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For The Trade

Types of Tile & Stone


Ceramic: Ceramic tiles are generally referred to as "wall tiles". However, there are certain types of ceramic tiles that can be used on the floor as well. Ceramic tiles can be hand made or machine made and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors.

Porcelain: Porcelain tiles are some of the strongest tiles on the market. They can be glazed or unglazed and can replicate stone, wood and many other materials. Porcelain has zero absorption, making it ideal for areas with heavy traffic, dirt and other things that can stain. There is very little maintenance with porcelain as compared to stone.

Glass: Glass tiles come in many different shapes, sizes and colors. The most commonly seen are mosaics, which are small tiles, generally under 2", that come mounted on sheets for easy installation.

Metal: Metal tiles are steadily increasing in popularity. They can be used on both the floor and wall, depending on how they are made, and make wonderful accents in any tiled area.


* Stone can be used on both floors and walls.

Marble: Metamorphosed limestone, consisting chiefly of recrystallized calcite or dolomite, capable of taking a high polish, occurring in a wide range of colors. Marble is known to the eye by the presence of veins running through the tile, although there are some exceptions.

Limestone: A sedimentary rock consisting predominantly of calcium carbonate, varieties of which are formed from the skeletons of marine microorganisms and coral. Limestone is known for its color consistency and the presence of fossils.

Travertine: A form of limestone deposited by springs, especially hot springs. You can tell a stone is travertine by the presence of holes in the stone, caused by the bubbles produced in the springs. Many times you will see that the holes have been filled.

Slate: A fine-grained rock formed by the metamorphosis of clay, shale, etc., that tends to split along parallel cleavage planes. Slate, even after installed, may continue to split along the layers of shale.

Granite: A coarse-grained igneous rock composed chiefly of orthoclase and albite feldspars and of quartz, usually with lesser amounts of one or more other minerals, as mica, hornblende, or augite. Granite is the hardest and most dense natural stone, and is mostly used for countertops.


Antique: Over the last couple of years, "Antiqued Stone" has become very popular. Antiqued Stone is a term that tends to cover a wide variety of finishes- tumbled, distressed, cobbled, bush hammered, leather and brushed. These finishes appear to be old and worn right out of the box giving the installation the "Old World Charm" that people have come to appreciate.

Cleft: Cleft finish is found primarily on slate. The cleft look is obtained by splitting the stone with a hammer and chisel, giving a layered look to the pieces. One side of the piece is then ground down on a machine similar to a planner, giving it a flat smooth finish.

Cobbled: A form of antiqued stone. These pieces will have the edges more evenly chipped than tumbles and the corners of the tile squarer. Example: chipped edge during mosaic.

Distressed: An antiquated look without the severe look of stone that had been tumbled. Distressed stone has slightly rounded edges and corners and may have fewer imperfections.

Honed: A honed finish is common in limestone and slates but can be applied to any type of stone. This finish will leave a stone looking as if it has been sanded, not polished.

Polished: Polished marble and granite will have a very high shine. Some will polish better than others. The harder the material, the higher the shine. Don't be fooled, you still have to seal and maintain polished stone just like any other stone.

Tumbled: Tumbled marbles have quickly become one of the most popular sellers. Tumbled marble is made by slowly rolling the cut pieces in tumblers. This gives the pieces a very worn and antiqued look. Tumbled material is NOT of a "selected" nature. The customer will receive pieces that are chipped, scratched, different sizes and different shades. This adds to the "antiqued look."