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Are you thinking about installing a backsplash in your kitchen? The first thing you should know is the material will consist of a low-fired ceramic tile, which has a low-fired, porous surface. This surface affects how well water disperses from the tiles and how easily it is for oils to penetrate and create bacteria-infested surfaces. High-fired, nonporous tiles can last for decades and are less prone to bacteria and algae growth.
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.
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. (Source: www.calculator.net)