What Are the Benefits of Tile Flooring?

Archeologists have found evidence that tile flooring has been around for at least 6,000 years, going back to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, or modern-day Iran. And some believe the Chinese developed the skills to produce ceramic pots and other ceramic items almost 20,000 years ago.

If you’re lucky enough to have seen any of the intricate floor mosaic tile designs of the ancient Greeks and Romans, it’s safe to say that people have enjoyed the benefits and the beauty of floor tiles for a very long time.

 

Porcelain tile and ceramic floor tiles are just two of the many flooring options

Later in this article we will review in detail the pros and cons of porcelain and ceramic floor tiles. For now, it’s useful to know that there are literally dozens of different styles, materials, formats, sizes, textures, and shapes of floor tiles.

 

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Ceramic vs. porcelain – two types of tiles, many shared benefits

Unless you’re a professional in the floor tile industry, I defy you to tell the difference between an installed ceramic tile and an installed porcelain tile. Both of them share many benefits, but there are some important differences.

 

Water absorption

One of the main differences between ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles is the rate at which they absorb water. Ceramic tiles tend to absorb water more quickly, while the very best porcelain tiles absorb almost no water at all.

To be clear, this is true under extreme conditions, and the differences in absorption are real but miniscule. Any good-quality ceramic tile will compare closely to a porcelain tile. Under normal conditions in a residential kitchen or bathroom, both types of tile will perform well.

 

Indoor or outdoor use

If you live in an area where the temperature dips below freezing, be careful to make sure the tile you choose is rated for such use. In general, porcelain tiles are more often recommended for outdoor temperature extremes where water can freeze.

 

Differences in strength

A properly laid and bedded ceramic tile will be almost as strong as a properly installed porcelain tile. Ultimately, porcelain tiles are normally stronger because of the way they are constructed, but most of the difference will be made up for with a quality installation. Porcelain tiles are fired at higher temperatures and for longer periods than ceramic tiles. This makes them denser and tougher.

 

Patterns and colors

Here, ceramic tiles have a distinct advantage. With a ceramic tile, your choices are practically unlimited. Any design, any color, and any pattern can be achieved with the top layer and glaze of a ceramic tile.

 

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You can achieve stone, or wood-look tiles. Even screened photographs can be recreated on ceramic tiles. Alas, porcelain limits the colors to those found in the natural clays used as a raw material. By comparison, ceramic tiles and the beauty of the ball.

 

Differences in construction

With ceramic tiles, what you see is a thin but beautiful top layer that is then fired to create a protective glaze on the top. Should something very heavy and sharp put a chip in the ceramic tile, the clay underneath would show through.

 

With porcelain tiles, what you see goes all the way through the tile. The look might not be spectacular, but if it chipped, the same color would show through.

 

Here are just a few examples of tile options:

Natural Cork Tiles

– 100 % natural and harvested from Portugal

– Fire resistant up to extreme temperatures

– Resistant to mold and mildew

– Quiet and comfortable underfoot

 

Linoleum Tiles

– They’re coming back into vogue!

– Natural product made from linseed oil

– Durable and water resistant

– Great for the bathroom and kitchen

 

Carpet Tiles

– Easy to install

– Easy to replace damaged or stained pieces

– Highly durable

– Great variety

– Withstands heavy foot traffic

 

Vinyl Tiles

– Exploding in popularity

– Used to come in boring squares, now the shapes are unlimited

– Inexpensive

– Easy to install

– Excellent durability and water/stain resistance

 

Luxury Vinyl Tiles

– Closely mimics the look and feel of real wood or ceramic tiles

– Variety of formats

– Easy to install

– Excellent durability and water/stain resistance

– Tough enough for the busiest kitchen floor

 

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Hardwood Flooring Tiles

– Better known by the name parquet tiles

– Real hardwood flooring in an inexpensive and easy-to-install format

– Warmth and beauty of real solid hardwood

 

Terrazzo Tiles

– Same look of popular European large field Terrazzo flooring

– Small format makes them much easier and less expensive to install

 

Terra Cotta Tiles

– Soft surface wears down for a unique appearance

– Depending on climate can be used outdoors

– Rich, unmatched texture and color

 

Marble and Travertine Tiles

– Richness of colors and patterns from nature

– Durable

– Can be polished to a high gloss

– Can be expensive depending on the particular variety

– Can be expensive to install

 

Natural Stone Tiles

– Limestone, slate, and other materials provide a unique natural look and feel

– Can be expensive to buy and install

 

Mosaic Tiles

– Unmatched beauty but can be extremely expensive if laid out in original patterns and designs.

– Cost effective if factory made and backed

 

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Installation is important for both ceramic and porcelain

Regardless of what price you pay for the tile themselves, please save time and money for the installation. It can be more important than the tiles themselves because it will affect the performance and durability of the tile you choose. The last thing anyone wants is to have a brand-new tile floor crack like an egg because too many corners were cut in the installation.

 

 

Find a reputable tile flooring retailer

Take the time to look for someone who’s been in business for years and years. Make sure they know the area and the type of subfloors on which the tile will be installed.

It’s important that the flooring expert you find knows the climate in your area as well. All this can affect the installation. The more you do your research, the happier you will be with the products and services your flooring expert will provide. Call Flooring Direct in the Dallas/Fort Worth area today for your free estimate!

 

(214) 390-0850