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Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, finishes, and strengths (tile also is available as porcelain, natural stone, marble, granite, and a few other exotic materials like stainless steel). It's important to pick the right tile for the purpose and the appearance you want.

Shapes

The most common shapes are square or rectangular, but octagonal (like a stop sign) are available in some lines as well as other shapes. When choosing rectangular shapes for wall tile, they are generally installed in modern rooms with the narrow side at the top and bottom, but we've seen some extraordinary installations using them horizontally to achieve a brick-like layout.

Sizes

Here, too, there is a wide variation. Floor tiles generally run from about 1 inch to 12 inches on a side, with even larger sizes available for a premium price. Small tiles are great for tiling over uneven surfaces because they conform better and are less likely to crack on pressure. Large tiles require fewer grout lines and thus provide more tile appearance per square foot. However, keep in mind that larger tiles generally call for wider grout lines as the dimensions result in higher variances. In addition, if used on a wall, larger tiles require a stronger adhesive.

Colors

You name it, you probably can find it somewhere, although there are some common solid colors: white, blue, yellow, red, black, and green.

Finishes

Tile range from a rough, hewn stone type surface to a mirror like smoothness. When picking the finish, keep in mind that smooth finishes are slicker and increase the likelihood of being slippery when wet, so use them cautiously for floors in wet areas such as bathrooms.

Strengths

Wall tiles are made lighter in order to hang better, but they are also weaker and their use as floor tiles are limited. Some tiles are made for both floor and wall use. Consult with the manufacturer for the intended purpose of the tile you are considering.

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