Tile options are virtually endless when you consider all combinations of size, texture and color. Simply put, there’s something for everyone, for every style. Plus, tile is durable and easy to care for so it’s ideal for high-traffic areas or areas where there’s moisture or dirt, such as bathrooms or entries.
Floor tile is usually 1/2 inch to 3/4 inches thick, manufactured in squares measuring 4-inches-by-4 inches up to 24-inches-by-24 inches. Other shapes are available such as octagonal and hexagonal. (Wall tile is thinner and comes in squares from 3-inches-by-3 inches up to 6-inches-by-6 inches.) Mosaic tiles are 2 inches a square or smaller and can be installed individually. Mosaic tiles are also available in pre-mounted paper or fabric mesh sheets.
Choose a tile that’s rated for the area where you plan to install it. Entryways need a hard, abrasion-resistant, moisture-proof tile. Baths require a moisture-proof, nonslip material (slip-resistant tile is treated with an abrasive material for safety). Some tiles are rated for indoor or outdoor use only; others can be used in either application.
Some types of tile are actually harder than others so tile is rated by a series of standardized tests. These tests evaluate a tile’s relative hardness (the Mohs scale), its ability to stand up to wear and the percentage of water absorbed.