Porcelain, Ceramic and Glass Tile 101
Updated: Jun 3, 2022
Tile offers functional versatility to match any room style, adding elegance and vibrant hues for an exceptional room transformation. Use them as an accent or to define the look of your indoor or outdoor space.
Durable, water-resistant, and easy to clean and maintain, tile makes it possible to add striking décor for an affordable price. Browse CFM’s wide selection of colors, designs and unique textures to find the right size and style for your next project.
Benefits of Tile
Design options and sizes - Limitless palette of materials, textures, colors, shapes, and styles to create custom expressions
Scratch Resistant - Naturally scratch resistant, tile continues to look good even after years of heavy traffic
Slip Resistant - Tile rate at 0.42 DCOF (Dynamic Coefficient of Friction) or greater when wet will help keep feet from slipping
Waterproof - Spills and puddles are no match for porcelain tile, even if they sit on your floors for a long while
Fire Resistant - Noncombustible, tile will not burn, melt or give off toxic fumes when exposed to fire
Indoor/Outdoor - Take your inside out with tile designed for seamless transitions from interior floors and walls to outdoor spaces
Stain Proof - Because of porcelain's low porosity, it doesn't stain. Even coffee and the dirtiest messes can't touch it
Climate friendly - Most porcelain tile won't freeze, fade or crack due to cold weather, which makes it perfect for outdoor applications
Dent proof - With innate durability and exceptional strength, dents/dings are not a worry
Easy to clean - All tile is easy to clean with a broom, mop or vacuum
Types of Tile
A subset of ceramic, porcelain is kiln fired at a very high temperature, resulting in an extremely dense material that is resistant to acids, heat, scratching, and UV rays. Porcelain tile is highly durable, and can be made for use in nearly any application from light residential to heavy commercial including flooring, backsplashes, shower walls, fireplaces, and exterior applications. We carry several lines of porcelain tile in a vast array of colors, shapes, sizes, and textures.
A classic and timeless material, ceramic comes in an array of beautiful color and style options ranging from bright whimsical to refined modern. Ceramic tile is long-lasting and most commonly used in residential wall applications such as backsplashes, shower walls, or decorative elements and accents. Several of the lines we carry are handmade and available in custom sizes and a wide variety of colors. Depending on your aesthetic, selections include textured, three dimensional, and subway tiles, as well as penny round, hexagon and many other shapes. Let your imagination be your guide!
Nothing compares to the classic beauty of natural stone – each piece is unique and offers an unmatched versatility of design. CFM offers a wide range of stone tile quarried from sites around the world. Our selection includes: granite, marble, quartzite, travertine, limestone, onyx, slate, basalt, soapstone, and others. Natural stone is durable, however we do recommend that all natural stone be sealed upon installation to protect against everyday wear, dirt, and spills. When maintained properly, it will add an elegant touch of distinction and bring a rich and timeless ambiance to any room.
The visual appeal of glass tile is unique, and our collections offer a superior selection. Glass tile brightens a space by reflecting light, and its translucent nature will add depth and dimension to any installation. Choose from the latest styles including subway tile, textured surfaces, larger formats, and interlocking mosaics. Glossy or matte finish options, a versatile range of colors, and an array of sizes will ensure you find the perfect glass tile for your design.
A mosaic is defined as an inlay design pattern with tiles usually smaller than 2"x2". Individual mosaic patterns vary greatly, featuring a multitude of different materials, colors, and tile shapes.
Popular materials include glass, natural stone, metal, and porcelain/ceramic. Available shapes and styles include square, penny round, arabesque, mini brick, basketweave, hexagon, chevron, herringbone, and many more.
Encaustic cement tile is a classic, colorful, and durable covering for floors and walls. Each tile is hand made, one at a time, beginning with natural pigments hand-poured into molds then reinforced with concrete. The hand-crafted tile is then left to cure creating a silky, matte surface. available in a variety of shapes and patterns.
Care and Maintenance of Tile
Specific cleaning and maintenance requirements vary depending on the tile’s surface and texture. Below are some general cleaning and maintenance guidelines.
Place floor mats inside and outside of exterior entryways.
For ongoing maintenance, sweep or vacuum the tiles.
Clean the tiles regularly with a pH neutral cleaner and rinse with clean water. Use only neutral, non-abrasive and non-acidic cleaners. Avoid use of any harsh cleaning products that contain bleach or acidic chemicals. Acid-based cleaners and harsh chemicals may etch the surface of the tile, especially tiles with polished or honed finishes.
Cleaner should be a non-oil, non-soap and non-animal fat based product. These products act like a magnet, attracting dirt and dust.
Test cleaning solutions on a small inconspicuous area before proceeding to clean the entire surface area.