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!

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