The word ‘tile’ traces its origin from the French word “tuile”, which itself is derived from the Latin word “tegula”, meaning a roof tile made up of baked clay. Tiles are manufactured pieces of material used to cover roofs, floors, table tops etc. This article specifically deals with tiles used for flooring purpose. Although flooring tiles are usually made up of ceramic and stone, technological advances in recent times have led to the usage of a variety of rubber, plastic and vinyl tiles. While ceramic tiles can be painted or glazed, colorful, unique patterned mosaic tiles can be laid out in various patterns. The floor tiles are first set into mortar which consists of material like sand, cement and then latex-like material is added to provide extra adhesion. The space between the tiles is filled with either sand or mortar. Browse through the article to know few other varieties of flooring tiles.
Different Kinds Of Floor Tiles
Ceramic tiles are in general cost effective and are made up of clay, shale, gypsum and sand, mixed together into a material called bisque. This resultant mixture is shaped in the form of tiles and heated in a kiln at a temperature of 2500 degree Fahrenheit. Higher the temperature, stronger is the tile. Since a ceramic tile is porous by nature, a glaze is applied to it and then heated again to harden the glaze. At times, the glaze is added to the initial mixture of bisque and then heated together. Besides being cheap, a ceramic tile is usually preferred because it can be formed into any possible shape and color of one’s choice.
These tiles are made out of recycled rubber and are available in a lot of colors. They are mainly used for flooring purposes in basements and garages in both residential and commercial settings. They are also used in places such as workshops, patios, swimming pool decks, gymnasiums, and dance floors as well as sports courts. Wherever there is high pressure involved on the flooring, rubber tile flooring is preferred to provide protection.
Despite of few shortcomings of stone tiles, they stand out and are preferred due to their design perspective. For instance, although granite cracks and is porous, if sealed and polished on a regular basis, its varied color and texture look great, especially on kitchen floors. Stone tiles are truly fascinating and lend a unique touch to the entire house décor.
These tiles can be placed on the floor and interlocked together without the use of any kind of adhesive. They are applicable in areas which are prone to heavy traffic, usually remain wet or damp due to the presence of oil, grease or any other substance which may prevent any adhesive to stay on the substrate. Places where plastic tile flooring can be seen are factory floors, sports complex, schools, shops and even gymnasiums.
Quarry tiles have a hard surface and are best suited for flooring purpose because of its strong grip. Initially, quarry tiles were first cut, ground and then polished. Now, extrusion method is used to a vitreous clay tile, which is as hard as stone. Although suitable for all kind of flooring, it is not preferred in kitchens because of its porous nature.
These tiles are preferred for flooring purpose because they are inexpensive, easy to install as well as maintain. A vinyl tile is made up of polyvinyl chloride resins and plasticizers and is waterproof and extremely durable. It gives the appearance of wood or stone flooring and if properly maintained, can last for long without being worn-out.
Mosaic is a form of art where small pieces of material such as stone, glass, pottery, marble or shells are placed closely together to form a unified image. These tiles are extremely popular to accentuate the beauty of especially small areas. They are usually available with netting on the back and you can either place them on your floor in the same way or break them into sheets and creatively design your own pattern.
If you wish to give your patio a rustic, earthy charm, terracotta tiles work the best. These glazed or unglazed flooring tiles come in different shapes and being made up of natural material, no two tiles look alike. They are made up of fired clay and their color palette range from light honey to a deep red or brown. They are extremely porous. In order to increase their durability, terracotta tiles need to be sealed from time to time.
This is the most expensive category of flooring tiles. They are ceramic glazed or unglazed tiles and have a water absorption rate of less than 0.5 percent. Their surface is abrasion resistant and has outperformed ceramic tiles in case of durability and design looks. However, although they are available in varied shape and size, porcelain tiles are not quite easy to install.