Traditionally used in bathrooms and kitchens, floor tiles are beginning to be used in other areas such as living rooms and bedrooms to create stunning areas of color and texture. Today's floor tiles can be created to look like many other materials too, and there really are no limits to the effects that can be created. Quite often all that is needed is a bit of creative thought and imagination, whether you are tiling yourself or are hiring a tradesman to do the job for you, to create a room that has that "wow" factor.
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Mosaic Tiles can be laid in a completely random fashion or, more commonly, in a pattern or even represent an image or picture. You are free to use mosaic floor tiles in any way you choose, for instance if you are creating a mosaic on a small table, you my want to create your own by using smashed and broken ceramic tiles. If you have a large area to cover you may wish to use mosaic that has been created for you - on a mesh backing. All you have to do is to lay the entire sheet of tiles on your flooring surface.
Terracotta Tiles are traditionally used in their unglazed but sealed state, and produce floors that have a beautiful hand-crafted look about them. They don't always have to be a standard 8" or 12" tile either. Octagonal and other shaped tiles can be contrasted with other types of tile, like ceramic, to create a subtle contrast in the finished look and texture. As a natural material, each Terracotta floor tile is subtly different from the next so you can be sure that your floor will be unique.
Ceramic Tile can be a great replacement for more expensive materials like marble and granite, at a fraction of the cost. If you have a favorite photo you can have it embedded in a ceramic tile, or create realistic floors that look like water, the possibilities are endless. This is a traditional type of flooring that has had a whole new range of looks added to increase its appeal and usability. Of course, for walls it is perfect for walls too and in a similar variety and range.
Glass Tiles are available in various shades and textures, not just the usual glass blocks that we used to see. From mosaic pattern to brick shapes they are different from any other material in the quality of finish that they bring to a room. Difficult and expensive, so get an expert to assist or fit for you - it will probably save money and your nerves!
The floor you see in the picture on the right was made from recycled glass pieces. Although you can't see the quality of the finish in the picture, it is of an extremely high quality high-gloss finish and will last a lifetime.
Porcelain Tiles are the most expensive of the tiling options you have, and are man made by compacting dust at very high pressures. They have a low water absorbency rate of around 0.5%, and they are extremely dense meaning that if required, they do not have to be glazed. Porcelain can easily be made to mimic other materials, like stone, and hence is a very cost effective flooring material. One advantage of porcelain is the wide availability of larger than average sizes, making floor tiling even easier for the DIY person. On the subject of DIY, you will need a diamond wheel for these tiles, as they are extremely hard.
Metal Tiles can be stainless steel, industrial grating or anything in between. Traditionally used in commercial applications, it is now available for residential use including tiles replicating other metals like bronze, brass or plain steel. It can be used alone or embedded in floor tiles to create unique looking points of interest. Stainless steel floors are expensive and will probably require the help of a skilled fitter who is used to working with material, but the end results are worth the effort.