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Cates Custom Works has built a reputation for providing the highest level of professional tile and stone installation craftsmanship in the Middle Tennessee area.

There is no shower we can't build. We offer tile installation on lath and mortar and concrete backerboard. Our goal is always to make it last, make it work and make it beautiful! If your bathroom remodel or kitchen design includes ceramic tile or stone then we are the ones to call.

Nashville Hardwood Floor Specialists
Types of Tile


Brick tiles are a good floor choice for informal or rustic décor. Available in several earth tone colors, bricks tiles should be treated with a stain resistant sealer. Floor brick is normally used in outdoor settings (such as patios) and can be arranged in interesting geometric patterns.


Cement-bodied tiles are poured into molds, then fired or dried naturally. Color may be added. Sealing is required after installation for moisture and stain resistance.


Ceramic tile is made from clay or other minerals. The extruded material is shaped and heat-treated (fired) in a kiln. Clay tiles are then further treated in one of two ways:
  • Glazed — color is added to the tile after firing. The glasslike surface is bonded to the tile. Glazing allows brighter colors to be used and adds stain resistance. Because of their slick, glassy surface, glazed tiles are used mostly on walls or countertops. Glazed tile offers more color choices than unglazed.
  • Unglazed — (Also called quarry tiles). The pigment or natural color is present during firing and is part of the tile itself. Unglazed tile needs sealing for stain resistance.


Porcelain or ceramic mosaic tiles are two inches square or smaller. They can be installed individually or can be found pre-mounted on mesh or paper sheets. Mosaics may be glazed or unglazed.


Pavers resemble brick, but are thinner. Shale based pavers are used for patios as well as interior floors. Like quarry tile, pavers needs sealing for moisture and stain proofing


The material is fired at a very high temperature, making a dense tile. The denser tile makes porcelain tile more resistant to moisture.


Quarry tile is unglazed and requires sealing in wet areas. Clay-based quarry tile is used extensively in commercial settings. Because it's a durable and relatively inexpensive material, it's becoming more acceptable in homes. The predominant colors are earth shades of red and orange.


Saltillo or Mexican tile is air dried rather than kiln dried. Drying outdoors in the sun makes this tile a little softer and less durable. The exposure to the elements also gives the tile a look that is unique. When used indoors a sealer is required.

Terra cotta

Terra cotta is the same material in construction and appearance as clay garden pots. Tiles are absorbent and need to be treated for indoor use.


Stone or marble chips embedded in cement make up a terrazzo floor. The polished surface makes a durable floor material.
PEI Ratings

Although there are no industry standards, most tile is rated for use by the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) abrasion test and is recommended by the American Society Testing Materials (ASTM). PEI ratings measure the wear resistance of the tile surface.
  • Class 1 - No Foot Traffic:
    Ceramic tile suggested for interior residential and commercial wall applications only.
  • Class 2 - Light Traffic:
    Ceramic tile suggested for interior residential and commercial wall applications and for residential bathroom floor applications only.
  • Class 3 - Light to Moderate Traffic:
    Ceramic tile suggested for residential floor, countertop, and wall applications.
  • Class 4 - Moderate to Heavy Traffic:
    Ceramic tile suggested for residential, medium commercial and light institutional floor and wall applications.
  • Class 5+ - Heavy to Extra Heavy Traffic:
    Ceramic tile suggested for residential, commercial and institutional floor and wall applications subjected to heavy to extra heavy traffic.