Tiles have been used as a functional decor item for thousands of years. Walls, floors, ceilings, hallways, patios, and pools have been used as a foundation for incredible tile designs. Tiles are created from various materials, some that will last indefinitely with proper care. Different materials are used to make tiles, some for function and others strictly for ornamentation. Beautiful Soho Studio tiles have beautiful examples of these types of decor coverings.
Materials used in making tiles
Ceramic Tiles are one of the earliest types of tiles. They can be made in any size or shape as well as used in mosaic designs. The top surface is covered with colored or clear glazes that are fired under high heat in a kiln. This makes the surface hard to protect the clay. Only the surface is protected, the other four sides and back are still vulnerable to moisture. Grout and sealant are placed around the tile to protect it.
Porcelain Tiles is great if you want the ceramic tile look for high traffic areas. The glazed surface is scratch resistant that will look good for years to come even with heavy use. These tiles are produced much like the ceramic tile.
Clay Tiles have a natural earthy look that suggests a casual primitive appeal. These tiles are often made from a red clay that is refined, fired at a high temperature, and re-fired at a lower temperature with a protective glaze. You will see some of these tiles with folk art type hand painted designs.
Stone Tiles are also a very old form of decor. Tiles are wet cut from sheets of marble, granite, travertine, limestone, to name a few, into different sizes and shapes. As hard as stone is, care must be taken as some stones can scratch and stain. Using stone can give an elegant and organic feel where it is placed. Some stone tile materials are more porous than others, so consider the use when selecting the stone.
Natural Shell Tiles is simply elegant with a bit of mystic beauty when selecting Mother of Pearl. It shimmers with iridescence on a satin soft background. Use mild soap and water to clean while avoiding harsh chemicals that can stain or weaken the tiles. These tiles are made from oyster shells that are strong and durable. Great for bathrooms and wet areas.
Glass Tiles are captures of light. They can make a darker room brighter as the light seems to seek them. They are great for wet rooms because they are completely sealed, and moisture cannot affect them. The possibilities are endless for wall applications including mosaics and combining them with other types of tile. Glass tiles are very easy to clean and maintain. Use a sandless grout to avoid scratching when applying.
Tiles are a wonderful way to have long-lasting surfaces. Use your design skills and mix it up, using different types of tile materials together for a unique look. Make this your next updating project.