Choosing Tile: Durable, Versatile Porcelain
Get the Look of Stone, Metal, Terracotta and More With Today's Porcelain Tile
Debbie Snider June 17, 2011
Looking for a versatile, durable and easy-to-maintain tile? Consider using porcelain. Porcelain tile is ceramic that has been dry pressed into molds under high pressure and fired at an extremely high temperature. This process makes it a very dense and strong material. It comes glazed and unglazed in a wide range of colors and sizes. Most are suitable for walls, floors and commercial applications. (Before making your final selection, be sure to find out what the recommended usage is for each tile you're considering.) Take a look at some of the exciting new choices available now.
This large format 12"x24" tile has a linear, fabric-like design. It's used here to cover the walls and floor, providing soothing visual texture in a minimalist bath. Coordinating mosaic tiles wrap the curb and shower floor. Matchstick stone mosaic on the feature wall adds lightness and tactual texture to the room.
Here is some 12"x24" rectangular wall tile in gray and rust tones with a beautiful metallic finish. This tile appears to be rectified, which means the edges have been precisely cut at the factory. Rectified tile can be set very close together, resulting in tight grout joints.
A 24"x24" almost-black tile grounds the floor and contrasts dramatically with the white ceramic subway tile. The checkerboard towels repeat the high contrast in this kids' bath. Red accents add pops of color.
Did you know that classic white hexagonal tile is porcelain? It is thinner than standard floor tile and comes on a mesh backing for ease of installation.
Porcelain tile lets you get the stone look without having to worry about applying sealer. (It is still a good idea to seal the grout, though, to prevent staining.) This glazed tile has shade variation designed to look like travertine. A subtle pattern is created with 18"x18" and 2"x2" accent tiles.
Rectangular tile in a herringbone pattern creates a striking charcoal gray floor. Doesn't this tile look like wood planks? The red glass accent tiles pick up the bright red custom glass backsplash above the cooktop.
Here is a view from another angle.
This 12"x12" slate-look tile has blue-gray and rust tones in it. I love how the persimmon walls pull out the orange in the tile.
In a contemporary bath, the walls are covered with tan porcelain tile in an offset pattern. This tile is created with rectangular pieces of varying lengths and widths and comes in sheets that easily fit together like a puzzle.
This glazed porcelain tile looks like terracotta. Crossville has a similar tile called Color Blox, which has a color body.