Not all tile is created equal. That’s why, at Byrd Tile, we offer an array of tile flooring to suit every need, budget, and style. Tile is made from various material, each with its own defining characteristics.
Ceramic tile is made of clay materials. It is shaped, then fired in a very hot kiln. Ceramic can be characterized as either porcelain, or non-porcelain (see porcelain below). Traditionally, ceramic tile is made from red, brown, or white clay and other minerals.
Minuscule modifications to the ingredients of ceramic tile or to the temperature and type of kiln in the kiln-drying process create a large variety of characteristics and appearance ceramic tile manufactured to use as flooring. Among these varieties, ceramic tile can then be un-glazed or glazed. Those that are glazed can have a matte, semi-gloss, or high-gloss finish, and are stain-resistant.
Ceramic tile is among the most economical types of tile flooring. It is stain-resistant, easy to clean and sterilize, and is easy to replace if accidentally cracked or chipped. This is why it is a favorite for a variety of uses around the home, including kitchen and bathroom floors, walls and back splashes, both inside and out.
Porcelain tile is ceramic tile, but made slightly different, as 50% of it contains a type of crystal called Feldspar. Feldspar is a white dust/sand that, during the kiln-drying process, melts into a glass-like material and bonds all of the molded ingredients together. This offers added durability and frost resistance, thus why porcelain tile is more expensive and also slightly harder to work with. Porcelain is also stain resistant, has minimal water absorption, and can be un-glazed or glazed with a matte, semi-gloss, or high-gloss finish.
Although it is more expensive, its durability makes it a great choice for high-traffic areas, outdoor uses, and for commercial use, as well.
Depending on where it was quarried, natural stone offers thousands of varieties with characteristics from its origin location. Natural stone is unique and well sought-after because no two pieces of stone have the same exact color, pattern or texture. The distinctive differences create a visual depth that’s hard to replicate.
Natural stone has a naturally cooler feel, but also works great with the colder season, as it radiates distributes heat better than wood. “Better with age” is fitting for natural stone, as its timeless appearance does improve with age, making it great for resale value. Natural stone is also the most durable of all flooring options. It’s natural elements help stone withstand any weather, making it a perfect choice for outdoor flooring.
A type of igneous rock, granite is hard and dense. Granite has thousands of available colors due to its speckled minerals found within the rock, and offers quite a distinctive appearance. Nearly impervious, and once polished it resists scratching. Nothing else will hold a shine or repel water the way granite does. Perfect for kitchen flooring and other high-traffic areas.
A type of metamorphic rock, marble is available in a variety of colors distinguishes itself with a variety of colors from cream-colored to grey. It is hard and highly resilient; however, it is more porous than granite and therefore needs a little more maintenance on a regular basis.
A type of sedimentary rock, limestone gives a more earthy appearance and ranges from light to dark shades. Its surface can be textured or polished smoothed. It is less dense than marble or granite, and therefore not typically used for kitchen or high-traffic areas.
A type of limestone, travertine gives an unusual crystallized appearance within the signature earthy tone. It is soft and porous, with a natural surface containing pitting or divots. The minerals in travertine are mixed, which gives each piece a unique pattern and character, therefore making travertine perfect for one-of-a-kind flooring for your home.
A form of quartz, onyx has a transparent quality that doesn’t exist in any other stone. It has a smooth texture and earthy tones. Onyx tile is best suited for indoor floors, counter tops, and in light to medium- traffic areas.
A type of metamorphic rock, slate is very durable and extremely dense. Slate is known for its darker, earthy tones, and its color palette ranges from copper to red, navy to sage, and tan to black. It makes a great choice for kitchen floors and other high-traffic areas.
Need Help Choosing the Best Tile?
Let our knowledgeable staff help you choose the best tile for your project. Whether you’re on a budget, have a specific look in mind, or partial to a certain style, our design experts can help you turn your vision into reality. Request an appointment or visit one of our tile showrooms today.