Ceramic Tile Features & Benefits
Depending on your selection, ceramic can provide a more consistent, uniform appearance, or replicate a more organic look, similar to that created with natural stone (but for a lot less money than the real thing!). We’ve included many features and benefits of ceramic tile in this section, including size options, finishes, and even some details on its construction.
- Ceramic tile’s body is made of clay (or porcelain) and then glazed and fired with colored glass to finish the look of the tile.
- In installation, it is set into an adhesive and then set with grout between tiles so that there is a smooth, solid surface
- It’s difficult to find a surface as low-maintenance and durable as ceramic tile.
- It is stain and fade resistant and can be used in any room of the home.
- It can withstand heavy traffic and wetness and stay looking like new.
- Cleaning is as simple as sweeping and occassional damp mopping.
- Tiles come in many sizes. More common sizes are: (measured in inches) 6 x 6, 8 x 8, 12 x 12, 13 x 13, and 16 x 16. However, some accent tiles are as small as 1×1 and tiles 24×24 and larger are available.
- 6 x 6 and 12 x 12 are the most common sizes for walls and floors, respectively.
- Currently, larger format tiles are the hot trend with many people saying, “the bigger the better.”
- Color options are virtually infinite in ceramic tile.
- As tile is produced, it is colored and sectioned into dye lots that have a maximum of only 10% variation in color, therefore providing a uniform look.
- Tile colors are made to be consistent, but not exact. In other words, you should expect and enjoy slight variation in color. This is part of the unique charm of tile.
- Conversely, combining tile in contrasting or complementary colors is becoming more and more popular.
- In most selections, you will find matching floor and wall combinations.
- Textures and finishes are nearly unlimited in ceramic tiles.
- Ceramic tiles can imitate the look of natural stones such as travertine, marble or slate.
- In this instance, you will have discernible variations between tiles as you would with products that come from nature.
- Glossy finishes in high traffic areas, or those that are prone to wetness, may end up posing a safety hazard.
- Matte finish and textured tiles are the best choice for wet areas.
Based on the view into the room or a specific pattern you’ve liked, you can customize the layout of your ceramic tiles.
- Diagonal set
- Staggered (or offset)
- Clipped corners
Accent Tiles and Accessories
Decorative tile accents like bullnoses, raised patterns, trim bands, and borders can add just enough detail to make a ho-hum bathroom a designer showcase. A few of the most popular accent tiles available today are:
Rosette– relief of circular “sunburst” design
Bullnose – term used to describe rounded-edge tile. A single-edged bullnose tile is used to finish off the top of a wall, like a bathtub surround, or the edge of a countertop. A double-out bullnose has two rounded edges for finishing off the corner of a tile section.
Functional– such as towel bars, soap dishes and shelves
This is an area that can be a little complex. Don’t worry. Your design consultant will work with you to show what is available for your home and help you achieve the custom look you desire.