Quarry tile

Quarry tile is a building construction material, usually 1/2 to 3/4 inches (13 to 19 mm) in thickness, made by the extrusion process from natural clay or shales.

Sizes and shapes

The most traditional size in the US is nominally 6 inches by 6 inches by 1/2 inch thick. Other common sizes include 4 inches by 8 inches and 8 inches by 8 inches.


Traditional quarry tile was unglazed and either red or gray in color. However, modern "decorator" tiles come in a variety of tints and finishes. Industrial quarry tile is available with abrasive frit embedded in the surface to provide a non-slip finish in wet areas such as commercial kitchens and laboratories.


Quarry tile is extensively used for floors where a very durable material is required. It can be used either indoors or outdoors, although freeze-resistant grades of tile should be used outdoors in climates where freeze-thaw action occurs. Quarry tile is used less often as a wall finish and is occasionally used for countertops, although the wide grout joints can make cleaning of countertops difficult.


For floors, quarry tile is usually set in a thick bed of cementitious mortar. For wall applications, it can be set in either a thick bed of cementitious mortar or a thin bed of mastic. For both floors and walls, the joints between tiles are usually grouted with cementitious grout. Grout joints are traditionally about 3/8 inch in width. Matching trim shapes such as coves, bases, shoes, and bullnoses are available to turn corners and terminate runs of the tile.

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