Ceramic tile is made from a mixture of clay and shale that is baked and hardened in a kiln. Dry pigments added to the mixture gives the tiles earthy tones that range from ocher to deep red. Be sure to purchase only tile that is rated for use on floors.
Ceramic flooring tile comes as one of four basic types:
Glazed ceramic has a glasslike coating that is applied prior to firing. The coating gives the tile an unlimited variety of colors and textures and makes the material virtually maintenance-free.
Quarry tile is unglazed ceramic tile. Colors come from pigments added to the clay mixture. Quarry tile has a slightly rough texture that provides better slip-resistance than glazed tile.
Porcelain tile is fired at extremely high temperatures. The result is a tile that’s especially hard and durable. Porcelain tile is resistant to staining and is a good choice for exterior applications. It's available either glazed or unglazed.
Terracotta is an unglazed tile with earthy colors and rustic appearance. It is not as durable as other tiles and must be sealed periodically to prevent staining.Some ceramic floor tiles come with an anti-slip finish that provides excellent traction even when wet. Choose tiles that meet the slip-resistance standards of the Americans With Disabilities Act.