Ceramic Tile Styles and Types

In terms of styles, ceramic tile choices are almost infinite. By focusing on the look you want to end up with, you will narrow down the range to a manageable selection. For example if you want your room to have an elegant, classic appearance then you should narrow your search down to marbleized, high-gloss tiles.

Be aware that high-gloss ceramic tile are exceptionally slippery if wet, so may not be appropriate for households with young children or elderly people. This style of tiles will also show dirt and grime to a greater degree than other types.

Any tile made out of a mixture of clays is known as Quarry tile, and gives a warmer, rustic look to a room. They are mostly unglazed and come in red and brown hues. Quarry tile is usually porous, and can be sealed or left unsealed, but they are prone to stain when unsealed.

Stone-look ceramic tiles are some of the most widely used, which is why you will see such a wide selection. In appearance they are realistic enough to be frequently mistaken for the natural stones they imitate- such as marble, slate, granite, and limestone. Stone-look style ceramic tiles are every bit as durable as the real thing and up to 75 to 80 percent cheaper.

Almost all ceramic tile is glazed. This ceramic tile style is produced from a blend of clays which are then hard-pressed into shape. Next the glaze is applied to the top surface and baked on in a high temperature kiln. The glaze does not actually penetrate the entire tile, therefore when it gets chipped, you will see the clay color inside. You will find glazed tiles in high-gloss, matte, and slip-resistant finishes. They are perfect for walls or floors and also backsplashes.

The standard ceramic tile size is the 4 1/4" square wall tile. Nowadays there is a trend of using larger tiles, such as 8x8's, 10x10's and even 12x12's. The larger they come, the harder they are to install, due to the flatness requirements for underlayment. So if you are planning to install this style of ceramic tile yourself, be prepared for extra work.

Smaller one inch square tiles known as mosaic tiles are also commonly available. You can mix up different color tiles to make patterns, and pictures with these. A Bullnose tile is a rounded-edge tile utilized to finish off the top of a wall. A row of these commonly sit at the tops of a backsplash, bathtub surround, or countertop edge.

All of these tile styles come in practically any color you can think of, so let your imagination go wild and dream up the perfect match to your decor.