Ceramic tile, which consists of a glaze over a clay and talc body, has been used to beautify as well as protect surfaces for millennia. The mount and type of, or lack of, glaze determines the look of the finished tile.
There are five basic types of tile:
Ceramic Tile: This has come to mean any tile with a clay body, whether glazed or non-glazed.
Glazed Tile: After the clay body is formed, the tile is sprayed with glazing material. It is then baked in a kiln for about 24 hours. A design may be painted or printed on the tile and then preserved beneath the glaze.
Unglazed Tile: This tile comes in many different types. Unglazed tile is usually much harder than glazed. It is usually the same color throughout. The color of unglazed tile is determined by the color of clay used to make it.
Soft Clay: Known as pavers, soft clay tiles are usually made by hand. They may be baked or left to dry in the sun. In either instance, a paver is made from such soft clay that is usually requires special handling such as staining and sealing when applying a luster or glaze.
Mosaic Tile: The term mosaic has come to mean a glazed or unglazed tile that is cut, usually by hand and placed as part of a design. The size of each tile in a mosaic varies with the design.
Regardless of the type of ceramic tile you choose, decorating with tile doesn't have to be limited to the bathroom. Ceramic tiles can fit just about anywhere in your home.