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What are some different kinds of tile?

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Quick Answer

Ceramic, glass, mosaic, stone and metal are some different kinds of tile. Several of these types are available in glazed or polished finishes and either structured or textured for added traction in slippery, high-traffic areas.

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What are some different kinds of tile?
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Full Answer

Ceramic tiles are made of clay that is single- or double-fired. The technical terms, which are monocottura and bicottura, may also refer to a layer of glaze applied before the first firing or a layer of glaze applied over a decoration before the second firing.

A rating scale of one to five indicates what kinds of ceramic tiles are most appropriate for low- or high-traffic areas. Lower ratings are usually best for low-traffic areas and soled shoes.

Homeowners most commonly use glass tiles for decorative purposes as a form of mosaic tiling or for feature walls and splashbacks. Mosaic tiles are typically glazed with a layer of glass, which enhances their reflective qualities. While mosaic tiles usually appear in bathrooms, they are a flexible decorative accent that adds visual interest to any space.

Stone and natural tiles, such as slate, marble, sandstone, travertine and granite are common favorites for indoor and outdoor spaces. These kinds of tiles are porous, which means they easily absorb stains and discoloration. While they can be sealed, glazing provides more robust protection.

Metal tiles are less common than other choices and stand out as a result. Metal kitchen splashbacks and tin ceilings are two fairly inexpensive, DIY friendly ideas. Other applications include decorative metal tiles and metal mosaic tiles.

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