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What to know when selecting tile

Whether you want tile flooring, a tile backsplash, accent wall, countertop, or fireplace surround, there's a tile for you. These days, they’re available in an unlimited number of colors, patterns, designs, shapes, and sizes. Everything's possible with tile: You can metal tiles or ones with the look of wood, stone, and more. You can even get it with a softer, more cushioned, bouncier feeling with a hybrid called DuraCeramic, a cross between tile and vinyl.

Floor vs. wall tiles

Many floor tiles can be used on walls, but wall ceramics can not be used on the floor. To be sure you choose the right one for you. Floor tiles are thicker to stand up to foot traffic. Explain to your tile retailer exactly how you plan to use it and know that boxes are also clearly marked as to how the tile can be used.

Glazed or unglazed?

Glazing is an additional element in the firing process, where a glass-like coating is put on the ceramic surface to make it smooth and shiny. It also helps to keep it waterproof and free from bacteria. Glazed tiles are usually thinner, such as the 4 X 4 ceramic square often seen on backsplashes and accent walls. People often confuse glazing with sealing, but they aren’t the same; sealants are used on porous stones and tiles to strengthen them.

Other things to know

Ceramic is a word that defines any product made of clay, even if the composition includes other substances. While there are many kinds of ceramics, the different tile types all behave differently. For example, porcelain is made of a non-porous clay and is combined with sand and glass, making it ideal for high foot traffic floors indoors or out. Highly designed, it can also be used for walls, and tub/shower surrounds.

The 4 X 4 ceramic square is thinner, often used on backsplashes, and can only be used indoors. It’s appropriate for low to medium foot traffic floors. Other ceramics include mosaics, which are the tiny decorated pieces, often glass-coated and primarily used for floor and wall decoration. Others are terracottas and subways.

Also, know about "through-body." The color is baked into the tile during the process, and the color goes all the way through. Porcelain is "through-body," so if you chip it, no one will ever know.

Need some inspiration about tile flooring? Come into the Lexington, NC Creative Carpet Discount Sales showroom, especially if you live in Lexington, NC, Welcome, NC, Thomasville, NC, Advance, NC, && East Spencer, NC. You’ll be glad you did, and when you are here, we will give you a free quote on your tile project.