10 Best Backsplash Tile Ideas
Directory of hard floorings
Of all the exciting hard-flooring materials on offer, the most commonly used in the modern home are tiles. Due to a range of manufacturing processes floor tiles offer a wide choice of practical hard-wearing products suitable for most domestic situations. Ranging from natural earthy shades to bright and vibrant colours, they can also be chosen to complement any decor. Terracotta, the simplest and one of the oldest types, remains a time-honoured favourite for kitchens. Quarry tiles, which are at once economical and hard-wearing, are also enduringly popular. Ceramic floor tiles, available in many colours and styles, are perhaps the most versatile. And mosaic, used for centuries to decorate floors, is the perfect material for recreating a design, although simple, coloured borders set against a plain background are the easiest designs with which to work.
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In addition, floor bricks can be used to create regular patterns, and stone, whether it be natural or reconstructed, can provide just the right touch for some interiors. Slate, for instance, is a very practical material and comparatively easy to lay because it is so thin; some sheets are hardly thicker than a ceramic tile. Finally, while metal flooring may not be a viable option for most people, it is the ideal material if the ultimate in industrial chic is required.
Unglazed and softer than other types of tile, terracotta is made from extruded or hand-formed clay. It is available in a number of shapes and sizes, from small hexagons to large squares. The colours range from dusky ochres to oranges through to reds. Part of the charm of terracotta is precisely this colour variation, within each tile and from tile to tile, as well as the textural variations of the surface. These porous tiles must be finished with linseed oil and waxed for protection.
Quarry tiles are made from extruded or hand-formed clay which is fired at higher temperatures than terracotta to vitrify it, a process that gives the tiles their durability and makes them very hard-wearing and waterproof. The colour range is a little limited; buffs, reds and browns are the dominant tones although white and black tiles have been produced. The tiles usually have a dull satin fmish. Variously sized square or rectangular quarry tiles are available and some ‘key squares’ too ( 164-165). D
Ceramic floor tiles are made from a dust-pressed clay that is fired at high temperatures. Fully vitrified ceramic tiles are the most waterproof of all tiles, making them suitable for the wettest areas such as bathrooms. Ceramic floor tiles are not glazed; glazed tiles are normally too slippery unless the glaze has a roughened surface. They may have decorative patterns or little studs on the surface for textural variation and slip resistance. Oxides, added during the manufacturing process, give these tiles the widest range of colours of any unglazed tile including plain white. Ceramic tiles are thinner than quarry or terracotta tiles and their uniform thickness enables trouble-free installation. They can, however, be polished for a more glamorous look.
Mosaic tiles are tiny, cut from glass, coloured ceramic, terracotta, stone or marble and fixed to a backing sheet for speedy installation. Their appearance varies both according to the material and to whether it has been machine-or hand-cut. 9
Encaustic tiles are either pla coloured or have a decorative pattc applied to their surface which ha soft, matt quality with colours t blend into each other. A design painted onto a mould using natu oxides and then a plain tile is pres into the design to transfer the des onto the tile’s surface.
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