Choosing your ceramic tile might be the hardest part of a tile project. There
are literally thousands of colors, sizes, styles, shapes and grades to choose
The trend in ceramic tile used to be to stay as neutral as possible. In fact,
most of the tiles sold for home use were either white, almond or gray. Nowadays,
white and almond are still the most common, but people are experimenting more
with color. Colors are getting warmer and brighter, as well as clearer and cleaner.
Sizes and Shapes
As far as size goes, the most popular tile sold is still the 4 1/4" square wall
tile. However, the current trend is towards larger tiles, like 8x8's, 10x10's
and even 12x12's. It's tough for a do-it-yourselfer to install anything bigger
than this because the underlayment has to be absolutely even and level.
Small one inch tiles are also common. These are called mosaic tile because
you can mix different colors to create borders, patterns, and even pictures. These
are usually joined together in 12"x12" or 12"x24" sheets to make them easier and
quicker to set. You can even have custom patterns made.
material that's used to make tile and the methods of manufacturing determine its
durability and absorption. It's important to know what tile is best suited for
your specific situation.
Most ceramic tile is glazed. Glazed tile
is made from a mixture of clays that are pressed into shape. A "glaze" is then
applied to the top and baked on. Glazed tiles are available in high-gloss, matte,
and abrasive slip-resistant finishes. Glazed tiles also come in decorative styles
with a pattern or hand-painted design. The glaze on the tile doesn't go all the
way through, so if it gets chipped, you're going to
see the color inside. Glazed tiles may tend to get scratched on frequently used
countertops, but they're ideal for walls. For floors make sure you get a finish
that won't be too slippery or show scratches easily.
tile is made from different types of clay with color pigments added so the
color goes all the way through the tile. Mosaics are suitable for almost any surface
because they resist moisture, are stain-proof and will not chip easily.
Quarry tile is a broad classification for any tile made out of a mixture
of clays. They are usually deep red in color and left unglazed. These tiles are
used mostly for interior floors because they're usually porous and irregular in
shape. The surface of these tiles can be sealed or left unsealed, although, they
may stain if left unsealed.
trend in high-end tile jobs is natural materials like slate, marble, granite,
and limestone cut into thin pieces and installed like tile.
For those of us who can't afford the real stuff, you can find a lot of natural-looking
tiles that resemble marble, slate, limestone and granite. They look like the real
thing and are just as durable. They're cheaper too, as much as 75 to 80 percent
less than the real stuff.
Most lines of tile have special tiles for creating borders and accents. They should
also have tile for finishing corners and edges. These will give your project a
professional look.You can get really fancy with your tile layout. One way is to use trim tiles
for an accent strip in your design. These come in many different varieties.
tile that is used in the field will only have glaze on the top surface, this is
so they can butt up to other field tile. Special tiles will be rounded at the
edges to finish off the field tile.
Bull nose is a term used to describe rounded-edge tile. A single-edged
tile is used to finish off the top of a wall, like a bathtub surround, or the
edge of a countertop.A double-out bull nose has two rounded edges for finishing off the corner
of a tile section.
Edge tile is used for around the overhang of a countertop.
If your line of tile doesn't come with an edge tile, you can substitute it with
a bull nose tile on top and a regular field tile at the edge.
installing wall tile, you usually want to finish off the bottom row with special
base tiles. These are flared at the bottom and make a nice transition to
The top of the base is square to butt up to regular field tile. There is also
a tile called a "sanitary base" which has a finished top. These are used
in areas where there won't be wall tile.