Tile: Porcelain, Ceramic, and Natural Stone

We carry a wide assortment of tiles for your floor, showers, backsplash, and more.

NATURAL STONE

Natural stone tiles can be beautiful but as a natural product they are less uniform in color and pattern, and require more planning for use and installation. Mass produced stone tiles are uniform in width and length. Granite or marble tiles are sawn on both sides and then polished or finished on the facing up side, so that they have a uniform thickness. Other natural stone tiles such as slate are typically “riven” (split) on the facing up side so that the thickness of the tile varies slightly from one spot on the tile to another and from one tile to another.

CERAMIC AND PORCELAIN

All ceramic tiles are made up of clay and quartz ferrous sand materials, along with water. Once the tiles are formed they are fired to high temperatures and in some cases their surfaces are glazed. The only difference between Porcelain tile and regular ceramic tile is that the clay used in porcelain tile is more highly refined and purified. Consequently, porcelain tiles are denser than a standard ceramic tile.

As a result, porcelain tiles are more rugged making them ideal for harsher applications such as flooring. Also, because of their higher density, porcelain tiles are less likely to absorb moisture (0.5%) which makes them more durable and more resistant to staining. Porcelain tiles are frequently found in floor applications, outdoor areas, and in cold weather climates where freezing can occur.