You can find tile in other sections of our website, such as “countertops” and “flooring”, but we believed it deserved its own section because of its versatility. Tile is used as backsplashes, as countertops, as flooring, as wall décor, and more. Tile is unique for its multitude of textures and the wide range of colors and opacities that it brings to the table. If you’re looking for colorful and vibrant, or subtle and elegant, tile has you covered in almost any section of your house. EBS has one of the largest tile selections in eastern Maine, with specialists to guide you through the nearly endless choices. Come in to one of our showrooms and let our experts answer any questions you have.
Uses of Tile
Flooring – The use of tile as a flooring option dates back hundreds if not thousands of years. Of course, we’ve made some improvements in the technology since then, but its lasting popularity goes to prove the reliability of tile flooring. On top of that, tile flooring brings unique textures and endless design opportunities to a space, as well as low maintenance demands and durability.
Walls – Much for the same reasons people choose tile floors, tile walls can also be an exciting choice. Tile walls allow for you to bring your own creativity to a space by mixing and matching shapes, sizes, colors, textures, opacities, and patterns to assure your space has the unique feel you want. Tile lasts longer and is far more durable than a paint job, and is easier to maintain and clean than most other wall options. If creativity and low maintenance are important to your design, then wall tiles might be the material for you.
Décor – If you’re hoping to bring the most creativity to the table with your tiling, then consider decorative tiles like listellos (decorative tile borders) or mosaics. Both are made up of many smaller tiles, allowing for intricate designs or even images to be brought to life through color and placement choices. Stop into one of our Style Solutions Showrooms at an EBS location near you to see some of the possibilities of decorative tiles in person.
Outdoor – Walkways, pool decking, patios, or hardscapes, tile has numerous uses in the outdoors. Budget friendly and at home outdoors, tile is a great way to enhance the beauty of your outdoor space. Consider choosing natural stones that will fit right in outdoors for your project. Stones like sandstone or slate look elegant without looking out of place in a natural element.
Ceramic tile is the most popular tile for U.S homes and offices. This tile comes either glazed or unglazed. Unglazed tile is also referred to as quarry tile. These tiles are made from clay and then put under extreme heat. The glaze is added after the firing of the clay, which creates the color of the tile. Because the color applied after is engineered, there are nearly unlimited color opportunities with glazed ceramic tile.
Glass tile is more delicate than the others and as such is only really fit for decorative or wall tile. However, glass excels in these roles. Glass is naturally translucent, something none of the stone or ceramic tiles can achieve. Glass tile is perfect for those looking to stretch their creative muscles with bold accents and exciting colors.
Quarry / Unglazed
Quarry tile is unglazed ceramic tile. It’s inexpensive, durable, and natural. Quarry tile is commonly used in industrial setting or those looking for a “rough and rugged” look. Because of its durability, quarry tile can be used indoors and outdoors. Its rough, unglazed surface also makes it less slippery when wet than others. Like most tiles, it is porous and can stain if not taken care of. Those looking to install this tile in a kitchen usually apply a glaze seal or wax finish to help prevent stains and similar damage. Because this tile is almost all natural the color selection is not as expansive as ceramic or porcelain.
Porcelain tile is the same base as ceramic tile, but is fired at a higher temperature, making for a much tougher and denser tile. This higher density also lends to porcelain tile being more water resistant than ceramic tile. Porcelain tile makes for a great indoor/outdoor tile. But, because of its improved density, it is harder to cut and work with; meaning the cost of labor and installation is likely to be a bit higher.
Unlike other surfaces, tile allows you to get intricately creative with your design. Mosaics are mostly used for small surface areas as accents or art pieces, such as backsplashes or small counters. There are many prefabricated mosaic patterns to choose from or to use as inspiration when designing your own. Ask one of our experts for tips on picking a mosaic to fit your design.
Many types of natural stones can be available for use in tiling. granite, slate, travertine, marble, onyx, and sandstone are the most popular. Each stone is unique in its color and texture, but each one lends a unique look to any design. The naturally occurring variations are sought after by many seeking the one-of-a-kind look that each piece of stone has. To learn more about the types of natural stones, stop in at an EBS location by you and speak to one of our designers.
How to Pick the Right Tile
The right tile depends not only on personal preference, but also on things like lighting, water exposure, and the surface being tiled. In a bright space, a darker, earth-toned tile can tone-down the harsh light. On the contrary, in a space that doesn’t get much light, a brighter tile can help to fight the darkness. Porcelain tiles are great in places that come in to contact with water often, like kitchens and baths, but natural stone tiles don’t do as well in these spaces. If you’re unsure about which type to pick for your project, the helpful staff in the EBS’s Style Solutions Showrooms can answer any questions you may have.