The versatility of ceramic wall tile makes it a popular choice for floors and walls. It can be painted, glazed, or left in its natural bisque finish. Ceramic wall tile with a glaze finish is easy to clean and common choice for bathrooms and kitchens. Porcelain ceramic wall tile, which is fired at much higher temperatures, is also stronger and more wear resistant than other tiles. Finally, ceramic wall tile comes in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, allowing for a clean and simple look or a complex mosaic.
However, ceramic wall tile is not just functional. Painted tile, inlaid tile, and mosaic tile are all beautiful choices that can impart an upscale and artful look. Hand painted ceramic wall tiles have been used for murals as far back as 6,000 years ago. Today, painted tile can be worked into kitchen backsplashes and luxurious soaking tubs, or repeated in complex floor designs. Inlaid encaustic tile, in which the design color is derived from the color of the clay and not from the glaze, was a popular design component for fireplaces and floors in period homes. It’s not as prevalent today due to cost, but is still used in some luxury home design.
Ceramic wall and floor tile is also an environmentally friendly choice that rates well alongside other materials. Toxic chemical sealants and cleaners aren’t neccesary with tile, and there is less waste created during installation than with large sheets of material. Some tile is even made using post-consumer recycled materials, which helps building projects qualify for LEED certification.
Ceramic tile continues to be a major component in interior home design. Its natural beauty adapts well in the age of green building. Ceramic tile beautifies spaces, while grounding us to the earth it comes from.