Fabulous Flooring – Versatile Tiles: Tile Types

by Creative Style Interiors

There is just so much to say about the versatile tile, that we’ve decided to split this post into two parts: Tile Types and Tile Style.

When it comes to versatility, tiles certainly have the floor covered! Tiles can be plain, patterned, neutral, colourful, textured or smooth, as well as in many different shapes and sizes in a matt, satin or gloss finish. Find out why choosing the perfect tile for your home needn’t be an intimidating experience.

Bathroom 1

Materials

Natural Stone Tiles

Marble

Thought of as one of the most luxurious stones because of its natural beauty and lustre, marble is a soft stone with a ‘marbled’ or ‘veined’ pattern. The surface can be matt, honed and filled which is more like a satin finish, as well as polished to a smooth, glossy finish.

Marble Tiles

Marble is porous stone, which easily absorbs stains, making it a poor choice for kitchens. Polished marble is also very slippery underfoot so not a great choice for wet areas such as on bathroom floors.

Travertine

While rightly a type of limestone, in Australia travertine is commonly referred to as ‘travertine’ marble and has always been popular for its sense of characterful luxury. It’s characterised by pitted holes and troughs in its surface. These can be filled or not.

Travertine Tiles

It is though, a soft stone that easily scratches and absorbs stains, but because of its textured matt finish is less slippery.

Limestone

Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the mineral calcite and is softer than marble and much softer than granite. It comes in a wide range of neutral colours from light to dark. It has a finish similar to travertine.

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NOTE: Marble, travertine and limestone require regular surface sealing to maintain their good looks.

Granite

Granite is a harder stone than marble and travertine, which features a medium to coarse granular pattern due its crystal structure. It has a polished finish and is also more resistant to abrasion and staining, making it a better option for kitchens and high traffic areas.

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Granite also comes in a much wider range of colours than the neutrals you’re familiar with, including hues of blue, turquoise and amethyst.

Slate

Slate is a dense and durable stone that’s resistant to abrasion and staining, however sealing is still recommended. Slate has a naturally textured finish. Poorer quality slate has a tendency to split and chip – price is a reasonable guide to quality.


Man-made Tiles

Ceramic

Made of clay that is fired in a kiln and glazed (as they are fired at a lower temperature than porcelain). The wet clay is extruded into shape before firing. They don’t need sealing and are very durable.

Ceramic tiles are available in a large range of colours and the glaze is available in matt, satin, gloss and textured finishes. They’re generally the most cost-effective tile choice.

Porcelain

Also known as ‘vitrified’ tiles, are a type of high quality ceramic tile that’s extremely strong and virtually nonporous.

Porcelain Tiles

  • Normal porcelain tiles have a matt finish and are used in very high traffic areas or areas where anti-skid properties are important. They can also be made with a texture.
  • Glazed porcelain tiles are the most popular type of porcelain tiles and are made by using a decorative and super durable glaze over the porcelain substrate.
  • Polished porcelain is normal porcelain that’s been polished. It needs to be sealed. Polished porcelain is one the most popular choices for floors, and often walls.

Terracotta

Terracotta is a type of ceramic tile popular in outdoor areas or where a rustic or industrial look is desirable. When using terracotta for a wet area (especially a salt water pool), be sure to select a quality low-porosity tile. As terracotta is very porous, regular sealing is recommended.

Rectified

Rectified tiles have been cut after firing to ensure their size and shape is perfect. They have very square cut edges that mean they can be laid closer together with smaller grout joints, giving them a more contemporary look.

Choosing Grout

  • If you want the outline or shape of the tile to be a feature then a contrasting grout colour works well eg: Moroccan mosaics.

  • Making your tiled surface appear as continuous and sleek as possible is easily done by matching the grout colour as closely as you can to the tile colour.

My Top Tile Tips

  • When buying polished porcelain, remember to ask if the tiles have been pre sealed.
  • I generally recommend rectified tiles.

Stay tuned for our fourth chapter of Fabulous Flooring: Versatile Tiles- Tile Style

If you need a hand choosing the right tile type, colour and finish, feel free to call me on 0416 190 792 or email me at jenny@creativestyle.com.au.

 

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