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Ceramic Tile is made of clays, talc and other minerals which are formed into the desired shape and texture, and then fired.
Porcelain Tile is a type of ceramic tile made of a very fine mixture of clays and minerals similar to those found in fine dinnerware. These special clays allow porcelain tile to be fired at temperatures even higher then ceramic tile. The higher temperature results in a very dense tile, allowing it to resist moisture, stains, odors, bacteria and scratches. Porcelain tile is naturally hygienic with easy to clean surfaces that can be smooth, textured or polished.
Stone Tiles and Slabs are made from Marble, Granite, Limestone, Travertine or Slate.
Polished Marble and Polished Travertine are extremely sensitive to even small amounts of acid, which will etch and dull the finish, and should not be used in food preparation areas or in bathrooms below toilets, (unless protected with mats). These products are typically used for flooring, fireplaces, vanities and shower/tub surrounds.
Tumbled Marble and Travertine can be used everywhere Polished Marble and Polished Travertine can, in addition to food preparation areas and bathrooms as they do not have a polished surface that can be etched.
Granite can be used on all surfaces.
Slate is typically used on flooring, fireplaces, vanities and shower/tub surrounds. Ungauged Slate is prone to flaking which can make cleaning and general maintenance a challenge. Keep this in mind when making your slate selection.
When performing routine maintenance, use products specifically designed for tile and stone. Make sure that the tiles and grout have been sealed, per manufacturer instructions. Damp mop with a cellulose sponge, rather than a natural sponge (which tends to flake away when rubbed against stone.) With proper care and maintenance, your ceramic or stone décor will look beautiful for many years to come.Flooring America Links