Have tile floors on the mind? We know how you feel. You probably notice tile flooring everywhere you go, from the grocery store, a friend’s house, or even a fast food restroom. But what are the big differences between all those squares and rectangles of all sorts of colors? Our tile flooring experts at Floor Coverings International North Chicago answer some common tile flooring questions.

kitchen tile floor

What’s the difference between ceramic tile and porcelain tile?

This one can be a bit confusing. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are actually both part of the larger classification called ceramic tiles. Both are made of clay or a mixture of clay and other materials, and then kiln-fired. These tiles are then split into two groupings: porcelain tile and non-porcelain tile. The non-porcelain tile grouping is commonly referred to as ceramic tile. Porcelain tiles are denser and have a lower water absorption rate than ceramic tiles, making them a great choice for kitchens and bathrooms. On the other hand, ceramic tiles are softer and easier to cut.

What is subway tile?

Subway tile is named after the same tiles famously used in New York Subway terminals beginning at the turn of the 20th century. Subway tiles have a classic, distinctive look. The 3-by-6 glazed white rectangles are great for kitchen backsplashes due to their easy-to-clean nature.

What is travertine tile?

Travertine is a beautiful natural stone material deposited from mineral springs. It is widely used in construction across the world and is perhaps most prominent in ancient Roman architecture.   The Roman Colosseum is made of travertine. Travertine tile is highly durable and will potentially increase the resale value of your home.

What is glass tile?

Glass tiles are exactly what they sound like – tiles made of glass. They are often used as decorative items on kitchen backsplashes and bathroom walls. Glass tiles can be very delicate and challenging to install, which is why we recommend contacting our experts Floor Coverings International North Chicago for your glass tile installation needs.


There are plenty more questions to answer about floor tiles in Chicago, Lake View, Ravenswood & Lincoln Square. Don’t hesitate to give our experts a call to schedule a free in-home estimate!



You may also be interested in:

Tile & stone flooring

Travertine tile, North Chicago


Photo credit: Iriana Shiyan