Ceramic tile has been used for interior floor and wall finishes for thousands of years. Common historic tile includes quarry tile, encaustic tile, tin-glazed tiles, mosaic, art tile, and industrial tile. Other types available tile includes glass, stone, and concrete. 

Ceramic tile is comprised of clay-based materials that have been molded and fired to create a unit masonry material. It can be either unglazed or glazed. Glaze, essentially a layer of vitrified glass post-firing, reduces water absorption in addition to decorating the tile’s surface. Prior to the 20th century, ceramic tile was hand-pressed and fired at lower, less uniform temperatures. With upgrades in manufacturing, material properties improved, which in turn enhanced the uniformity, density, and strength of tile. However, hand-made tiles are still in production and at times used decoratively in interior spaces.  

Repair and Restoration Best Practices

Prior to repairing, replacing, or restoring existing tile, sources of deterioration should be addressed and mitigated. Refer to our restoration best practices page for additional information, details, and resources. Below, find tile repair and restoration options for consideration for your project. 

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Here are some additional resources that focus on tile repair and restoration. For a more comprehensive list of repair and restoration resources, please refer to the restoration page. For additional guidance, contact IMI. 


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