Tile’s been a decorative surface for floors, walls and every architectural feature for thousands of years. Roman ruins still feature beautiful, intact tile floors! Even after 2,000 years, tile is still a functional, timeless art form. In fact, tile – big and small, in countless shapes of stone, ceramic and now porcelain – has never been out of style! Its use is unlimited.


Wake up those floors and walls! Revitalize rooms with fresh ideas and new, simple style changes. Remember key elements like backsplashes and insets. Don’t forget touches like color, fabrics, furnishings, accessories and window treatments to go with your stylin’ tile!


When most people think of tile, they think ceramic tile, but there is a host of other products that fit into the category, too – like porcelain, mosaics, glass, metal and, of course, stone (for example, granite, slate and limestone). Then there are trim and decorative pieces. Plus endless colors in numerousshades and tones, textures and finishes, and so many other variations . . . many of which you will find within these pages.


What’s So Great about Tile?

It’s as beautiful as it is durable. It’s naturally mold, mildew, bacteria and stain resistant. It’s fade resistant and easy to keep clean . . . and, most important, it’s got the most design possibilities!


Here’s a primer of tile terminology:

Ceramic tile. Typically finished with a color and/or pattern, stained or glazed in matte, semi or high gloss. An example of an unglazed ceramic tile would be terracotta. Traditional ceramic is typically for indoor use. Ask about strength/ wear ratings for specific applications like walls, counters and floors.


Porcelain. It’s a form of ceramic tilethat uses finer materials and is fired at higher temperatures for moisture resistance and added strength. Solid color throughout the body of each tile. Can be glazed or unglazed.(See below to learn about HDP – High Definition Porcelain.)


Glass.Glass tiles are pieces of glass formed into consistent shapes. In recent years, glass tiles have become popular for both field and accent tiles. This trend can be attributed to recent technological breakthroughs as well as the tiles’ inherent properties, in particular their potential to impart intense color and reflect light, and their imperviousness to water.


Natural stone.Mother Nature’s own in every color and style imaginable: limestone, travertine, marble, granite, etc.


Mosaics. Very small, 1- to 3-inch square or smaller ceramic tiles usually applied to a mesh backing for easier installation.


Decoratives. Complementary, specially formed or decorated tiles. Can be trim or inset pieces. They are made from ceramic, porcelain, stone, glass or metal. Decoratives include listellos, decorative small tile, typically rectangles with carved or molded designs.


Trim.Edges, corners and other finish pieces of ceramic, porcelain or stone used to complete the installation and typically made of the same material as the main ceramic, porcelain or stone tile.


Format. Size and shape of your tile.


Layout.Installation pattern – grid, brick, weave, herringbone, diamond, inset, etc.



What is HIGH DEFINITION Porcelain?


Customers eventually discover that technology is changing what they thought they knew about tile. FABULOUS FLOORS Magazine recently visited Florida Tile to discuss a new tile product, High Definition Porcelain. Here is  what we found out…



An all-new tile product category, High Definition Porcelain, or HDP, is the most technically advanced glazing system available today. Much like the fine-dot technology that changed the television industry, High Definition Porcelain delivers the most realistic image possible, except this is a rugged, low-maintenance tile with the hard-to-believe look of authentic stone and wood.


How is it different?

A huge improvement over traditional silk screening and Roto color processes, this digital technology uses 500 injectors which print with very small dots of color for greater resolution (or high definition) plus more variety and less repetition in the overall pattern for authenticity. Plus, matching trim shapes like cove base and chair rails are made with the same process as the floor and wall tile, matching far better than traditional methods.


How long as HDP been around?

While this concept is simple in theory, it has taken decades of painstaking work to bring the technology from the research and development laboratories to the tile production line. Florida Tile was the first manufacturer to bring this technology to the United States and has manufactured HDP in its Kentucky facility for nearly two years.


How durable is it?

Extremely. First, porcelain tile itself is far more durable than traditional ceramic tile. Together with concurrent advances in surface glazing technology and the fact that digital printing is done without direct contact with the surface of the tile (the glaze is sprayed on), High Definition Porcelain tile will be as tough or tougher than any glaze ever made.


What kind of styles are available?

HDP allows for some fascinating new looks in porcelain tile, ranging from the look of Breccia Marble or Quartez quartzite to the unexpected, incredible wood looks of Berkshire in a plank format. Digital printing technology also allows for the creation low relief patterns, handmade effects, fabric looks and mosaics. We are only just beginning to plumb the depths of what we can do with HDP technology.