When it comes to tile floors, many people are unaware just how much things have changed. In the past, tile was associated with function, but not form. Colors and styles were limited, and although a tile floor was durable and easy to maintain, it was never considered the most aesthetically pleasing choice.
This is no longer the case. Tile is more functional than ever, but new technologies and techniques have also allowed people to achieve amazing stylistic results. Some of today’s professional tile installations are so good, you don’t even know you’re looking at tile.
So forget about plain old black and white tile for a moment, and consider these four types of tile you may not have known about.
Wood floors have always been a favorite amongst designers, architects and home owners. They add warmth and character to the room. They have a natural, rustic feel that no other flooring material can achieve.
The problem is, wood floors are expensive and difficult to maintain. That’s why the popularity of faux-wood tiles skyrocketed in recent years. There are now tiles that closely mimic almost every type and shade of wood available. Modern tiling techniques can produce results that are virtually indistinguishable from real hardwood, yet maintain all the durability and protection of tile.
Stone tiles are nothing new. Granite, slate and marble are perennial choices for both flooring and walls, and they give rooms an amazing natural quality. There are, however, a few problems with stone. First, it’s considerably more expensive than ceramic tile. Second, most types of stone are porous, which makes it more susceptible to stains and other types of damage.
But what if you could have tiles that look exactly like natural stone, at a fraction of the cost, and with none of the risks of real stone tiles? This is now entirely possible; in fact, someone in your neighborhood has probably done it already.
One of the old limitations of tile was flatness; but a plethora of new 3-D tile designs and techniques have changed this for good. It’s now possible to achieve unique, sophisticated designs using textured, 3-D tiles and layering techniques. 3-D tile has become increasingly popular in bathrooms, where textured walls create a bold and luxurious effect.
Have you been hesitant to consider tile because it looks too shiny and new? Are you shooting for a more rugged, lived-in look? If so, tumbled tile may be worth looking into. The individual tiles are agitated in special machine, which gives a ‘worn’ effect to the edges and surfaces of the tile. The best part is, there’s no compromise on durability or strength when tile is properly tumbled.
Only the Beginning…
Textured, scored, glass, mosaic—the possibilities of tile extend far beyond the four mentioned in this post. The fact is, 21st century tile is anything but boring. It’s now possible to have all the function that tile affords, without compromising on form. So if you’re in the market for new flooring, walls or decorative flourishes in your home, perhaps it’s time to give tile a closer look.
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