Floor tiles offer clean, minimalist design with strong options for water, wear, and scratch resistance.
How to Buy Tile Flooring
Should I pick tile flooring for my room?
What types of floor tiles are available?
Ceramic Tile FlooringCeramic tile is sold in 4 grades, and the higher the grade, the more resistant it is to scratching and chipping.
- Grades I and II are sufficient for residential use.
- Grades III and IV are the most durable and are more common in commercial use.
Porcelain Tile FlooringPorcelain tile is a type of ceramic fired in a high-temperature kiln. Its non-porous nature means that it doesn’t absorb liquids easily. The material is an excellent solution for areas that commonly deal with moisture or water, like bathrooms or kitchens. A properly installed porcelain tile floor is 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 cleaning easy, but it also means fewer potential allergens in your home.
Engineered Floor TilesEngineered tile is an excellent alternative to stone, ceramic, or porcelain tile. You can install the tile indoors, and it accommodates both grouted and groutless installation methods. Engineered tile is commonly constructed with a sturdy stone composite base. Manufacturers top the composite with a durable surface that’s water, scratch, and stain-resistant. Modern material science gives this material the ability to retain more heat and feel soft underfoot while still providing the same strength and durability as its traditional counterparts.
Natural Stone TilesThe 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 se 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 as strong a material as slate or granite, so it is ideal for bathrooms or kitchens which have less foot traffic. On the other hand, slate and granite are suitable for living rooms or hallways due to their naturally hard surface. With proper installation and maintenance, all types of natural stone flooring should last for decades.
What are the differences between ceramic tile and porcelain tile?
|Porcelain Tiles||Ceramic Tiles|
|Highly water-resistant||Moderately water resistant|
|Less porous||A bit porous|
|Ideal for bathroom & kitchens||Ideal for high-traffic areas|
|A bit expensive||Cheaper compared to porcelain|
Hardness & DurabilityPorcelain offers superior hardness and durability because its clay comprises finer grains. Porcelain is also fired in a kiln that operates at much higher temperatures, for a longer time than ceramic. This extreme heat causes more of the silica material in the clay to liquefy, which results in a more cohesive material at the microscopic level. Therefore, porcelain becomes a much denser, heavier material renowned for its durability and water resistance.
Porcelain Vs. Ceramic CostCeramic has a lesser value than porcelain, though their appearances are almost identical. The difference in cost arises because porcelain is made of finer and denser clay containing more feldspar. Therefore, it requires more raw materials to make the same number of tiles.
What does each grouping of porcelain mean? Wear Resistance
The Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) has created 5 groups for porcelain and enamel materials, based on their resistance to wear:
Wall installations and countertops
Low-traffic residential locations
All residential, entryways, kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and hallways. They are also suitable for light commercial use
Heavy interior and exterior commercial traffic
The toughest porcelain or ceramic tile, suitable for extremely heavy outdoor traffic like crowded public walkways
Long Life Tile Floors
Looking for cheap floor tiles 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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Floor Tiles Installation & Maintenance
Are floor tiles easy to install?
Installing Stone, Ceramic, & Porcelain TilesThe process of installing natural stone, ceramic, and porcelain floor tiles is generally similar. The traditional method of installing tile can be complex and messy, so professional installations are common. In summary, here is the tile installation process (step-by-step):
- Prepare and lay down an underlayment as a foundation for the floor tiles.
- Lay the tiles on the subfloor. Tile spacing is subject to personal preference, but following the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper grout line width is important.
- Cement tiles into position with a tile adhesive. Smooth the adhesive onto the back of each tile, using a notched trowel, and set in place before the excess adhesive begins to ooze from beneath the tile.
- Apply tile grout, filling the spaces between each of the tiles. Tile grouts come in sanded and unsanded varieties, so choose a sanded grout for areas that see a lot of foot traffic. It is recommended to wait at least 24 hours before walking on newly laid tiles to allow the full strength of the bond to take effect.
- Clean the tiles after installation. Remove excess grout from around the tiles with a sponge. Lightly scrub stubborn dirt off the tiles using a non-abrasive cleaner and a toothbrush or other small tool. Rinse thoroughly to remove any cleaning solution.
- After installation, protect tile surfaces by applying floor wax, oil soap, or other sealants as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions. This will help prevent stains and soil buildup on the tiles, making future cleanings easier.
Installing Engineered TilesEngineered 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 on the same day, fully ready for use by the end-of-day!
- Prepare the surface by leveling out any depressions or debris.
- Unroll and spread the tiles in an even layer.
- Cut the tiles to fit around any corners, holes, or other obstacles where needed.
- Make sure you overlap the tiles by a few inches at each seam.
- Apply adhesive to the back of each tile using a notched trowel.
- Lay each tile into its spot and level it using a level or straight piece of lumber.
- Repeat the process every few rows to keep the tiles tightly together as you work your way across the floor.
Is tile flooring easy to maintain?
What is the cost of floor tiles installation?
The purchase price of floor tiles is determined primarily by the type of tile you choose. A 12″ x 12″ tile may cost less than a smaller 6″ x 6″, because it is less laborious in cutting the tiles.
Tile installation costs will also vary depending on the type of tile installed. The pattern of laying the tiles will also affect the cost. For example, laying small tiles in a checkerboard pattern will take more time; therefore, be more expensive than laying large tiles in a random pattern.