Tile offers clean, minimalist design with strong options for water, wear, and scratch resistance.
Many tile options are water-resistant.
Superior protection against scratches and dents
Can last for decades with proper care.
How to Buy Tile Flooring
Tile is a tough, durable flooring product that can last decades if properly installed and well-maintained. Depending on the kind of tile, they are resistant to stains, scratches, water, and even minor fire damage! Timeless in its looks, tile can be installed indoors or outdoors to fit the aesthetics of any home.
Maintaining tile doesn’t have to be a chore either; most tile flooring can be cleaned with ease. With a simple mild soap and water solution, there’s no need to use harsh chemicals to keep your floor clean.
Porcelain Tile Flooring
Porcelain tile is a type of ceramic that is fired in a high-temperature kiln. Its non-porous nature means that it doesn’t absorb liquids easily. Porcelain tile is an excellent solution for areas of the home that commonly deal with moisture or water, like bathrooms or kitchens. A properly installed porcelain tile floor is very resistant to stains, warping, and even mold. Porcelain’s surface is so hard and smooth that it generally won’t collect dust and grime like other flooring options. This not only makes cleanup easy, but it also means less potential allergens in your home.
Engineered Tile Flooring
Engineered tile is a great alternative to stone, ceramic, or porcelain tile. Engineered tile should only be installed indoors, but it has the benefit of offering both grouted and groutless installation methods. Engineered tile is commonly constructed with a strong stone composite base that is topped with a durable surface that’s water, scratch, and stain resistant. Modern material science gives this composition of materials the ability to retain more heat and feel soft underfoot, while still providing the same strength and durability of its traditional counterparts.
Ceramic Tile Flooring
Ceramic tile is sold in four grades, and the higher the grade the more resistant it is to scratching and chipping. Grades I and II are sufficient for residential use, while Grades III and IV are the most durable and are more common in commercial use. Ceramic is available in a wide variety of sizes, colors, shapes, and patterns. Ceramic is more affordable than porcelain tile, and offers a similar aesthetic. However, ceramic is generally not designed to be used in areas that accumulate water or moisture.
Natural Stone Tile Flooring
The properties of natural stone are highly dependent on the particular stone picked and the proximity of each quarried section of stone. This is most obvious in the visual look of each section of stone – the coloration, texture, lines, and movement of natural stone will vary from piece-to-piece. The porosity, hardness, and aesthetic will also vary based on the type of stone picked. For example, marble is not quite as strong a material as slate or granite, so it is best suited for bathrooms or kitchens where there is less foot traffic. Slate and granite, on the other hand, would be a great fit for living rooms or hallways due to its naturally hard surface. With proper installation and maintenance, all types of natural stone flooring should last for decades.
Ceramic deals with small spills without problems, but should not be considered to be fully water-resistant. On the other hand, porcelain is highly water resistant and passes the ASTM C373 water absorption test. This means that after being boiled for 5 hours and submerged for another 19 hours (total 24 hours), it has taken on less than 0.5% of its original weight in moisture. In fact, this designation is commonly used internationally to certify that a product is porcelain rather than ceramic.
Hardness & Durability
Porcelain offers superior hardness and durability to ceramic because its clay is comprised of much finer grains. Porcelain is also fired in a kiln that operates at much higher temperatures, for a longer period of time than ceramic. This extreme heat causes more of the silica material in the clay to liquify, which results in a more cohesive material at the microscopic level. Therefore porcelain becomes a much denser, heavier material that is renown for its durability and water-resistance.
The Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) has created 5 groups for porcelain and enamel materials, based on their resistance to wear:
Group 1: Wall installations and countertops.
Group 2: Low-traffic residential locations.
Group 3: All residential, to include entryways, kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and hallways. This is also suitable for light commercial use.
Group 4: Heavy interior and exterior commercial traffic.
Group 5: The toughest porcelain or ceramic tile available, suitable for extremely heavy outdoor traffic like crowded public walkways.
Looking for tile flooring around the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex? All American Flooring is nearby and has great prices on premiere tile brands: Marazzi Tile, Daltile, and more!
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Tile Flooring Installation & Maintenance
Installing Stone, Ceramic, & Porcelain
Natural stone, ceramic, and porcelain tiles are generally installed in the same manner. The traditional method of installing tile can be difficult and messy, so professional installations are common. In summary: The installers will prepare and lay down an underlayment as a foundation for the tile, plan out and cut tiles to the right shape and size, spread mortar and lay down the tiles, and finally apply grouting and grout sealant.
Installing Engineered Tile
Engineered tile is much easier to install, and is unique because it offers the option of a groutless install. Groutless installation is faster, creates less mess, and does not require the 2-5 day waiting period that a traditional installation would. Groutless engineered tile installations can start and finish in the same day, fully ready for use by the end-of-day!
Tile flooring is very easy to clean and maintain. Regular sweeping for dust and debris are vital to extending the life of your tile floors. To maximize the beauty of a tile floor, it is important to clean up spilled water or liquids quickly.