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Porcelain Tile Articles

Ceramic Tile � The Wide Variety of Usage, Shapes, Finishes, Sizes and Shading

Ceramic tile is not only known for its resistance to various elements and its easy cleaning features. Ceramic tile is also relied upon for the extensive range of usage, shapes, finishes, sizes, and shades it offers. Here is a selected snapshot which demonstrates the versatility of ceramic tile.


Ceramic tile has long been considered to be a multi-purpose tile and can be used in several areas. If compared to carpet and vinyl which are manufactured only for floors, certain ceramic tiles can be used on:

  • Floors

  • Walls (interior and exterior)

  • Countertops and backsplashes

  • Patios

  • Fireplaces

  • Walkways

  • Exterior house trims

Some ceramic tile is usable outdoors, others are for use as indoor tile only. Before purchasing your ceramic tile, let your sales rep know what you have in mind as far as installation.


Ceramic tiles are available in many shapes like rectangles, hexagons, elongated hexagons, octagons and many more. However, square tiles are the most popular, as these are the easiest to install without too much time planning the layout pattern. Additionally, ceramic tile is offered in a variety of shaped edges such as straight edges, scalloped edges and cushioned edges that are heavily beveled.


Ceramic tile is also obtainable in various surface finishes that includes: smooth, textured, glazed, unglazed, polished and unpolished surfaces etc.


Ceramic tiles are available in a vast quantity of sizes, according to the individuals needs. Available sizing of the floor ceramic tile ranges from 6�x6� to as large as 24� x 24�. In case of wall tiles, the most popular sizes are 4 1/4" x 4 1/4" and 6" x 6", however, there is also a drift towards 6" x 8" and 8" x 10�. At the time of packaging, manufacturers who mass produce ceramic tile categorize these tiles by size. This allows for a more uniform product, which is appealing to many to achieve a refined look once the ceramic tile is installed.

In the case of certain handmade ceramic tiles, like Saltillo tile for instance, minor differences in the size of ceramic tiles are common. These slight differences can add a lot of dimension to your layout, depending on the look you�re after. In many cases, the differences in size can be compensated for with the help of grout lines.


Ceramic tile is a largely natural product, its colors being determined by naturally occurring elements. The manufacturers of ceramic tile minimize variations in a batch by sorting similarly shaded tiles within cartons. The cartons are also marked with the shade and run numbers.

While a certain degree of shade variation is inherent in all ceramic tiles, many tiles, both glazed and unglazed, are deliberately produced with a wide shade variation. This is done to bring out the natural beauty of the product. It also allows for a certain level of creativity at the time of layout and installation. This type of variation is therefore sought after as a means of making each layout unique.

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