About tile

While the earliest use of decorative tile dates to around 4000 BC, ceramic tiles have been used for centuries on the interiors and exteriors of homes, businesses, institutions, and places of warship. Treasured for their durability and beauty, the abundance of natural clay and the relative ease of manufacturing tile continues to drive the popularity and relative affordability of this versatile material.

Tiles come in three basic categories: Earthenware (terracotta), Stoneware (ceramic) and Porcelain. Each of these tiles are manufactured from different aggregates and fired at different temperatures, affecting their hardness, durability and water absorption rate.

Types of tile



Earthenware, or Terrcoatta at it is widely known, is the least durable tile and has the highest water absorption rate due to its low firing temperature. The red clay is non-vitreous and therefore not a good option for applications near water unless it has been glazed to mitigate its limitations. To provide appropriate strength, terracotta tiles are quite thick compared to ceramic and porcelain, an important consideration for remodeling or instances where the difference of a .5” to .75” matters.


The most widely used tile by far is Ceramic. It’s what most people think of when discussing tile and suitable for most applications. These tiles are quite hard, extremely durable and come in every shape, size, color and finish imaginable. They are typically more affordable than porcelain making them an ideal solution for tighter budgets and return on investment.

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Porcelain sits at the top of the tile hierarchy. It costs more to manufacture, but with that added cost, you get the hardest, most durable and water-impermeable tile outside of glass. Though very scratch and wear-resistant, Porcelain tiles are somewhat brittle and better suited to the use of a tile saw over hand-cutters. Its outstanding characteristics make porcelain tile ideal for kitchens and baths while it’s density and PEI rating make it suitable for heavy residential and commercial traffic.

We tile floors, walls, kitchens, bathrooms, fireplaces, ceilings, patios, breezeways, and exteriors of homes. To determine which tiles are best for your specific project, we recommend consulting one of our knowledgeable sales associates before making any purchase.

Mach + Rico Project Pricing Includes:

Onsite designer to assist with design and material selection. Schluter Systems® integrated products for watertight installation. Grout from TEC, Custom, and Mapei. Sealers for natural stone products.

Ceramic, porcelain, terracotta, glass, metal, and natural stone tile from Mosaic Tile (Atlas Concorde, Roca, and Crossville), Daltile, Marazzi, Emser Tile, TileBar, MSI, Conestoga Tile (Florida Tile, Milestone, and Lungarno), Marble Systems, Floor & Décor, Architessa, Tile Shop, Porcelanosa, and more.