Masonry is a broad category made up of shaped or molded rock-based products. It includes other building materials like cement and adobe, but when referring to flooring materials is stone, ceramic tile, or similar hard and flat materials. What they all have in common is their primary ingredient (rock) and their hardness. They also share a common characteristic of looking “natural” or as in nature. True, some ceramic tile doesn’t quite look natural, but the design intent is to look like an idealized or enhanced version of nature.
Stone flooring is relatively natural with only the stonecutter’s tool marks to show that it is crafted. (Some cast stone products are copies of natural stone flooring and include faux tool marks.) Ceramic tile is made of baked clay, often with a glaze for color, protection, or both. Though manufactured, ceramic flooring materials, look more natural than vinyl flooring.
Stone flooring is a solid rock material. Ceramic tile is a manufactured product of clay and other earth elements, coated with a glaze, then “fired” in a hot oven to dry and harden it. Both are popular flooring materials.
Ceramic tile floors require a flat and clean subfloor; otherwise foot traffic can crack the tiles.