Articles for January 2012

Marble tile is a versatile natural stone

by Luis Ocotecatl

January 11th, 2012

Marble is a versatile natural stone which has been used for centuries in homes to create a luxurious and unique look. Because marble is a natural stone, there are variations in the color of each tile. Many homeowners like this, as it creates a unique, one-of-a-kind design, while others prefer a more consistent look, like ceramic tile. Marble is an exquisite mineral that differs from most other stones since it is extremely porous. For example, it allows dirt and stains to set in and be retained far more easily than denser stones. For this reason, marble cannot withstand harsh cleaning mediums, especially with using heavy detergents and acids. One of the best ways of maintaining a marble tile’s overall clean and appealing look is to clean it lukewarm, quite hot water, a soft cloth and an occasional wiping down it with milder, non-abrasive industrial detergents. The marble tile must be thoroughly wiped dry after cleaning.

It is important to note that marble is a gorgeous material, and no natural or man-made component can compare with its luxurious design and stature. Marble is a stone, of course, but definitely not as dense or hard as granite. Marble will wear long and last forever, but since it is poriferous and sensitive to acidic substances, such as juice, wine and coffee, so it can easy stain, etch, or dull the polish rather easily, even when sealed.

The idea of putting marble in your kitchen or heavily used bathroom would not be a good idea. The best use for marble tiles is for powder baths, table tops, tub surrounds, a marble shower, floor tile and stone fireplace surroundings. Marble does, however tend to fade with the passage of time. This, however, does not necessarily detract much from its innate and equally refined beauty. The luster of faded marble anyway, especially on domestic home floors, can be effectively repaired and brought back to life again.Keeping your marble in exactly good form comes easy with a little care.

Natural stone tiles are used for flooring, walls and more

by Luis Ocotecatl

January 8th, 2012

There are several types of natural stone tiles which are used for flooring, walls and more. These include:

  • Granite - Granite has been used for countertops for years, and it is also used for shower walls and bathroom counters. Granite tiles are naturally antibacterial and aren't damaged by water contact, which is why they are such a great choice for kitchen and bathroom applications.
  • Slate - Slate tiles are growing in popularity due to their versatility. They are even used as roofing shingles. Slate is a natural material and is available in several color ranges, from gray to purple to black. Slate is used outside as well as inside because of its natural look and range of colors.
  • Travertine - Travertine is natural beige stone and is used for bathroom flooring, kitchen backsplashes, shower mosaics and more. View travertine tiles.
  • Onyx - Onyx is well known for its creamy, pearl-like look. Onyx is not a common choice for flooring, but it is used on some occasions. It is used more frequently for skirting around bathtubs and mosaics.
  • Sandstone - Sandstone is extremely durable and has a grainy look and feel. It is often used for wall applications. View sandstone tiles.

Porcelain tile is a common trend in tile installation

by Luis Ocotecatl

January 6th, 2012

Porcelain tile is a type of ceramic tile. The difference between porcelain and ceramic is that porcelain is fired at a higher temperature, making it more dense and moisture-resistant. Porcelain tiles are also less porous, making them more stain-resistant. For these reasons, most porcelain tiles are suitable for both indoor and outdoor installations. Porcelain tiles are hard to cut due to their density and hardness, so the cost and labor involved is often higher. Porcelain tiles are available in matte, unglazed or a high-polished finish. In recent years, the prices have become closer to those of ceramic tile. 

Porcelain Tile is also a very common trend in tile installation. There are many different styles of porcelain tiles on the market and they have proved to outperform ceramic tile in durability and looks.

It is important to note that the differences of the body of the porcelain tile, as it relates to ceramic tile, has caused many "job failures" of tile installations. Tile setters that are self trained and novices to the industry will often use cements or mastic to install the impervious body of the porcelain tile to a substrate only to have delamination occur rather quickly. Highly Modified cements are necessary for installation of this material due to the very qualities that make it such a durable long lasting decorative surface. Those specifications are determined by and dictated as industry standards by the Tile Council of America, and supported by the Tile Contractors Association.

Quarry tile is unglazed ceramic tile.

by Luis Ocotecatl

January 4th, 2012

Quarry tile is unglazed ceramic tile. It is an inexpensive, durable and natural option for industrial, commercial and residential tile applications. Quarry tile is used a lot in industrial settings because it is so durable and can also be used outdoors. It has some other great qualities as well, such as being less prone to chips and scratches. In colder climates, freeze-resistant grades of quarry tile are used to prevent any weather-related problems. Like almost all tile types, quarry is porous, which means that it can become stained. Those who choose to install quarry in a kitchen generally apply a glaze-like seal or wax finish to help prevent stains and other damage. The color selection is not as vast as with other tile types, but there are several shades of red, orange, brown, gray and more. In residential applications, quarry is used for kitchens and pathways because it has a naturally coarse surface, making it less slippery than some other surfaces when wet. Strong mortar and grout is used during installation to ensure a strong hold between the tile and the floor. Use limited amounts of water when cleaning unglazed or unsealed quarry. Lots of water exposure can lead to mold growth in the grout. The water exposure can also damage the unglazed tiles.

Ceramic tile is the most common tile used in the USA

by Luis Ocotecatl

January 2nd, 2012

Ceramic tile is the most common tile used in the USA in offices, stores and homes. Ceramic tile comes in two forms: glazed and unglazed. Ceramic tiles are made from clay and then heated. The glaze is added after the firing of the clay tile, which creates the color of the tile. The glazing process allows for the creation of infinite color combinations. It's beneficial for you because it's environmentally friendly, reduces household allergens, increases your home's value and is one of the smartest flooring choices around. Practical, functional and beautiful all describe ceramic tiles. From the many sizes, shapes and textures, you'll be amazed at all the choices you have for designing your dream floor, backsplash or wall. 

Ceramic tile is a beautiful addition to any room of the house. Most often seen in kitchens and bathrooms, ceramic tile can be used to decorate ceilings, showers, bathtubs, countertops, floors, walls, and even exterior surfaces. Decoration patterns can range from uniform tile to murals and other more creative designs, and the possibilities often lead homeowners to replace tile that is already in place. The process of removing and replacing tile is a time consuming one, prompting many homeowners choose to hire a contractor rather than try to do it themselves.