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Types of Tile: Pros and Cons

Today, it’s easy to see that there are numerous options to choose from when it comes to tile flooring. Within those options, there are also different price points and styles that can make it feel really overwhelming to decide just which type of tile is right for your space. Don’t let the wide selection of tile flooring overpower your chance to show your personality through design. In fact, you’ll find that while there are many types of tile to choose from, reviewing their pros and cons will help you narrow down to the ideal tile choice that will suit your space, style and budget.

Below is a list of the most common types of tiles as well as their advantages and disadvantages:

Source: ConsumerReports.org

sidebar-ceramicCeramic

Price: $2 to $7 per square foot

What is it? A mix of clay, minerals, and water, ceramic tiles are fired at high temperatures. Glazed styles are then treated with a liquid glass coating and fired again, creating a hard, stain- and scratch-resistant surface. Unglazed tiles are sometimes referred to as “quarry” tiles.

Best for: Ceramic tile is typically affordable, durable, easy to install and comes in a nearly endless array of colors and designs.

But: Colors can vary from lot to lot and ceramic is not ideal for high impact areas. Handmade or “art” tiles can be extremely pricey.

 

images-4Porcelain

Price: $3 to $7 per square foot

What is it? Porcelain tile is a type of ceramic tile that is fired at a higher temperature than standard ceramic, making it denser and less porous.

Best for: Use stain- and impact-resistant porcelain tiles on floors, walls, backsplashes. It’s easy to clean and comes in a wide variety of styles.

But: It requires a special setting material designed to adhere non-porous materials—DIYers often buy the wrong one. Check with the manufacturer to be sure you’re using the recommended adhesive.

 

floor-markerGlass

Price: $7 to $30 and more per square foot

What is it? Thin pieces of glass sold individually or as a mosaic, sometimes with other types of tile, on a mesh backing.

Best for: Colorful, reflective, easy-to-clean glass tile is best for walls and backsplashes. Some glass tile is rated for use on floors. The wide range of colors gives glass tile great “wow” factor.

But: It can be expensive and difficult to install. Because the tiles are transparent, the adhesive is visible through the tile. Unless you’re highly skilled, getting professional-looking results is difficult for a DIYer.

 

cement_tile_satin_finishCement

Price: $9 to $17 per square foot

What is it? Handmade of natural materials, cement tiles—also known as encaustic or Cuban tiles in the U.S.—typically boast bold patterns.

Best for: Resilient and beautiful, cement tiles are appropriate for floors, backsplashes and walls.

But: They’re pricey and not as common as other tiles, so your installer may not be used to working with them. Also, cement tiles are prone to etching by acid or harsh detergents and must be sealed on installation and resealed periodically.

 

f011dd5d0e28438b_4303-w640-h454-b0-p0--traditional-wall-and-floor-tileStone

Price: $6 to $15 per square foot

What is it? Pieces of natural stone—granite, slate, travertine, marble, onyx, sandstone, to name a few—cut into thin, regular pieces, stone tile has a rich, one-of-a-kind look.

Best for: Use stone on walls, backsplashes, or floors. Get the look of a granite countertop for less by using granite tiles instead of a slab.

But: Most stone tile can be damaged by exposure to water, pigment, or acid, so be prepared for extra maintenance. Seal on installation and reseal every 10 years.

Need more help deciding which type of tile is right for your home or business? Contact us or visit us at our Design Center today!

marco-polo-tile-wood-look-tile-flooring

How to Decide on the Right Flooring for Your Home

marco-polo-tile-wood-look-tile-flooringThese days, there are numerous types of flooring to choose from that it’s easy for homeowners to feel overwhelmed. From carpet to wood to tile, flooring options have increased dramatically thanks to advancements in the manufacturing industry. Whether you’re in the planning stages of a new home construction or doing renovations in your current space, these are important factors you need to consider before choosing the right flooring for your home:

1. Consider who is living in your house.

Do you have young children who will be running around? Grandparents or older people living with you? Pets who may be scratching up the floor?

Because they are more prone to spills, children often accelerate wear and tear. Choose flooring that will be the most durable. For example, tile, vinyl or linoleum are great options.

Elderly people on walkers or wheelchairs will have a more difficult time moving about with types of flooring with grout seams, like tile. Wood or laminate floors would work best to fit their needs.

Pet hair is definitely easier to clean on smooth surfaces, so avoid carpet as much as possible. But, claws can also do damage on hardwood floors, so tile, bamboo or laminate flooring are better choices.

2. Consider if anyone has allergies.

For people with allergies, carpet is usually a poor choice for flooring. Compared to hard surfaces, carpet contains higher VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that might affect the health of those sensitive to airborne allergens.

3. Consider the rooms where you will install new flooring.

Kitchens and bathrooms can get a lot or moisture or spills. Tile, linoleum, vinyl, and ceramic tile are popular choices for these areas.

Bedrooms are spaces where people often want to go barefoot. Choose flooring that will be comfortable, such as carpet. Carpet also provides good insulation and soundproofing in case the bedroom is above a garage.

Basements are often the most humid room in the house, so avoid wood. If you really want a “wood-look” in your basement, there are now Wood-Look Tiles that you can choose from as well as laminates that will be durable.

4. Consider what appeals to you.

What kind of look are you going for? If you like a classic look, hardwood is always a popular choice. However, if you are leaning toward a more contemporary and clean look, tiles offer sleek lines. Then, there are those who prefer being more comfortable and cozy, which thick carpeting can provide.

5. Consider if you want to go green.

There are many eco-friendly flooring options available to homeowners today.

Bamboo is a type of grass that grows quickly. It is a strong and durable choice for flooring.

Cork is made from the bark of the cork oak, with no damage to the tree. It is absorbs vibrations and sound, has a natural, nonslip surface, and feels cushiony underfoot.

Linoleum is made from linseed oil, mineral fillers and wood or cork flour. It even has bactericidal properties that “stop microorganisms from multiplying.” It is durable like bamboo.

6. Consider how much time you’ll want to put into the upkeep.

Flooring maintenance can be harder for some types of surfaces than others. Wood, for example, needs to be swept or vacuumed regularly to prevent dulling and scratching from ground-in dirt. Stone and tile don’t need as much upkeep, but they do need to be swept at least once a week to maintain their original finish.

7. Consider your budget.

If you want cost-effective flooring, vinyl and laminate are a great way to go. Both are durable and have great design options. However, if you want a more upscale look and flooring that will last longer over time, tile and stone are popular choices for both homeowners and homebuilders. Aside from the price of the flooring, you’ll also have to keep in mind the cost of installation and any additional materials, such as baseboards, stains or adhesives.

Have more to add to our list? Comment below. Or, if you need assistance on how to choose the right flooring for your home, visit the Marco Polo Tiles Design Center today or give us a call at 626-572-2866. We would be happy to help you!