Know Your Floor Tiles Inside Out!

Flooring is an important part of home decor. You can find floor tiles made from a variety of materials like clay, metal, quartz, terrazzo and leather, thus giving them specific features. Though, people love to experiment with the tiles , they don’t understand that each tile comes with its own purpose and needs to be accessed carefully before using.

Here are the types of tiles and what makes each of them different.
1) Traditional Ceramic Tiles – Ceramic tiles are manufactured using sand, clay and minerals, molded into a desired shape and then baked in a kiln at high temperatures. These are of two types glazed and unglazed. Glaze is a colored glass in liquid state, applied to the tile biscuit and baked again.

Glazed tile has a matte, semi-gloss, or high-gloss finish that makes it stain resistant, scratch resistant, fire resistant, fade resistance to direct sunlight and easy to clean when compared to the unglazed variety. It is a good choice for low traffic areas like kitchen or laundry room while unglazed is better suited for heavy traffic areas.

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  • Porcelain Tiles– Though prepared in a fashion similar to Ceramic Tiles, Porcelain has ‘feldspar’ as an additional ingredient. It is a binding agent and makes traditional ceramic tiles sturdier, attractive and expensive. It is usually used unglazed and is considered well suited for outdoors as it has better moisture retaining capabilities than Ceramic and can suffer heavy rains and freezing.
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    2) Natural Stone Tile – Natural stone tile, as the name suggests is made using natural materials that are finished and cut to size. Popular types of these tiles used include granite, marble, limestone, travertine and slate.

    • Granite is a type of igneous rock that is very dense and hard. It has a shiny appearance due to speckled minerals found within the rock and thousands of available colors. Granite is impervious and once it is polished, resists scratching. It is an excellent choice for flooring in kitchens and high-traffic areas.
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      Marble 
      is a metamorphic beautiful looking rock that comes in a variety of colors. It is more porous than granite with a low slip resistance and is not a good option for kitchen and high traffic areas.
      image007Limestone Tile is a sedimentary rock that gives an earthy appearance to the room. It comes in both light and dark shades and can be easily textured and polished. Limestone is less dense than granite and marble. It is prone to stains and scratches and is not advisable for kitchen or high-traffic spaces.
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      Travertine is a kind of limestone tile that offers an attractive crystallized appearance with an earthy tone. Travertine is a soft, porous with natural pits. Smooth travertine tiles are also available (achieved after filling the surface voids) if you wish for a polished look. Travertine is not suitable for kitchen floors, as it is prone to scratches and stains. This tile requires special care.
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      Slate is an extremely dense and durable metamorphic rock. It is available in dark earthy tones with natural textures unless a smooth, honed finish is expected. Slate is well suited for kitchen and high-traffic area flooring.
      image0143) Mosaic tiles:These are made using a base of cement with chips of glass, marble and other stones are embedded into it. However, they’re not easy to install, as they are casted on site.
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      4) Leather tiles:These are prepared using tanned cowhides and usually used for luxurious spaces for their rich look. But these are high-maintenance products and require regular dusting and mopping. Nowadays, wooden tiles covered with a layering of leather are also available in the market.
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      5) Glass Tiles : 
      Apart from making rooms bright and spacious, glass tiles are loved for their non-fading, scratch free and easy to maintain capabilities. The size of these tiles varies with design and pattern and is usually imported from Italy and Spain to India.
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Author: Isha Mathur

She studied Instrumentation engineering but found her soulmate in writing. When not scribbling, you can find her drinking tea and talking all around the office.

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