The Modern Discovery of An Ancient Material
Plastic technology and modern science have introduced a myriad of new
products into the construction of the home today. One material, though,
has withstood the test of time for thousands of years. That wonderous, durable
and decorative material is ceramic tile. A testimony to its durability is
the fact that the tile installed in the ruins of ancient Rome looks as good
today as it did when it was first installed.
Americans who visit European cathedrals and the ancient ruins of Greece
and Rome are in awe of the inherent beauty which remains in the tiled walls,
ceilings and floors of these centuries-old buildings. Despite the cruelties
of nature over the years, these tiled surfaces still retain their artistic
All of the qualities which existed in these centuries-old tiles when
they were first installed, exist in the ceramic tiles which are available
Perhaps the one element which has kept ceramic tile from becoming a more
popular surface covering in American homes, as it is in most European countries,
is the lack of knowledge on the part of the consumer. Here then are a few
basic facts about ceramic tile which will help in selecting the right tile
for a particular application.
Tile can be installed on virtually any surface material, in either a
horizontal or vertical plane, so it is first necessary to determine which
walls, floors or other surfaces, such as countertops, are to be enhanced
by a tile covering. Since walls will be strictly decorative in nature, the
type of tile selected does not have to have the same properties as one used
on a floor.
As a flooring material, the proper tile will withstand spills, drips,
mud, and in most cases even oil. For this reason tile is ideally suited
to any indoor floor area.
These same properties also suggest that countertops will benefit from
the use of tile as the surface covering. Here the advantages such as resistance
to heat and scratching assure long lasting beauty for surfaces which are
usually damaged easily when covered with other materials.
Although it is posible to use a floor tile on wall surfaces, wall tiles
are usually thinner and lighter than floor triles. Tiles may also be used
outdoors. However, since the elements to which tiles are exposed outdoors
(i.e., freezing temperatures) differ from indoor tile use, there are tiles
designed specifically for outdoor installation.
The only way to ensure that the tile you select is correct for the installation
you are considering is to discuss your needs with a qualified ceramic tile
dealer. Ceramic tile dealers carry a wide variety of tiles for virtually
every installation requirement and will gladly assist you in selecting the
proper tile for a lifetime of beauty and enjoyment.