Ceramic tiles are a wonderful choice for cottage design. First used by the ancients, their adaptability, beauty and price make them the ideal product to cover the floor of any cottage seeking old world charm whilst retaining modern practicality.
One of the major factors which makes a cottage so attractive is often its irregularity. Fortunately with ceramic tile this is not a problem. Depending on the particular design, most ceramic tiles are designed with tessellation in mind. This means that when laying tiles on to a base layer of mortar, the pattern will not be disrupted by an unfortunate corner or corridor. The pattern will in fact highlight the peculiarities of the cottage layout, making it all the more attractive. The fact that tiles come in all shapes and sizes from the smallest being just a few inches long, to the largest at over twenty, all adds to their usefulness.
Over the millennia our technical understanding of ceramics, the firing process and an appropriate glaze has become highly advanced. Tiles designed for indoor use will often be fired at temperatures of up to 1000 degrees centigrade. Whilst making the process cheaper, this also results in greater levels of porosity not appropriate for outdoor tiles exposed to the rain. Outdoor tiles will often be fired at temperatures of 1300 to reduce porosity. In a cottage environment surfaces will often be more exposed to the environment. It is therefore important that the materials used are able to combat this.
Different glazes not only allow for different designs and styles, but use can also be taken into account. In a busy outdoor area tiles subject to ammonium bifluoride treatment, which leaves a thin layer of particles on top of the glaze, will offer slip resistance. This can be highly important in a cottage setting where mud and water often make other materials such as stone slippery. Indoors, a smooth glaze on floor or wall tiles will make them easy to clean. In a cottage environment where the outdoors and indoors interact so freely this can save time and money, where, for instance, dirt would stain or be trapped by a wooden floor.
A cottage should be a natural environment. Introducing artificial materials such as linoleum is simply not an option. Ceramic tiles however are totally natural, being made of fired clay. This is not only environmentally friendly, but significantly cheaper in the long run. Being naturally produced, tiles are immensely hard wearing. It is no surprise that tiled floors from the Greeks and Romans are still almost wholly intact where any timber rotted long ago.
Tiles therefore should be the material of choice for cottage design. Cottage design is a very personal thing. No two cottages should be the same. Tiles are the perfect complement because no two ceramic tiles are exactly the same, and there are hundreds of distinct designs in the marketplace. All together they are able to create a picture book cottage.
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Andrew White writes about shopping for ceramic tile and other home improvement topics out of Seattle. Always looking for the highest quality materials at the best price he tends to end up shopping at www.prosourcefloors.com more often than not.
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