Ceramic tile" is a name referring to a broad group that can range from terracotta and porcelain to mosaics and subways.

Each type has distinct characteristics that make them behave differently in various installations.

With such a large variety, this could be the only flooring material that works for any room in the house.

Ceramic tile: stylish and durable

We usually think of them as those square pieces, but ceramics come in all colors, shapes, and sizes.

Ceramic squares, the ones with which we are so familiar, are thinner and a little more porous than porcelain so glazing is recommended; that is also what gives it the hard, outer surface. These tiles can only be used inside. Not only do you see them on floors, but also on backsplashes, accent and shower walls, tub surrounds, and even as inserts in countertops.

Examples of other types of ceramics are:

●Mosaics, highly decorative small pieces.
●Subways, the formerly all-white 3 X 6 rectangles that now come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. They are appropriate for lower-traffic floors.
●Terracotta, appropriate for use indoors or out and great for rustic/organic style. (Note: These are highly porous, so must be glazed.)

Porcelain: the large format tile

Porcelain's composition includes fine clay mixed with sand and glass, all fired at very high temperatures. This makes it heavy, dense, and appropriate for high traffic floors.

It’s also completely non-porous and frost-resistant so it can be used outside on deck and patio floors or poolside. You also see it on walls and tub/shower surrounds.

Tiles seem to be getting bigger and bigger lately. Many prefer these 8 X 10 porcelain pieces for stone because they feel the larger format/fewer seams gives it a more continuous, realistic look of quarried marble and other stones.

Inkjet Technology in tile

Controlled by a computer, the newest technology, Ink Jet, shoots four colors of ink to make precise and intricate patterns, including wood; marble, and any other stone; leather; fabrics, and more.

Previously, it was done by hand which was time-consuming and not always accurate.

For more information about tile or any of our other products, visit the Unique Flooring showroom in Oceanside, CA, serving: Oceanside, Carlsbad, and Vista. We offer free estimates.