Tile and Stone
The most common types of tile flooring are Ceramic, Porcelain, and Natural Stone. The type of tile you choose will depend greatly on your budget and your specific needs. Ceramic and Porcelain are similar, but there are some differences. The most common natural stone tile includes granite, slate, limestone, sandstone, and marble. Let’s take a closer look at tile…
What are the differences?
Ceramic – This tile is made from clay that is cut or pressed into tiles. A design is then printed onto the tiles, then it is coated with a protective glaze. Finally, the tiles are baked at very high temperatures in a kiln.
Porcelain – This tile is made in the same fashion as ceramic. The difference is that it uses more refined clay, is baked longer with more pressure, thus resulting in a more dense and harder tile.
Natural Stone – In short, these tiles are made from natural rock that is formed into tiles. While most natural stone is water resistant, it is porous and should be sealed for moisture protection.
Things to consider…
Cost – Ceramic is the best choice for those who are set on tile floors but are on a budget. The cost of natural stone can vary but is usually more expensive than ceramic or porcelain.
Moisture – This is an important factor to consider, especially depending on the areas of your home where you want the tile. For example, porcelain is more watertight than ceramic, this would be a better choice for high moisture areas.
Durability – While tile is extremely durable to everyday use, it can crack if not properly installed or if a heavy object is dropped. Keep in mind that the harder the tile, the more durable it will be.
Design – Ceramic and porcelain are the best choice if there is a specific look you have in mind. If you want a more uniform look or perhaps a special pattern, this is the way to go. Natural stone is very unique in that almost no tile looks alike.
Cleaning – Glazed ceramic and porcelain tiles are super easy to clean. You can use virtually any cleaner without damaging the tile. Natural stone, on the other hand, can react with acidic cleaners that can permanently stain the stone.
Installation – Tile and stone can be installed in most areas of your home. However, if installing over wood subfloors, you will need a cement backer board installed first. This will add to the cost, so keep that in mind. Tile can be labor intensive, which can make the cost of the labor higher than the materials. While this can be a fun do-it-yourself project, we highly recommend you leave this one up to the professionals at Columbia Floor Source.