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Home » Important Facts » Ceramic and Tile Flooring Facts


Ceramic Tile Facts

What You Should Know About Buying Ceramic Tile

All tiles are not created equal. The material a tile is made of and the way it was made determine its cost, durability, and water resistance, as well as the way it's maintained.

Is It Ceramic?

To be ceramic, a tile must be made from clay or other nonmetallic minerals and fired, or baked, above red heat - at least 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. By this criteria, terra-cotta, stone, and cement-bodied tiles are not really ceramic. We've included them here with "true" ceramics because they're often sold in the same places and they're installed in essentially the same way.

What To Look For

Cost: Tiles can cost less than $2 to more than $100 per square foot. Terra-cotta, glazed, and quarry tiles are often at the low end of the range. Stone, specialty, and antique tiles are usually at the high end.

Durability: Abrasion-resistance is rated on a scale that specifies where the tile can be used. Breaking strength must be at least 250 pounds.

Water Absorption: Tiles are rated nonvitreous (absorbs 7 percent or more water), semi-vitreous (absorbs 3 to 7 percent), or impervious (absorbs 0.5 to 3 percent).

Tile Characteristics

 
Cost
Durability
Water Absorption
Maintenance
Glazed Low to high Low to high Medium Low
Porcelain Medium to High High Low Low
Quarry Low to medium High Medium Low
Terra-cotta Low to medium Low Medium to high High
Stone Low to high High Low to high Medium to high
Cement-bodied Low High Low Low to medium


Carpet Facts
Construction Basics
Styles and Textures
Choosing the Right Carpet Fiber
Judging Quality

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