Tile flooring is an affordable, durable option, and with a wide variety of styles, you're sure to find the right tile to suit your needs. If it's your first time shopping for floor tile, you may find all of the choices and options a bit overwhelming, making it challenging to decide which tile suits your project best. To help you decide, here are some options you'll come across.
Chosen for it's earthy appearance, unglazed ceramic tile is commonly used in outdoor projects. This type of tile does not have the characteristic glass-like coating. The texture is rough, so it fits well in the natural surroundings of a back deck, for example. However, if you prefer the look of unglazed tiles, you can use them indoors as well. While they're not as popularly used in kitchens and elsewhere indoors, if it fits your project's aesthetic all you'll need to do is apply a clear sealant and then stain and waterproof it.
By far the most common type of indoor tile, glazed varieties feature a smooth, shiny surface and have a protective layer that prevents water damage and stains. This makes it great for kitchens and bathrooms. It comes in more colors than other types of tile, although the color of each tile is not as uniform as unglazed varieties. Keep in mind that over time the sealant will wear off, so you'll need to re-seal the tile to make sure it remains protected from stains and other issues. Glazed tile is suitable for most projects and often the best place to start if you're new to tile flooring.
Terra cotta is made from red clay that is fired at a low temperature, which produces a distinct look. It's one of the oldest tile materials available and often used unglazed for projects that require a rustic look. However, it comes in glazed varieties as well. You can use it both indoors and outdoors, depending on your project. This type of tile stains easier than other types. So if you plan to use it in a kitchen, you'll need to seal it well to prevent stains.
Unlike terra cotta, porcelain tile is baked at very high temperatures, which makes it one of the strongest and most durable types of tile. Because it's stronger than ceramic tile, it's often installed in exterior areas, or areas with a lot of walking traffic. It's very resistant to scratches, cracks, stains, fading, and chipping.