Floor Tiles 101

Learn about seven popular varieties, and find the right fit for your flooring needs.

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Terra Cotta Tile

Terra cotta is one of the oldest tile materials around, dating back before the birth of Christ, when it was sun-dried rather than oven-fired. It’s often used, glazed or unglazed, to create a rustic, weathered look.

While high-quality terra cotta will last forever, it’s difficult to assess the quality, even for pros. Buy only from a seller whose reputation you trust, though even then you may encounter problems.

For practical uses, it should be sealed, particularly in kitchens.

Install Yourself? No
Best Uses: Flooring, countertops, walls
Pros: Beauty, longevity when well-made
Cons: Wide variations in quality

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