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The original name for tile comes from an Arabic word that literally translates to refined or polished stone. There are many different types of tiles, from smooth to textured and monochromatic to polychromatic. For this reason, when choosing the best type of finishing or coating for your wall or flooring, it is important to become familiar with the characteristics of the different types of tiles according to their composition and specific uses.

What types of tiles exist?

First, it is important to highlight that tiles have a material base formed by homogeneous and fine particles of majolica or maiolica ceramics and the colour tones may vary between white or greyish, yellowish or even reddish. The front of tiles may also hold all kinds of finishes with different polishing: single coloured, multi-coloured, marble or even containing floral or geometric stamps. Regarding the type of tile, it is possible to distinguish between two different variables: 

  1. According to the shape:

The tile pieces can be made in the shape of a square, rectangle, hexagon or octagon. The first two shapes, square and rectangle, are the most common because they make for easier  installation, while the other two shapes, hexagon and octagon, are a more limited production even if they provide a more singular covering of the wall and floor tiling. Also, to complement the tiles in kitchens or bathrooms, decorative borders are most commonly used either smooth or embossed, which are manufactured as finishing additions. 

  • According to the material used:
  • Marble: Marble tiles are formed by one or more pieces, which facilitates their installation in covering mosaics cut into different sizes. The marble offers a large number of decorative possibilities through the different colour tones, finishes or polishing in the wall, floor, or shower tray, among other uses. The basic pieces can be found in numerous different sizes and can complement all types of special surfaces and pieces. 
  • Heated clay or terracotta: The base of clay tiles has an uneven bottom, which means it is more often acquires incrustation and pores, with non-uniform edges and uneven sizes (the pieces are not absolutely identical). All of this implies that each piece has its own special and unique characteristics. The most common use for tiles of this material is for a more rustic style decoration, both indoors and outdoors, which creates a historic look in the space. 
  • Natural slate: Tiles made from natural slate, much like those that are made of marble, are manually made. This means that they will vary in tone and texture as slate is a material in different layers and fractures. These tiles are most commonly used in the designs for kitchens, bathrooms or murals located in different places.
  • Glass: These tiles are made with pieces of pressed glass in the finish which makes them perfect for areas of humidity or close to water like bathrooms, kitchens or saunas. This material has the same characteristics of glass, meaning they are durable and waterproof or watertight. The glass makes these tiles best for covering spaces that are in continuous contact with water like pools or spas. 
  • Stainless steel: Tiles made of steel most often have a ceramic base which is additionally covered by a visible surface plate of stainless steel. These types of tiles are also characterized by being impermeable and watertight and can be made in a numerous amount of sizes, colours and finishes, with two principal shapes: square or rectangle. It is most commonly associated with indoor spaces, where it is possible to play around with creativity and originality of the tiles inside a home.

What are the advantages of using them at home? 

Using tiles for your home is directly related to design for decorative or geometric purposes and can be located on walls, gardens and walkways, among many other places. Thanks to the waterproof properties of tiles, they are an ideal resource for using in humid areas either in your home or in any other building for that matter. The porousness also changes according to where the tiles are located, as those that are on the ground do not have the same porousness as a bathroom or a wall.

If you would like more information about this or other subjects, contact us at detea@detea.com or read related articles on our website.

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