How to Buy Ceramic Tile

If you're in the market to buy ceramic tile, the first thing you'll notice is that you have a lot to choose from. Ceramic tile has always been a popular material for bathroom floors and walls. Now, that smooth, easy-to-maintain surface is showing up in other rooms of the house, particularly where there is high traffic. So, how do you buy ceramic tile?

By definition, ceramic is pottery clay or other materials that have been molded and fired for durability. When you buy ceramic tile, you can choose from natural stone quarry tile or "pressed dust" tile. The latter has been formed and fired, and more nearly matches the definition of ceramic.

One reason people buy ceramic tile is that they want a natural look throughout the home. Earth tone colors and matte or textured surfaces can help create a serene look. Often the same floor tiles are used throughout the home, for a harmonious look from room to room.

Another reason to buy ceramic tile is for a floor covering that will be durable and last a long time. Ceramic tile holds up under heavy traffic better than the wood floors that have been popular in recent years, while maintaining the natural country feel. Glazing on ceramic tile can help it repel water and last even longer.

When you buy ceramic tile, you will need to calculate how much you need. This will of course depend on the size of tiles you want to buy. Twelve inch square tiles are common, but there are also smaller squares and rectangles readily available. In addition, the standard tiles can be cut with a tile saw to different shapes for creating patterns.

Like other building supplies, ceramic tile is manufactured and shipped in lots, which can vary slightly from each other. For this reason, it is best when you buy ceramic tile to get enough for the job. That way you won't have to mix tiles from different lots. Estimating how much you need involves first figuring out the area of the room. Then add five percent for unforeseen breakage.

In addition to the basic square tiles you'll get for the main part of the floor, or the "field," you will probably want to add trim pieces. These special shaped tiles for decorating the outer edges add to the cost when you buy ceramic tile, but the also add greatly to the style. If you want the tile floor to look like it was installed by a professional, these are essential.

See Also:

Decorative Ceramic Bath Tiles
Handcrafted Ceramic Tiles