Beautiful and Versatile Tile Can Be Used in Any Room
on September 8 2013
|Tile flooring is versatile, and can be used in any room in your home. As an accent, you can use tile to add decorative embellishments to your kitchen, bathroom and many other areas. Depending on what material you choose, tile can last for the entire lifetime of a house. It is important to select style and color that you will enjoy for years to come. Tile is made from either ceramic or stone with a number of different options available within each category. Knowing which styles and finishes work best in each room and what materials are best to withstand moisture and resist stains. It helps you determine which type of tile is best suited to your needs.
Consider the following questions to make your selection:
• What types of applications can tile be used for?
• What size tile will you need for your installation?
• What material is tile made from and what are the benefits of each?
• What styles of trim tile are available?
• Are there any special features or finishes you wish to have?
Type and Material
In addition to being composed of many different materials ranging from natural stone to ceramic, tiles come in a vast array of colors and shapes. Neutral colors allow you to dress up an area with colorful paints, rugs and furniture. This gives you the flexibility to completely alter it any time you want a new look. Bold, bright colors on the other hand, provide a dynamic look that can accentuate and define room. Available shapes include traditional squares as well as rectangles, diamonds, hexagons, octagons, circles and more. Whether you are installing a tile floor or a shower wall, you'll want to consider how much wear and tear it will face on a daily basis and select materials that are suited for your application.
Natural Stone Natural stone
tile varieties include granite, marble, slate, travertine and carrara. It is an excellent choice for floors because it is naturally strong and tough. Polished stone offers a shiny, mirror finish that is ideal for walls and low-traffic areas where they won't be subjected to harshly abrasive materials. Honed stone features the smoothness of polished stone without the reflective qualities, making it less likely to show damage and more economical to maintain. Marble provides an elegant, timeless appearance that's suitable for interior walls, moderate-duty floors or in areas of the country not subject to freezing temperatures. Marble's durability and beauty, along with its plentiful color options found across the world, allow marble to combine beautifully with other common building materials, such as concrete, wood and metal. Slate offers a subtle, natural beauty that resists fading, abrasion and chemicals, making it ideal for interior and exterior floors and walls. Slate's excellent non-slip surface makes it the ideal selection in areas that are frequently wet, such as kitchen counters or bathroom floors. Travertine and carrara are economical alternatives, though they may be more brittle.
tile is versatile and can be used both indoors and out. It's dense and hard, so it stands up well to heavy traffic. Porcelain tile is 40 percent more impact-resistant than traditional glazed tile. New high definition printing technology allows porcelain and ceramic to emulate natural stone, brick or even wood. Porcelain resists water and can be coated for better traction, so it can be used in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms.
tile is made of clay, minerals and water, which are compressed together and then fired at high temperatures until they solidify. It may be glazed or unglazed. Glazed ceramic tile features a liquid glass coating that helps tile resist stains, scratches and fire while protecting it from fading and making it easier to clean. Glazed tiles may be single or double fired with single-fired tiles possessing greater strength. Glossy glazes provide a smooth, shiny finish, which is more prone to scratches and nicks.
Unglazed tiles have no coating and possess an even color all the way through, making them ideal for high-traffic areas. Unglazed tiles should be treated to help resist stains.
Quarry tile provides natural good looks while offering excellent traction. Terra cotta, also called Saltillo, tiles may be either handcrafted or machine made and provides a unique, old-world look. Quarry tile is highly durable and can be installed outdoors in non-freezing areas. Apply a special sealer to terra cotta tiles for extra protection.
Ceramic tile is rated based on the amount of moisture it absorbs, so be sure to select tiles with minimal absorption if you plan to install them outside.
Mosaic tiles can be useful to enhance the design of any space. There are a wide range of available sizes and shapes, but individual pieces are usually pretty small. Mosaics resist moisture and stains, and don't chip easily.
Additionally, mosaics add a pop of color or a textural accent. Because most mosaics typically use some type of mixed materials, such as glass, stone, metal, resin or even shell in the mix of chips, it is easy to achieve a sought after design style, and combine them with other materials found around the home. They have texture, or bevels, add dimension to your design and give the appearance of elongating your space.
Because of recent advances in high definition printing technology, digital prints can be printed directly on to tile to create beautiful patterns with maximum resolution and unique gray scale shade calibration that enables the pattern to be printed all the way through the tile for a sharp, clear appearance. These new tile designs enable homeowners to choose tile that expresses their own personal decorating tastes that feature any number of colors, shapes, textures, finishes and trims for a unique look in any room. Key trends include wood-look tile and mixed elements. To see more trends, visit our Tilescapes page.
The latest tile trends include using larger size tiles, such as 12 x 24, 18 x 36, 36 x 36 and some up to 48 inches with narrower grout lines. New longer plank tiles, 6 x 24 and 6 x 36 inches, allow for unique designs and patterns throughout the room.
The Home Depot only carries the highest quality grade 1 and grade 2 floor tile. Grade 1 tile contains no flaws or defects. Grade 2 contains slight imperfections. Grade 3 tiles are thinner and are designed exclusively for walls. View our tile label information PDF
for additional information.
A tile that has a rating of 1 or 2 can be used on any floor or wall, while a tile with a 3 rating can only be used on a wall.
Also make sure the PEI rating, Porcelain Enamel Institute wear and break rating, is at least a 4. A 4 or higher rating ensures your tile has high resistance and is suitable for all residential uses.
Look for tiles that have the same shade rating that have been rectified, which means they have edges that are mechanically finished to achieve a more precise caliber, or facial dimension, to ensure consistent sizing. The caliber refers to the process of when the tile goes through the kiln, the heat removes the moisture from the tile, which shrinks it by 7-10 percent. The varying conditions inside the factory and kiln cause the tiles to shrink at different percentages and could therefore be slightly different in size. A tile's shade rating refers to its coloration and reflectivity.
Installation, Care & Warranty
Floor and Wall tile can be installed by a Trusted Home Depot Service provider. Please visit our Tile Installation page
for additional information. Should you want to explore a DIY installation, make sure you have the right installation tools
on hand, and you can watch our tile installation video series in our How To Refresh Your Mudroom with Wood-Look Tile project guide
for additional tips and instructions.
Make sure you purchase 15 to 20-percent more tile than your measurement calls for to ensure you have enough tile with the same shade rating, in case some tiles break or chip during installation.
Most tile is easily cleaned with soap and water, though some may require stronger commercial cleaners if it becomes stained.
Lifetime warranties are available on product and installation if installed using the Custom Building Products lifetime warranty system of products. For additional warranty information, refer to your product information page for the specific tile you purchase.