Selecting Tile & Stone

Selecting Tile and Stone
Not only is tile gorgeous but it’s also very practical. Tile is basically an inert surface of fired (baked) clay, metal or stone. It’s easy to keep clean and tends to retard the growth of fungus, mold, and mildew. Your options are virtually endless with all the colors, textures, shapes, and sizes available today. 
So Where Do You Start?
Selecting tile requires careful consideration because of the initial cost and the complexity of changing it. Consider the following:

Not all tile is rated for everyday use. Your Abbey Expert can help guide you in your choice. Most manufacturers identify a tile’s durability. The higher the number, the higher the wear rating. 

Price Point
Natural stone and glass tile tend to be more expensive than their ceramic and porcelain counterparts. Manufacturers now create tiles that mimic the look of natural stone in the more resilient and cost effective ceramic and porcelain alternatives.

When properly installed, tile is extremely durable. Granite is virtually indestructible and can go anywhere. Marble may scratch easier, but can be prevented by regular flooring treatments. Treated glass tile and ceramic are very resilient but may chip or break if heavy sharp objects are dropped on them.

Desired Look, Feel and Lifestyle 
Natural Stone such as granite and marble tend to exude luxury and formality. Glass has spa like feel, while ceramic and porcelain can be more casual. The gloss of ceramic can also impact feel.

Tile is rated on color and texture consistency. Your Abbey Expert can help you pick tiles that are more uniform or tiles that have extreme variation, depending on your design preference. 

Maintenance and Care 
Some tile requires more care and treatment before and after installation than others.
Size Of The Room
Often people think small rooms require small tile, but that isn’t the always the case. Large tile in a small room make it feel more spacious. Smaller tile with more grout lines make the room look busier. Scale plays in important part in creating a balanced look. 

How Do You Choose? 
What color? Do you want a pattern or bold graphics? What finish? Is a beveled or straight edge best? Will it be a focal point or a backdrop? There are endless possibilities for tile in your home. Your Abbey Expert will work with you to select the perfect look for you and your lifestyle.
Whatever you choose, it’s an architectural statement that will last for years.
Types of Tile and Stone
Ceramic Tile Floor
Ceramic Tiles come from clay that is fired in a kiln. Left as is, it is called un-glazed and is limited to the natural colors of the clay. The tile can be glazed and fired a second time to create a matte, semi- gloss, or high gloss finish with a large range of color options. Glazed Tile has better stain and moisture resistance than un-glazed tile. Be aware that high gloss tiles are more slippery and prone to showing scratches than textured or matte finishes. Un-glazed Ceramics are highly slip resistant, but must be sealed to reduce staining.
Porcelain Floor
Porcelain is a form of ceramic, but made of a sand-like material and fired at higher temperatures. The coloring is seen throughout the tile and creates a durable, non-porous, scratch resistant product that can withstand extreme temperatures. This makes them an excellent choice for indoors and outdoors. The term porcelain and ceramic are often used interchangeably. 
Granite is the hardest stone floor available. Being formed from magma, it is nearly as hard and durable as a diamond. Choose from thousands of colors in a multitude of shades. Due to its moisture and scratch resistance, it is a great choice for kitchens but can be used on any floor, on walls, and counters. 
Marble flooring
Marble flooring is classic and elegant. It is naturally created inside the earth when heat and high pressure crystallize limestone. Marble adds sophistication to any space but because it is more porous than granite, it is more susceptible to scratching and moisture. A below surface sealant and a surface finishing treatments are important steps to minimize scratching and prevent potential moisture damage. To keep it looking lavish, regular care and maintenance is required.
Glass Tile
The way glass tiles shimmer and change in the light gives off a sleek and radiant finish to the room. They are often used in bathrooms, kitchens, and pools, but not limited to those areas. Loved by designers, glass feels ultra-modern and high end. Glass tiles resist stain, moisture, chemicals, mold and mildew. It is non-porous and will not fade. Special glass flooring tiles are made strong, slip-resistant and withstand wear. They come in different sizes ranging from 1” to 18” and an unending variety of shapes, colors, and finishes.
Mosaic Tiles
Mosaics are tiles sized 2x2 or smaller and can be used as borders, countertops, walls and even flooring. They come in many shapes including squares, circles, ovals, tear drops and an endless array of patterns and colors. Mosaic tile can include  including stone, metal, glass, ceramic, porcelain and a combination of any of these Decorative mosaics typically have a higher gloss. Mosaic tile is the cherry on your sundae; the finishing touch of your flooring or design project.