Tiles are mainly pieces of hard-wearing material such as ceramic, stone, metal or even glass. They possess a number of characteristics that make them desirable for use in different situations. Generally, they are used for floors, walls, and countertops. They are also used for decorative purposes such as mosaics and trivets.
In recent years, tiles have become increasingly popular as both decorative and functional materials. Maybe you’re considering installing them yourself. As such, you may be wondering which type is the best – after all, you have many options, from cement and terrazzo to porcelain and ceramic tile.
Still curious to find out what are tiles made of? Read on!
Ceramic tiles are made out of clay, sand, talc or other natural materials. As such, ceramic tile is a natural material, which is the one thing that separates it from some other types of tiles.
Usually, the raw materials used in making ceramic tile are mined, mixed with water and pressed into tile moulds. The resulting tiles are then dried for several days before being fired in either a kiln or an oven depending on the type of material being used.
The firing process causes the tiles to harden and become strong and durable. Many ceramic tiles are also glazed so they can be decorated with designs and colours while retaining their durability.
Ceramic tile is usually used in bathrooms, entryways, laundry rooms, and kitchens as wall tiles or floor tiles. And they are often used for their aesthetic qualities, as they are available in a wide variety of colours and patterns. They are typically very durable and easy to clean and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Porcelain tiles are a type of ceramic tile, though they have one fundamental difference: They are made of kaolin, a clay mineral that is refined and dense and they are heated at higher temperatures. This makes them more strong, durable, and denser than ceramic tiles.
The tiles are available in a wide range of textures and they have a glazed surface that makes them resistant to stains and water. Porcelain tile is a popular choice for homeowners who want the strength, durability and beauty of natural stone or wood with the added benefit of easy maintenance.
Cement, Terrazzo and Concrete Tiles
Cement tiles are made by mixing cement with water, sand, and colour pigments. Then the mixture is poured into a mould and pressed down with a hydraulic press. Once the slurry is pressed it’s left to cure for several days before being ground down and polished. The result is a beautiful tile that can be used for floors, walls or any kind of surface you want to cover in your home.
Terrazzo is made of a mixture of marble chips, cement (usually concrete), granite and other materials and cured at room temperature. The process involves mixing terrazzo with water until it forms an emulsion; then adding other ingredients such as glass fibres or steel particles depending on what kind of effect you want to achieve. Generally, they are used on floors in offices and hotels. They are also used to decorate walls and countertops.
Concrete tiles are highly durable and are generally made of a mixture of sand, cement and water. They can be made in a variety of styles, shapes and sizes, and come in many different colours.
The manufacturing process for concrete tiles involves high heat and pressure that make them resistant to water, stains and scratches. Additionally, the ease of care makes them an attractive option for busy households.
They’re typically used on driveways but they can also be used indoors when properly sealed against moisture ingress and wear-and-tear damage caused by foot traffic or heavy equipment moving over them regularly.
Natural Stone Tiles
Natural stone tile is a classic choice for floors and walls. It is made of materials such as granite, slate, and marble. These tiles are extremely hard and durable. Their natural strength makes them resistant to scratches and chips. However, they are porous and require more maintenance than other types of tiles. They also tend to be a bit pricey.
These tiles are a great alternative to the classic ceramic tile and are available in a variety of colours and sizes. They are versatile, so they can be used in any space in a home. They can be mixed with other types of tiles, like marble or limestone, or they can be used on their own. These tiles can also be used for exterior projects, like patios and pool decks.
Travertine is a sedimentary rock that is formed by the deposition of minerals in caves, rivers and hot springs. In general, it is formed by the crystallization of limestones rich in carbonate minerals. The major mineral components in travertine are calcite and aragonite.
Depending on the mineral components present in them, they may be light or dark-coloured, smooth or rough textured, dense or porous.
The density and the porosity of travertine tile depend upon the degree to which it has been cemented together during formation. The more cement material present in it, the denser and less porous it is.
They are many reasons why homeowners and designers prefer using these types of tiles over other types and these include:
- Their extreme durability
- Good resistance to stains and scratches
- Non-slip surface that makes them suitable for use around swimming pools
- Easy to clean
Since travertine has earthy tones that are rustic and warm, they are a popular choice for flooring, wall cladding, backsplashes and more. In addition, travertine tile can last decades without cracking or breaking down if well maintained.
Marble tiles are known for their elegance and can be used on entryways and foyers, fireplace surrounds, accent walls, and countertops. Their natural texture and veining create a unique look that complements many types of décor, from modern to traditional.
Marble is a metamorphic rock that is typically made of limestone, which has been subjected to intense heat and pressure. The result is a dense rock with a distinctive pattern and hue. The colour of the marble depends on the type of limestone used, as well as the amount of heat that was applied.
Tiles made of marble are durable and resistant. They can last for a very long time if properly maintained and are easy to clean and maintain.
The downside with these tiles is that they are susceptible to staining if they are not sealed properly. They are also expensive, heavy, and hard to install.
Tiles are available in every colour of the rainbow. Some tiles are made from metal, some from ceramic, some from glass, and many from a combination of various materials. Generally, they are a great way to add personality and style to any space.
Now you know what the different types of tiles are and what they are made of. If you want to elevate your interior design, consider your needs and preferences, and pick the most suitable type.