Porcelain, ceramic & glass: Tile to suit every decor

We're especially fond of those little wall and floor jewels, the glass tile. Whether it's to create a spa-like atmosphere in the bath or a stunning backsplash or accent wall, they add brilliance and dazzle to a room. They also visually enlarge a room because of their translucent quality that reflects light.

We especially love this idea: Insert some around your fireplace surround so they shimmer and shine with the flames to produce a spectacular light show.

Not just a design tool, they're also eco-friendly, being able to be recycled and reused; the glass gets pulled out of a landfill, melted, and then shaped into various forms and sizes. That results in using less energy.

Glass is ultra-tough, non-porous and stain and mildew resistant. Dirt wipes right off with a damp cloth, but they can be a little more expensive so if there are budget concerns, simply use them as accent pieces.

Create your own castle with porcelain tile

Nothing creates a high-end look for a home as much as natural stone. It adds sophistication and elegance, but we know it can be pricey when it comes right out of the quarry.

A wonderful alternative is to use porcelain tile in a pattern that resembles marble, limestone, quartz, slate, or travertine. It's not only more affordable, but the engineering can make it more non-porous and more sometimes than the real thing.

While porcelain is a type of ceramic, it also includes some sand and often glass to make it heavier. It's completely waterproof and can even be used outside; it's not unusual to find it on decks, patios, and even around the pool.

Ceramic is waterproof only when glazed; that glazing produces a hard shell that makes the tile almost impossible to break.

The enormous variety of colors and patterns make it perfect to create a design on floors, backsplashes, accent walls, and surrounds but it is recommended only for indoor use.

Stone style

Stone shapes, such as bricks, pebbles, and mosaics also make unique backsplashes; one look we love is to place them on the front of the food preparation peninsula.

For more information, visit the Carpet Mart showroom in Benton Harbor, MI.