Materials - What to Choose
Deciding On Durability
Porcelain or Ceramic? The ceramic tile industry makes it easy for you to determine which tiles are suitable choices for your application by using a rating system, known as the PEI scale. This system rates the surface of a tile from Class 1 to Class 5 ("1" being the least resistant to abrasion and "5" the most resistant). While any tile can be used on the wall, floor tiles take a lot of abuse and need to be manufactured to withstand this “wear and tear". For light traffic on residential floors, a Class 2 or greater is a good choice, but for higher traffic areas such as kitchens and entryways a Class 3 or greater will hold up the best.
Because natural stone is not man made, it cannot follow this rating system. However, stone has been used for thousands and thousands of years, and much of this flooring is still holding strong today. Tile resellers have the knowledge to guide you through which options will give you a long lasting durable floor with the beauty and character you can only get from a natural stone.
Choosing A Size
Tiles are available in many sizes from small 3/8" mosaics to 24"x48" slab tiles and everything in between. We have seen a recent shift toward larger tiles for floor and wall applications. 13"x13" has been our most popular size for floors and 8"x10" the most popular for walls. The up and coming sizes are 16"x16" for floors and 8"x12" for walls. Most of our tiles are imported from Europe and the current trend there is even larger tiles with clean straight edges. As a result, we have started to show many 12"x24" tile options for floors and wall. The reason? Larger tiles make a space appear...larger. Many floor tiles also come in multiple sizes, which allow the creation of interesting patterns.
The Rules of Color
Of course, only you can decide what color is right for you, but here are a few basic rules to remember: Lighter colors make a space appear larger. Darker colors add warmth and hide dirt well. Neutral colors allow you to change your accessories but if you love a trendy color, go for it! Just keep in mind it will be with you a long time. While some tiles look almost identical from piece to piece, many will have color and shade variations to give the overall look more depth and character. Both manmade tiles as well as natural stone will vary each time they are produced or quarried. If you require a specific shade, we recommend viewing multiple pieces of the current shade lot. Especially when dealing with natural stone, tiles will vary so it’s always a good idea to see a couple of pieces. Any questions or concerns about your tile selection should be clarified prior to installation.
Ken Brose Tile works with the highest quality of materials, including (but not limited to) the following items, in all sizes up to 2′ x 2′:
Old World Stone Pavers
Hand Craft Tiles
Polished Marble Tiles
Tumbled Marble Tiles
Metal Tile Accents