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Understanding Tile Flooring Types

When it comes to flooring for your home, tile is some of the hardiest and easy to clean. And well-kept tile always looks fashionable. There are two common types of real tile – ceramic and natural stone. It is important to know the details for both stones when considering the use of them in your home. Below is a flooring tile 101 to help you understand the uses and considerations of each.

Ceramic Tile Flooring

To manufacture ceramic tile, clay and other minerals are formed into a mold. Porcelain ceramic tile has the addition of feldspar, a rock crystal that melts into a glass-like substance when the tile is kilned. Porcelain tile is typically more expensive and harder to work with than non-porcelain, but it is more durable, resists stains naturally, absorbs minimal water and is through-bodied in color.

Both types of ceramic tile are available glazed or unglazed. Glazing comes in a variety of sheens, from matte to gloss. Glazed tiles better resist stains and scratches, absorb less water, and provide better traction compared to their unglazed counterparts. Glass, terra cotta, cement, encaustic, saltillo and brick can also be formed into tile, but are by far less common choices for flooring.

Natural Tile Flooring

Natural stone tile is quarried from the earth, and finished into a tile. There are four basic types of natural stone. Natural stone tiles can look different from one to another because of the difference in naturally occurring colors, minerals and veining.

Granite is dense and hard, making it nearly impervious.

Slate is another dense and durable stone. Marble is porous, and not recommended for all locations.

Limestone is less dense than other kinds of stone. It is easily stained and scratched. A particular kind of limestone is travertine.

Natural stone tile, no matter the material, is either left in its natural state, honed or polished. Stone tile left untouched has a dull appearance. Honed tiles also look dull, but are smoother than naturally finished tiles. Polished tiles are glossy. Polishing makes tiles more impervious, but also more slippery.

No matter the kind of tile you choose for your home, it is important to have it installed by a reputable and knowledgeable company. For those in the Santa Clarita Valley, look to SCV Floorsmith for all your tile needs. We have the knowledge and experience to make sure that you choose the right tile flooring for your home.