Buying Tips for Ceramic, Porcelain, Glass & Natural Stone Tile
There are a number of excellent reasons to incorporate tile flooring into your next project. They are durable, easy to clean and maintain, and come in a dazzling array of color, style, and shape options. Tile or stone can be used in any room in your house and can help bring a natural element into the home, while minimizing allergens. If you like the variety of options available with tile or stone, you may also be interested in luxury vinyl tile or plank (LVT/LVP).
Benefits of Tile & Stone
If you are looking for flooring that is natural, eco-friendly, and cost effective, tile or stone (including porcelain, ceramic, glass, and many beautiful types of natural stone) may be the perfect choice. These materials come with a number of additional benefits as well, such as versatility. Tile or stone can be used in any room of the home and can be made cozy with the addition of radiant heating below. There are certain kinds of tile and stone that it is possible to use in outdoor applications as well. The uses of these materials aren’t limited to flooring – tiles work wonderfully as a kitchen backsplash or a shower surround. The style options are virtually endless because of the incredible variety of glazes, colors, styles, and patterns. Being naturally stain- and moisture-resistant, tile and stone are incredibly durable and easy to clean, and many provide great slip-resistance, making them safe as well. Since they do not contain any allergens and do not trap dust or odors, tile or stone is an excellent choice for allergy sufferers and can improve indoor air quality.
Ceramic vs. Porcelain
Both porcelain and ceramic tiles are both technically ceramic. The difference is in their resistance to water absorption. Porcelain tiles are denser (harder), more impervious to water, finer grained, and smoother than ceramic tiles. Also, porcelain tiles do not show chips as much as ceramic tiles. Porcelain tile also has some differences in its manufacture and composition. It is often extruded and has fewer impurities than ceramic. Generally, porcelain contains more of an ingredient called kaolin than ceramic. One notable difference is that while porcelain tile can be used in some specific outdoor applications, it is not recommended to use ceramic tile outdoors. However, there are some downsides to porcelain tile. Since it is so dense, it is more difficult to cut and requires a wet tile saw. Also, it is often times significantly more expensive than ceramic tile. Both types of tile come in many different colors, glazes, patterns, sizes, and shapes, and in most applications, either is appropriate and you can choose based on your décor needs.
All About Stone
The most common kinds of natural stone include slate, limestone, travertine, marble, granite, and sandstone, which all have slightly different properties. These properties are classed by absorption rating, grade, coefficient of friction, indoor vs. outdoor rating, and possibility of oxidation. Each kind of stone has unique pros and cons, and those will need to be factored into your decision to use one type or another. There are some great reasons to use stone. First, it is a natural material, meaning that each installation is completely unique. It brings an element of the natural world into your application. Additionally, it is eco-friendly. However, natural stone can be porous, meaning it needs to be periodically sealed to protect the surface. Also, some stones can chip or scratch relatively easily.
Stone and tile flooring are among the easiest to maintain. To prevent scratches or wear, you should use area rugs at entranceways and in areas like in front of the stove or sink. Make certain to keep furniture protectors under the feet of heavy furniture or chairs. On a daily basis, you should sweep or vacuum your floor to remove grit that can scratch or stain the surface. Then, once weekly you should use a damp mop or steam mop with a cleaner made for stone or tile that has a neutral pH. Take care not to let water or other spills sit on the floor to prevent slips and dulling of the floor, and do not use a normal detergent or soap because it can dull the surface or encourage mildew growth.
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