Natural stone is quarried from the earth—not manufactured. Each piece is unique. Granite, marble, travertine, slate and limestone are all examples of natural stone. Sizes vary from full slabs to small tumbled pieces for mosaics. Natural stone is popular for residential and commercial flooring, backsplashes, countertops, showers, tub surrounds, walls, patios and pool decks.
Quartz is a popular alternative to granite and marble. This material is non-porous and stain-resistant. Quartz is harder than granite and extremely heat resistant, making it an ideal material for countertops. Quartz comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Ceramic tile is a man-made material made up of clay, glass substances, and other minerals. It is durable, easy to clean, and resists etching, making it a popular choice for home and commercial interiors. Ceramic tile can be understated and classic (think of white subway tile) or bold and eye-catching. Installation is easy—the hard part is choosing from the myriad designs, colors, shapes, textures, and sizes. Ceramic tile is only recommended for interior applications, and can make a stunning statement on countertops, backsplashes, showers, tub surrounds, floors and walls.
Porcelain starts as a special clay minerals and is heated at very high temperatures to create a durable, hard product. It has low water absorbency, which makes it ideal for cold-weather climates where freezing can occur. Porcelain tiles are slip resistant, so they are a good flooring option for indoor or outdoor use. With a full range of styles, sizes, finishes, and colors, porcelain offers limitless design possibilities.
Cement or concrete tiles are extremely durable and also easy to maintain—although you do need to coat cement tiles with a penetrating sealant to prevent staining. Cement tiles are a popular flooring choice and are also ideal for fireplace surrounds. A popular material for businesses and public spaces, cement tile has more recently broken into home design. Concrete tiles come in a wide variety of eye-catching patterns