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Floor or wall tiles are typically installed with gaps between the tiles because the average tile may look quite similar to the next tile, but they are often not uniform in shape and size, and would not fit properly if installed without any gaps. These gaps are most commonly filled with grout, and as such, are often referred to as grout size, or grout lines. Grout is a form of concrete, and the gap between tiles can range from anywhere between one-sixteenth of an inch to half an inch in size. Different sized tiles, materials, and design needs all affect the size of the gaps. Although it is typically more difficult to have small gaps between tiles due to lack of a uniform shape and size, the use of rectified tiles (tiles that undergo additional processing to ensure that they are uniform) can allow for smaller spacing, though at an additional cost. For more uniformly cut tiles such as granite, smaller grout spacing can result in less visibility of grout lines between each tile.Tile size can range anywhere from smaller mosaics that are 3/8", to 24" × 48" slab tiles and everything in between. Square sizes (same width and length) are the most popular, accessible, and easiest to install. While straight edge tiles (rectangular, square, parallelogram) are the most common, unique tile shapes also exist, though installation is not as easy. Large tile sizes can make smaller rooms appear bigger, as well as more open and clean because there are fewer grout lines. However, installing larger tiles results in more wastage, while using smaller tiles can help add texture to a room.
There are a number of different classifications of tiles, including ceramic, porcelain, glass, quarry, and stone. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are the most cost efficient, and come in a variety of different styles. Glass tiles, while not appropriate for flooring because they crack under pressure, are visually unique and interesting; they are most commonly used for kitchen and bathroom backsplashes. Quarry tiles have rough surfaces that are good for floors that require grip, and are commonly used outdoors and in restaurant kitchens. Stone tiles include marble and granite, which provide unique and natural stone patterns, textures, and colors that are difficult to achieve using ceramics. They also offer the illusion of blending into grout edges, giving off an overall uniform look. The terms porcelain and ceramic are often used interchangeably, but the materials are different. Porcelain is a type of ceramic, but it’s denser and, therefore, more water-resistant. It’s exceptionally tough, and unlike ceramic, it’s the same color throughout, so chips and scratches are less noticeable over time. Porcelain tile is ideal for bathrooms and laundry areas, as well as countertops and high-traffic zones such as entryways. Prices are higher than ceramic tile — expect to pay $3–$9 per square foot. (Source: www.remodelingexpense.com)