When we think tile we think of something we purchase to decorate our home , tile can refer to any durable material laid in rows over a surface to help protect it and make it more durable. Take a look at Pinterest and you will find the hundreds of different and innovative materials people have used as tile, like pennies and broken pieces of seashells.
The most common and well known tiles today found in most home improvement stores are made of four basic materials: porcelain, ceramic, glass, and stone. All of these materials are the most common for a reason, they are durable and can be produced into many colors shapes and sizes.
So what is the best way to determine exactly which tile you should use in your home? If all materials are durable can’t a home owner just choose the one they like the best and be done? Selecting the right tile takes a little more thought than just style. Here are three major areas to consider when choosing tile:
Location of the Tile
Knowing exactly where you want your tile will help to determine the individual tile size and the material. Tile can be used in a number of places the most common are floors, showers, and kitchen backsplashes.
Glass- this is a popular choice for bathrooms on shower walls and kitchen backsplashes.A huge draw for glass tiles is the variety in color and finish especially mosaic glass tiles. Though not seen as often some people have used a mosaic glass tile on their bathroom floor to add high style and drama to a space. If you do this make sure to purchase tile made for flooring not just any glass mosaic tile you find ;flooring needs more traction to prevent slips especially in the bathroom. Glass does not hold up to wear and tear as well as other materials.
Porcelain- is one of the most popular choices for flooring as it allows for a no-slip grip and is one of the strongest of tiling materials. This is a great choice for outdoor spaces as well because it is water-resistant.
Ceramic tile- is the most widely used choice for bathrooms because of its ability to stand up to moisture-rich environments. Ceramic is easy to clean and install as well as budget friendly.
Natural stone is the most durable of all tile materials and though it does not come in as many color options it offers a natural beauty and one of a kind patterns specific to the stone cut. Keep in mind it is very important for stone tile to be deep cleaned and sealed. Smooth stone is great for kitchens where daily clean-ups occur. Textured stone tile is a good choice for flooring.
Considering shape and size- Larger styles are easier to lay then smaller ones. Before laying make sure 723all your tiles are the same size they can be cut up to a ¼ difference.Square and rectangle shapes are the easiest to lay than those with fancy cuts. For fancier and more sophisticated looks it is best to call in a pro.
Frequency of Use
There is no firm set standard for tile durability. Nearly all tile is classified using the the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) ratings of: 1-meaning no foot traffic, 2-means light foot traffic, 3- refers to moderate to light foot traffic, 4- is for moderate to heavy foot traffic, and 5- extra to heavy foot traffic.
It is very important to consider PEI ratings when choosing floor tiles. Other things to consider in tile use are spilled food, contact with cleaning supplies, dog scratches, and general daily use activities.
Stone and porcelain are great for flooring. Porcelain is usually classified as a 4 or 5 making it great for kitchens and open family areas. This is why porcelain tile that looks like hardwood has become so popular.
Glass and Ceramic tiles tend to be on the lower end of the PEI scale and allow for great creative and colorful kitchen and bathroom installations on walls.
All tile and especially grout and natural stone should be deep cleaned and sealed by a professional cleaner. Some tile is more porous and will require more frequent cleaning.
All Kleen has been keeping tile at its best for over 30 years. Make an appointment online today.
By No machine-readable author provided. Roger McLassus 1951 assumed (based on copyright claims). – No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=526209