.

Marble Tile:

Without a doubt, the most expensive tile category is marble tile. The most luxurious houses with owners that have a great deal of money to spend on tile flooring, wall tiles or countertops will go with marble.
Marble is a natural stone, and will look completely different depending on the area where it is produced. Different marble quarries are known for their famous marble and even offer tours of their marble quarries, such as the famous Carrara marble from Italy. Having marble tile imported is what makes it so incredibly expensive.

Sandstone Tile:

Sandstone is a reliable and durable tile material. Most people can recognize sandstone tile because it looks like sand. The only real drawback to sandstone tile is that it currently isn’t available in very many colors or size options due to it’s lack of popularity with homeowners.

Limestone Tile:

Limestone is formed by sedimentary rocks that settle and are then under tremendous pressure at the bottom of the sea. Limestone tile is a strong, solid material for flooring.
Generally limestone tile is found in soft beiges and tans making for an informal, relaxed feel to any room.