There are four distinct types of stone. The types include: Ceramic, Porcelain, Marble & Granite. Within the Ceramic selections, there is glazed tile and unglazed floor tile (also known as Natural Stone). Glazed is the most common and it has a special coating that is applied to the body of the tile and then fired at a very hot temperature to seal the tile. The glazing then creates a non-porous result. The benefits of a glazed stone include stain resistant, scratch resistant, fire resistant, fade resistant, slip resistant, and the ease of cleaning.
The unglazed floor tile (also known as Natural Stone) is free of the glazing process. However, while the unglazed tile can be incredibly beautiful, it is porous and needs to be maintained regularly. There is a special sealant that can be applied to prevent stains and any seepage of dirt or spill into the pores of the stone.
Porcelain tile is a type of ceramic that is made of a very fine mixture of clays and minerals. The molecular makeup is similar to fine china. These clays allow porcelain to be fired at even hotter temperatures than the ceramic tiles, typically near 2400 degrees (F). The higher the temperature, the denser the tile will become and the less moisture the product will attract. The porcelain tile has the same benefits of ceramic tile but they are denser and harder than most other tiles, they are highly stain and moisture resistant, they are naturally hygienic with an easy to clean surface.
Marble, Granite & Limestone are very popular stones today. These stones are naturally made and therefore individually unique. They are mined out of quarries and consequently, no two stone are the same. One important feature of these types of materials is that they need to be sealed. They can be extremely porous and therefore care needs to be taken with the maintenance. While they are porous, it is not hard to care for them, which makes them very popular in many homes today.