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Quarry Tiles: Basics and Buying Tips
Quarry Tiles

Creative Installation of Quarry Tiles from South Cypress Floors

© South Cypress Floors
Quarry tile is a misleading name. Does this tile come straight from the quarries in slabs, like those granite slabs in kitchen counters? Not exactly...

Often in Commercial Applications

You have seen quarry tile a million times before and perhaps not known its name. Quarry tile is made from shale and natural clays; is typically reddish-brown and unglazed; and is used in high-traffic settings. Many commercial buildings use quarry tile because it hides stains well and is very durable.

In the Home

But that doesn't mean that quarry tiles are limited to strictly functional, work-a-day spaces. Many homeowners install quarry tiles when they want to add a unique, warm feel to certain rooms in the home. While you may not find quarry tiles in the bedroom, you can often find them in a sunroom, entryway, or even a kitchen.


  • Colors: Quarry tile is usually red, brown, or gray. Lighter shades of quarry tiles can be found, but remember that unsealed quarry tiles hold stains. So, your light-colored quarry tile will show stains, and will be almost impossible to clean.
  • Sizes: Generally, you will not find the 12" x 12" or larger sizes that you can find with ceramic tiles. Quarry tiles are most often found in the 6" x 6" size, but can range up to 8" x 8".
  • Thickness: Quarry tiles are thick! Most quarry tiles are from 1/2" to 3/4" thick. As a point of comparison, ceramic tiles are found in thicknesses of between 3/8" to 5/8".
  • Surface Texture: One distinguishing aspect of quarry tile is its rougher texture. It provides great traction, which is why it is often used in entryways and high traffic areas.
  • Unglazed: While quarry tile can be glazed, it typically is found unglazed. Its unglazed surface is what provides traction. Also, unglazed tile feels slightly warmer underfoot than glazed tile.
  • Quarry Tile Sealing: Because quarry tile is highly absorbent, it is recommended that you apply tile sealer to the entire surface to mitigate water absorption. Sealer on quarry tile does not change its color or give it a glossy texture.
Shop Direct - Red Canyon Quarry Tile
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