In a world positively littered with tile companies, some manufacturers and retailers are destined to rise to the top. But what constitutes "best"?
Numerous small artisan tile companies exist, but unless you want to travel to their shops, the products are nearly impossible to obtain.
At the other end of the spectrum, the huge tile companies whose products are easily obtainable at your local home improvement store tend to offer low-quality, uninspiring tiles.
This list offers tiles of high... quality that most consumers can obtain with little difficulty.
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Ann Sacks began her design career in 1980 when she discovered "a box of Mexican Talavera tiles being sold as trivets" while shopping for a wedding dress in Portland, OR.
The company remained largely in the Pacific Northwest for years, but then began slowly spreading its showrooms across the U.S. and now has 19 showrooms.
Ann Sacks Tile is always original. If you are looking to get beyond the typical tile found at the big companies, Ann Sacks is the place to go.
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This Binghamton, NY-based maker and retailer of distinctive tiles has only been in business since 2000, but she has made a strong impact on the designer tile landscape. In conjunction with her daughter Emily, Jablon produces custom mosaic glass tiles available online to dress up a kitchen, bathroom, or any part of your house that needs unique tiles.
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Since 2000, Arizona Hot Dots has been producing one-of-a-kind accent tiles and backsplash mosaics in bronze, aluminum, pewter and stone. AZ Hot Dots is your go-to place if you want to break out of the rut of monotonous, boring tile.
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Arizona Tile really has gorgeous tile, and it's the go-to place if you're looking to break out of the Home Depot-type of tile rut. John Huarte and wife Eileen began Arizona Tile in 1977 in San Diego, and now service primarily the Western U.S. from 25 locations. While Arizona Tile does have a healthy range of porcelain and glass tile, they excel with granite, marble, limestone, travertine, slate and onyx slabs and tile.Continue to 5 of 24 below.
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Florida Tile must be located in...Florida, right? Wrong. Their corporate headquarters are in Lexington, Kentucky, with a manufacturing and distribution base in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.
For a half-century, Florida Tile, Inc. has been making porcelain and ceramic wall tile, as well as natural stone and decorative glass and metal tiles. In our picture gallery of diagonal tile flooring, we feature a number of Florida Tile products.
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Hakatai is an importer and distributor of glass tile and has been in business since 1997. They offer recycled glass tiles, totally carbon-free green shipping, and esoteric specialty tiles. Be sure to sure out Hakatai's killer tile picture gallery.
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Based in the Portland, OR area (Milwaukie), Clayhaus is a very personal, hands-on, and as they put it, "labor of love," by Jason and Megan Coleman.
As is befitting a smaller tile studio, Clayhaus doesn't have a massive quantity of products, but what they do have is all interesting, unique, and well thought-out, as opposed to some of the larger companies that seem to spew out tile lines by the thousands.
You might just love Clayhaus after you check out their Matte White tiles installed... on stair risers. At this time, Clayhaus is still largely a West Coast/Pacific Northwest company (12 dealers in Oregon, Washington, and California) but with a few others, too, along the Gulf Coast, Midwest, and Eastern Seaboard. Check 'em out for great ideas!
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Both a tile manufacturer and distributor, Bedrosians has been in business for well over half a century, mainly in the West Coast (U.S.). Bedrosians has a brick-and-mortar presence, represented by 30 branches in California, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Washington, and Florida. It also has a strong national and international customer base.
In our article about Italian tile ideas, we feature tile from Bedrosians.Continue to 9 of 24 below.
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Modwalls has become a force to be reckoned with.
Only a few years old, this online-only Aptos, CA-based company designs and manufactures its own ceramic and porcelain tile, all with a modern bent.
With most tile companies you have to hunt and forage for cool, unique tiles; but with Modwalls, cool and unique is business as usual.
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More high-end tile, all mosaic. Headquartered in Vicenza, Italy, Bisazza Mosaico has 13 flagship stores across the world, with 15 dealers in the U.S. alone.
Even if you are not in the market for architect-quality mosaic tile, Bisazza Mosaico's site is well worth consulting to see tile designs from knowledgeable designers.
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Del Conca is an Italian tile company that has placed roots in the United States in the form of a large factory in Tennessee.
They have Del Conca Fast, a system for laying their porcelain stoneware plank tile without grout, adhesives, or joints. Each tile plank has grooves on both sides (not like tongue and groove, which has grooves only on one side). You place a insert in the groove as a kind of "tongue" and then use a mallet to tap the adjoining board in.
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Mission Stone & Tile is based in Nashville, TN, with a store in Chattanooga.
Mission boasts unique tile offerings such as its Curve Appeal scalllop-shaped tiles and its Hex Appeal hexagonal Carrara Basalt tiles. Besides those two stores,
Mission sells its products online, with free shipping for orders of $1;000 or more.Continue to 13 of 24 below.
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Floor, wall, medallion, natural stone, and resin borders from a Fullerton, CA-based tile company, with branches in Texas and Illinois.
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Nemo, based in New York, sports a gorgeous website with tons of great tile ideas--porcelain, stone, engineered. Even wood, for heaven's sakes. Nemo is a must-see site.
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How can you go wrong with Italian lineage for a tile company? Marazzi provides porcelain stoneware, glazed porcelain, through-body porcelain, glass, and glazed ceramic tile for both commercial and residential use.
Even though Marazzi does not sell directly to the homeowner--and few tile manufacturers do, anyway--they have not forgotten our needs with their nice, informative website.
Marazzi distributes to both independent retailers and to the big home improvement centers like The Home Depot.
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Merola Tile provides porcelain and natural stone tiles for kitchens, bathrooms, walls, and floors.
What else? Merola Tile provides tile to name retailers, so do not expect to buy any tile through them directly.Continue to 17 of 24 below.
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Florim USA, formerly called American Florim, is based in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Florim USA is the U.S. offshoot of Italian tilemaker Florim Group. They call their tile "Italian tile made in the U.S.A."
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StonePeak is an Italian company with headquarters in Chicago and production facilities in Tennessee.
This is gorgeous stuff, mainly revolving around commercial and high-end residential installations. Be sure to check out their site.
Their downloadable .pdf catalogs offer the most comprehensive view of their offerings, along with large, drool-worthy photos of their tile in action.
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As the name says, Oceanside is all about glass tile. Since 1992, Oceanside has supplied glass tile for high profile commercial and residential tiling applications.
They have a product gallery worth checking out, as you can search images by keyword (such as "backsplash") and pull up a large number of photos.
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This Massachusetts-based tile company, in business since 2000, imports premium French, Italian, and Spanish hand made terra cotta tile.Continue to 21 of 24 below.
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Based in Scottsdale, AZ, but distributing in 7 other U.S. Western states, Tile & Stone by Villagio features ultra-swanky tumbled stone and travertine, among other types of tile.
Their company site is especially informative because of the annotated pictures which tell you exactly which tile you are looking at.
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American Olean is a subsidiary of Dal-Tile. In 1995, Dal-Tile acquired American Olean. Both Dal-Tile and American Olean are owned by Mohawk Industries, a huge conglomerate that touches on many home remodeling industries, mainly flooring related.
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Dal-Tile proudly manufactures tile in the United States (seven operations in the U.S.; one in Mexico). According to their website, they offer "glazed and unglazed tile, glazed and unglazed ceramic mosaics, glazed porcelain tile, unglazed quarry tile and a variety of stone products."
In terms of availability, Dal-Tile is one tile manufacturer who is there--everywhere. You can find Dal-Tile in over 250 dedicated retails sales centers, as well as those weekend DIY favorites, Lowe's and... The Home Depot.
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You may not have known that Armstrong is more than just resilient and laminate flooring. Armstrong is also a huge supplier of ceramic tile. Not only that, they have a good site showcasing their tile products and a decent tile design tool. Worth checking out.