What Are Ceramic Tiles?

Mary McMahon

Ceramic tiles are tiles which are made from ceramic materials like earthenware and porcelain. Tiles are simply flat slabs of material which can be used in a range of applications, including flooring, countertops, roofing, walls, and showers. There are numerous styles of ceramic tiles available, from terra-cotta roofing tiles used in Mission-style architecture to delicate hand-painted porcelain tiles intended for ornamental splashbacks in kitchens.

Ceramic tiles make beautiful mosaic patterns.
Ceramic tiles make beautiful mosaic patterns.

Numerous home supply stores stock these tiles, along with tiles in other materials like glass and stone. Tiles come in a range of shapes and sizes. They can be square, octagonal, rectangular, or triangular, for example, and they may be very thick, as is the case with tiles designed for flooring, or quite thin, in the instance of ceramic tiles used to make trivets. Many stores are happy to order specialized tiles with specific designs or colors for people who are not satisfied with the products on display.

Ceramic roofing shingles are used in Mission-style architecture.
Ceramic roofing shingles are used in Mission-style architecture.

Many people like to use ceramic tiles to make flooring. There are a number of advantages to tile flooring. It tends to be extremely durable, and heating and cooling systems can be installed underneath it to radiate through the floor. Many people also find tile flooring aesthetically pleasing, and it is easy to clean, especially in situations where drains are installed in the flooring, allowing people to essentially hose it down.

Ceramic is a common material for tiles.
Ceramic is a common material for tiles.

Tiles can also be used to line showers, pools, and bathtubs, to create countertops, to make decorative accents both inside and outside homes, and for an assortment of other purposes. Because tiles have such diverse uses, when you purchase ceramic tiles, you should check to be certain that they are appropriate for your intended use. Some tiles, for example, are not treated to withstand water, in which case they are designed to be ornamental rather than functional, and others may have design features like ribbed backs which make installation on certain services easier.

Ceramic tiles can be used on walls, floors, roofs, showers and other locations.
Ceramic tiles can be used on walls, floors, roofs, showers and other locations.

Ceramic tiles are often available in unglazed form as well as in glazed form. Some unglazed tiles can be custom-painted and re-fired to set the glaze, while others are ideal for situations in which porous tiles are needed, such as when making garden walkways. If you are interested in making mosaic with these tiles, many tile stores are delighted to give you broken scraps and odd remainders of tiles, especially once you establish a friendly relationship with them.

Heat-resistant ceramic tiles were used to protect the Space Shuttle's exterior during re-entry.
Heat-resistant ceramic tiles were used to protect the Space Shuttle's exterior during re-entry.

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Discussion Comments

Agni3

Neutral tones are great when thinking about ceramic tile designs because you can change the look around them pretty easily without worrying about the trouble of reinstalling new tile. I'm not afraid of trying my own ceramic tile installation, but the thought of tearing out perfectly good tile just because of the color makes me cringe. There are some really great options out there in a variety of neutrals and colors alike.

JessiC

I just have to say that I absolutely love ceramic tile when it’s done right. It just has such a clean and finished look to it. I personally have it in my home in several places, and one of my favorite things about it is how easy it is to keep clean – there can be some trouble if stains set in, but I’d say that is the case with just about anything. Naturally, if you want it to stay nice you have to keep it up. There are all sorts of nifty tricks, too, that can help keep glazed ceramic tiles looking great!

anon40655

what are the uses of ceramic tiles?

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