Ceramic tile, porcelain tile, stone tile and glass tile: the tile flooring options are endless, and the results are fantastic. Whether you’re looking for kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, showers, or great rooms, this strong and versatile product can be installed in almost any setting. It’s long lasting for interior use and some porcelain tiles can even be installed outdoors.
From a style standpoint, tile is available in everything from classic to ultra-modern. There are many advantages to using tile in the home, such as the luxury of choosing from various dimensions, colors and designs, high material firmness (durability), and resistance to wear, chemicals and fire. Plus, ceramic, porcelain, natural stone and glass are ecological – they do not have a harmful impact on the environment or risk allergic reactions or health issues to the end user.
Ceramic tile is manufactured from clay, which is in turn made from the dust of rock, slate or marble. The clay mixture is baked and then pressed into a specific size and shape, which makes the material able to withstand weight and wear. The shape is determined by cutting the tile, which can be done in several different ways – it can be chiseled, punched, rectified or tumbled. Once the clay tile is formed, a digital image, like a photograph, is added to the top layer, creating a realistic look of wood or stone. Then, the tile is glazed and baked a second time. Ceramic tiles are more economical and easier to install than porcelain.
Porcelain tiles are a type of ceramic tile designed for both walls and floors that offer a water absorption rate of less than 0.5%. They are manufactured through many of the same processes as ceramic tiles. Porcelain tiles are usually harder than ceramic, which makes them both more durable and also more expensive, since they are more difficult to cut. They can also be glazed, polished or unglazed, and some options offer through-body tiles where the pattern on the top goes through the entire body of the tile, not just on the surface.
Porcelain tiles with a PEI rating (Porcelain Enamel Institute) of 5 can usually be used outdoors, as long as they’re rated frost-proof. We recommend natural stone for outside use when possible.
“Natural stone” refers to several different types of materials quarried from nature. These products, which have been used for thousands of years, include adoquin, granite, limestone, marble, onyx, quartzite, sandstone, slate and travertine. Natural stone is beautiful and a terrific source of consistent durability. Natural stone tiles will have variations in their color and texture, even when the pieces are pulled from the same initial source. This leads to some beautiful and unique variations across the material.
Glass tiles are widely popular, both as field tiles as well as accent tiles in applications like backsplashes. Glass tiles are available in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes as well as in different finishes, including shiny and opaque, giving you endless design options. Glass is also waterproof, making these tiles a functional choice for wet environments such as swimming pools.
Keystone is your supplier of ceramic, porcelain, stone and glass tile. Floor tile, wall tile, backsplash tile, decos, listellos, inserts or accents – we have everything you need to create a beautiful final product. We also carry installation supplies and setting materials from Mapei, Custom, Hard-Backer, and PremaStone, just to name a few. We are your tile source in the Tri-State area.