Here are some basics to consider when chossing tile and stone types for your renovation or new home construction project.

When most homeowners look at tile for their Charlotte remodeling projects, they focus first on finding a design they love and a pattern that best emphasizes it. Yet when a design or construction professional starts to explore tile options for their clients, they begin at a far more basic level by first determining which type of tile is appropriate for the installation. By selecting tile type first, homeowners – and particularly DIYers – can save themselves the potential heartbreak of falling in love with a tile only to discover that it won’t work where and how they need it to. Here are some basics to consider:

Ceramic tile: This is the most common and basic type of tile. It is formed when a mixture of clay has been pressed into the desired shape and then fired in a kiln to harden. Once they are glazed, ceramic tiles are fairly impervious to both stains and water and humidity resistant in interior applications – which makes them an ideal choice for kitchens and bathrooms. Ceramic tiles come in a wide range of colors and designs, are easy to maintain and clean, and are one of the least expensive options available.

Porcelain tile: Porcelain tiles are in essence, denser cousins of ceramic tile. Since they are more dense and thus less porous, they are better for more highly trafficked areas and also command a higher price. These are great options for heavily used areas – such as kitchen floors. Many porcelain tile choices today mimic natural stone and are beautiful as well as durable.

Terra cotta: These clay tiles are fired at lower temperatures than ceramic and porcelain and are not water-resistant if not glazed (just picture a typical flower pot). As such, they are generally used in dry areas if you want to keep their typical look.

Natural stone: These types of tiles are gaining in popularity as homeowners seek more natural looks. While many perhaps stereotypically think of stone as being rustic, natural stone tiles can feel and look very contemporary as well, making them ideal in a range of settings. Since they are natural stone, these tiles are not impervious to water or dirt and must be sealed. There are many different types of natural stone – how durable each is and what they are best suited for varies by type.

Marble: Marble is probably what you think of when you think iconic luxury bathrooms. Marble is actually crushed limestone that has been heated by the earth itself for millions of years, which creates its characteristic veins. Unfortunately, it is more susceptible to staining, although some sealers can help make it less so, but it’s still not an ideal choice for an active family’s kitchen.

Limestone: This yellow, beige or brown stone has been used for building for centuries, making it ideal for exterior applications. It also does well on both counters and floors and is typically honed rather than polished, which gives it a softer, more natural look. The downside is that limestone is not as durable as its harder cousins, but it does cost less to install than other natural stones.

Travertine: This is another type of limestone that is beautiful but is very porous, which makes it susceptible to stains and wear. This tile is particularly sensitive to staining from acidic foods, which makes it a poor choice for kitchen countertops.

Granite: Granite is the hardest natural stone, which is why it’s so popular for kitchen counters. That durability also serves it well when it comes to flooring tile. And when it comes to color selection, it’s hard to beat the diversity of granite.

Slate: This stone is ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. It has a textured surface that is naturally slip-resistant and stays relatively cool to the touch – which makes it a favorite for patios and indoor surfaces where bare, wet feet are likely to come into contact.

Quartzite: This metamorphic stone is definitely on the higher end of the price spectrum – but many feel its fabulous look is well worth the cost. Under high heat and pressure, sandstone is naturally transformed into Quartzite – an extremely hard and durable natural stone. Individual quartz pieces tend to crystalize when exposed to high heat, which means that tiles created from this rock have a natural sparkling texture. Plus, since they are so strong, quartzite tiles work well as flooring choices and are easy to maintain.

Decorative tiles: This catch-all category encompasses a wide range of glass, metal and other non-typical materials. They make beautiful backsplashes, accent tiles on a wall, and depending on the material and how it is sealed, can be ideal shower accents (primarily glass tiles). For the most part, they don’t work as well on surfaces (with the exception of small decorative accents in areas that are not heavily used).

So before you begin your next project, take a moment to determine the type of tile you need first, then dive right in to find the one that matches your style! Once you have decided on the perfect tile or stone for your project, having it meticulously and professionally installed is the final touch and grand finale for your Charlotte Remodeling or New Construction Project!