What you need to know about tiles

From natural stone to ceramic to porcelain, tiles bring beauty and durability to kitchens, bathrooms, and other home remodeling projects. In fact, we install so much tile; we have tile specialists on staff at AptitudeDesign & Build.

Installing tile is both art and science, and our tile installers are real master craftsman.

Our most important pro tip for homeowners — select the right tile for the right spot. I’m not talking about colors and design (that’s a blog post for another day), I am talking about picking the material with the right properties for your needs.

Ceramic tile

These tiles are perfect for bathrooms and kitchens because they are low-maintenance, durable and easy to clean. They are great for floors, walls, countertops and backsplashes. Before purchasing, check the hardness rating. Tiles rated zero are only suitable for walls, those rated five are perfect for floors that get heavy foot traffic.

Porcelain tile

Porcelain tiles are made from a more refined clay, and are fired at a higher temperature, than ceramic tile. This is what makes porcelain so hardwearing. Look for tiles with through-body color rather than those with a ceramic glaze. Because, if the glaze gets chipped, you will see the white or tan porcelain below.

Marble tile

This beautiful stone is easily stained, so you have to seal it often. If you use it in the kitchen or bathroom, wipe up acidic spills at once to maintain the stone’s good looks.

Granite tile

Granite’s durability makes it an ideal choice for kitchens. Granite tile is incredibly heavy so subfloors and other structures may need to be reinforced.

Slate tile

This stone has a rustic look and an uneven texture making it a great choice for locations that need a non-slip surface. Although highly durable, slate tile can easily crack if the sub floor is uneven or something heavy gets dropped on the tile.

Travertine tile

The most important thing you need to know about this stone is that it is soft, porous and likely to stain and scratch if it is not maintained. Tiles must be sealed prior to grouting, and again before use. To keep it looking pristine, you will need to reseal it often.