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Choosing the right materials for your home remodel, from natural stone to granite or ceramic tile, can make the difference between lasting beauty and remodeler's remorse. Vic Zimbardi works with many materials from granite to natural stone, porcelain and ceramic tile, honed slate, travertine, glass tile, fossil stone, marble and more. Ask Vic for an expert opinion on your home remodel. Below is important information that can help you narrow your choices.
Porcelain / Ceramic
The ceramic tile industry makes it easy to determine which tiles are suitable choices for your home by using a rating system, known as the PEI scale. This system rates the surface of a tile from Class 1 to Class 5. While any tile can be used on the wall, floor tiles take a lot of abuse and need to be manufactured to withstand wear and tear. For light traffic on residential floors, a Class 2 or greater is a good choice, but for higher traffic areas such as kitchens and entryways a Class 3 or greater will hold up the best.

Ceramic tile is:
  • Dynamic — its unique character, texture and naturally made material enhance any room.
  • Visually Stimulating — it provides a multitude of styles, shapes, patterns, colors and finishes.
  • Timeless — dating back to ancient civilizations, ceramic tile exists in diverse cultures and structures around the world.
  • Natural — it basically consists of clay, and other naturally occurring minerals, and water. Glazed ceramic tile has a ceramic coating applied to the tile body, creating its color and finish.
From simple terra cotta tiles to highly decorated tiles creating intricate mosaics, your choices are almost endless. Ceramic tile defines the character of your home.
Natural Stone
Natural stone surfaces are extremely durable and maintenance free. No floor covering is older than natural stone, or more beautiful. It exudes a rich, organic and beautiful surface — creating a confident, enduring presence in any room. Natural stone is timeless. Rub your hand across a natural stone product and feel the ages it took to produce this natural wonder. Walk across a natural stone floor and tread on the same material quarried and constructed by ancient people. A combination of heat and pressure created a variety of natural stone, including:
  • Granite — the hardest and densest stone.
  • Marble — known for its rich, luxurious quality.
  • Limestone — a softer, more porous stone.
  • Travertine — a popular stone.
Typically more expensive than ceramic tile, the beauty and durability of natural stone can increase your home’s resale value. That’s important to know when considering material for floor covering.
Granite provides the perfect foundation for your kitchen remodeling project. They are inherently resistant to heat, staining, and scratching — making granite countertops perfect for your busy kitchen environment. Granite is natural and beautiful. Granite Countertops are tough. More than just beautiful, granite is also highly durable — one of the strongest materials you can install in your kitchen or bathroom. Granite adds value to your home.
Glass Tiles and Mosaic
Vibrant beauty — glass tiles and mosaics offer you a distinctive appearance and beauty unachievable with conventional ceramic or porcelain tiles. Combined with the reflective quality of glass, these materials will transform your remodeling project into a stunning success. Glass tiles and mosaics have an endless variety of practical applications. They are ideal for both interior and exterior environments, offering unique benefits:
  • Durable — frost proof and UV resistant.
  • Low maintenance — easy to clean and fade-proof.
  • Flexible — perfect for a tile backsplash or other high-use areas.
  • Attractive — the dazzling appearance will last for many years to come.
Glass tiles and mosaics can be used in a virtually unlimited range of applications, including:
  • Kitchen backsplashes and walls.
  • Bathroom backsplashes and walls.
  • Showers.
  • Borders to soften conventional ceramic or stone tiled walls.
  • Exterior building highlights, garden walls, pools, spas, waterfalls, etc.
Rules of Color
Only you, as the homeowner, can decide what color is right for you, but here are a few basic rules to remember: Lighter colors make a space appear larger. Darker colors add warmth and hide dirt well. Neutral colors allow you to change your accessories but if you love a trendy color, go for it! Just keep in mind it will be with you a long time.

While some tiles look almost identical from piece to piece, many will have color and shade variations to give the overall look more depth and character. Both manmade tiles as well as natural stone will vary each time they are produced or quarried.
Selecting a Style
Rustic or stone-looking tiles are extremely popular because they fit in with any decor and are excellent at hiding dirt. Marbleized tiles lend a more formal look. Tumbled marble is a timeless look that fits with many different styles. White “subway" tiles are still just as popular as ever. Newer products such as glass and metal tiles are now frequently used in conjunction with ceramic tile and natural stone to create a unique and striking look in your home.

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