Your Guide to Tile Flooring
Ceramic, porcelain, terra-cotta, and concrete tile promise durability, easy maintenance, and long-lasting style. The array of colors, patterns, sizes, shapes, and textures means you can create a one-of-a-kind design to suit the look of any room.
Tile is the material of choice anywhere you want a durable, low-maintenance floor. Proper installation ensures that the floor will last for years, even decades, to come.
Both ceramic and porcelain tile are made from natural clay, a long-lasting material, making it an eco-friendly flooring choice. When deciding between the two, consider their defining characteristics.
Ceramic tile is a composition of natural clay-base products, minerals, and water. It is available with a glasslike, kiln-fired coating called glaze. Glazed ceramic tile resists stains and can be cleaned with a damp mop and household cleaners. Depending on the glaze, the color of the ceramic tile body may be visible if the glaze is scratched. Ceramic tile is less expensive than porcelain, but both are cheaper than natural stone.
2020 FLOOR TILE DESIGN TRENDS
Tile flooring has the ability to seamlessly fit within a multitude of styles, making it perfectly suited for any trend. Bigger is becoming better when it comes to size. Large-format tiles are more popular than ever, and the minimal grout lines they present give a smooth, cohesive appearance to your floor. We continue to love wood-look tile, which flawlessly replicates the texture and grain of real wood in an extremely durable material. Unique shapes and styles, such as hexagons and mosaics, are the newest trend in wood-look tiles. Natural stone remains a popular look that will never go out of style. Marble, travertine and slate add luxurious sophistication to your kitchen, bathroom and any flooring surface in your home. If natural stone is not for you, manufacturers of ceramic and porcelain tiles have mastered the bright, clean marble look with materials that are less porous, more durable and more cost-effective. Stop in to your nearest Tile Shop to check out the latest selections in fashionable tile flooring.
Whether or not you seal your tile floor and how often you seal it depends upon the type of tile, its level of porosity and its location. The grout located between floor tiles should be sealed on a regular basis. Prior to sealing grout, the tile floor should be cleaned and dried. Sealed grout and/or tile repels moisture, protecting the floor from staining or discoloration. It is best to consult with a tile and/or grout manufacturer to determine the most appropriate type of sealant for your tile floor.
Tile floors do not need to be refinished, resurfaced or reglazed during their lifetime. However, they may need to be repaired. Overtime damage can occur to a grouted joint or a tile may break. In either case the grouted joint should first be removed using a mechanical rotary tool or a hand tool, such as a chisel. Work carefully to prevent damaging adjacent tiles. If the grouted joint is the extent of the damage, the joint should be free and clear of debris, then re-grouted. If the tile is damaged you will need to remove all grouted joints that surround the tile, then carefully chisel or mechanically cut the tile into small pieces and remove. The mortar or adhesive on the floor under the tile should be scraped and removed as well. Once the area is free and clear of any debris, apply mortar to the back of the replacement tile; place in the existing location and squarely position the tile onto the backer board. The top of tile should be flush with the adjacent floor tiles.
Natural Stone Tile Floors
Natural stone tile is very attractive and can also be strong as well. Common types of stone flooring include slate, marble, granite, limestone and travertine. Note that the qualities of natural stone tile vary enormously depending on where, how and when the stone was quarried.
There are two types of natural stone tile that are extremely strong and hard-wearing. In fact, either could qualify as a contender for the best tile for kitchen floors and/or other high-traffic locations. One is granite, a dense, hard igneous rock. It is a distinctive flooring, offering a speckled appearance from the minerals found within the rock. It is said to be close to impervious and, once polished, it resists scratching.
Ceramic tiles are also a good tile flooring option for the laundry room. You can get good ceramic tiles online from Amazon. Similar to the vinyl tiles, they are sturdy and water-resistant. The drawback, however, is the installation hassles. Vinyl tiles are easier to install than ceramic tiles. You must, first of all, prepare the subfloor and install a backup board to accommodate a type of tile expansion and eliminate cracking.
If you require additional insulation and texture for your laundry room floor, consider integrating low-pile tiles into the picture. For instance, you can incorporate the office carpet for a bit more feet and kids comfort. These are equally impermeable to moisture.
The other extremely durable natural stone tile is slate. This stone is a dense metamorphic rock that is very durable. The surface of slate tile is naturally textured, although you can find some that have been smoothed and honed. You can find slate in a variety of dark earth tones.
- Very small entry cost
- Sturdy and long-lasting
- You can easily install tiles and replace damaged ones without professional help.
- Ceramic tiles are slippery, cold and noisy. You are likely to experience a lot more noise reverberations from the sound of your washing machine or dryer compared to other tile flooring options.
- The grout line collects dirt which makes cleaning more challenging. However, you can make the job easier by getting one of these vacuum cleaners.
Durable Slate-Look Porcelain
Another good tile flooring option for your laundry room or mudroom is the slate-like porcelain tiles. They work well here, especially, due to pressure from foot traffic and heavy appliances. Also, if you’re looking for a casual or rustic option, this is a perfect solution.
They look similar to natural stone tiles but with a better water resistance capacity. However, you need to prepare the floor properly to tolerate the reverberation from the dryer and washing machine.