The Practicality and Beauty of Tumbled Tiles

Tumbled tiles are a precious commodity among many home dwellers. These tiles can be installed by professionals and everyday people. In fact, more people are assuming responsibility for their own tile installations, attaining both the desired luxury of tumbled tiles and the savings of doing it themselves.

Characteristics of Tumbled Tiles

A specialized finishing method is used to create the distinct, tumbled surface so aptly associated with these tiles. Generally speaking, tumbled tiles contain a silky, seamless, yet semi-distressed finish that appears both mildly worn and intriguing to the eye.

Variations in Tumbled Tiles

The most common tile variations are natural, honed, antiqued and polished. A natural tumbled finish usually has a soft facade, and smooth outer corners that appear rounded to an extent. Both honed and tumbled finishes are less vibrant, usually presenting a matte facade with distressed edges. A polished finish has a semi-glossy, refined texture, along with antiquated, gruff edges. And, finally, the antique tumbled finish is rustic in appearance, incorporating small holes and distressed edges for an archaic mystique. Typically, tile enthusiasts prefer natural and antique finishes suiting their surrounding decor.

How Tumbled Tiles Are Created

In order to achieve a characteristic tumbled finish, tiles undergo a systematic process. Typically, tiles undergo one of the two tumbling methods. Usually, to achieve this look, tiles are loaded into a rubber drum, and exposed to sand, water and rocks. The tiles are physically tumbled, along with each of the added components. This abrasive method creates the resulting tumbled and distressed appearance. Of course, the above-mentioned process merely applies to smaller tiles. Large tiles are tumbled by hand with the aid of a chisel or a machine.

The Composition of Tumbled Tiles

All tumbled tiles are composed of stone. Quite often, limestone, marble, and granite undergo the tumbling process to maximize their glorious, yet, organic appearance. Of all of the aforementioned stones, marble is tumbled most frequently. However, onyx, limestone, and travertine are loosely referred to tumbled marble as well due to the similar calcium makeup they share with marble.

Tumbled tiles are particularly appealing because they starkly contrast with honed and polished stone. The beauty of tumbled stone is that they exude a naturally rustic, yet, sophisticated appeal. The chalky, almost dated, texture rivals both honed and polished stone in character and depth.

It is important to note that tumbled stone is just as durable and protected as honed or polished stone. Tumbled stones are considerably less vibrant than honed and polished stones, which have more deeply reinforced color overall. Some people choose to apply a sealer to their tumbled stones in order to eliminate the chalky appearance and impart a more vibrant finish.

In essence, tumbled stone tiles are ideal for anyone seeking a means to create and reinvent classic and archaic decor for modern day homes and venues.

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