When it comes to flooring there is no shortage of types, styles, textures, colors, and designs. For example; carpet flooring, cork flooring, laminate flooring, linoleum flooring, stone flooring, vinyl flooring, wood flooring and tile flooring are among some of the types as well as the style and array of designs to choose from. With so many types, styles, and designs, it can become very overwhelming as well as difficult to decide which is best suited for your needs, wants and home. While you have so many choices we’re going to focus on tile flooring and why you should consider it for your home. However, you’ll also need to realize only one type of tile isn’t going to be best suited for every space in your home.
Why tile flooring?
Whether you’re looking to increase the value of your home for resale, appraisal, insurance or any other reason, nearly every professional real estate will inform you that tile flooring remarkably increases it. The attractiveness and lure of tile flooring persists for a very long period when it is properly maintained, this is especially true for tile that has been glazed. In fact, a tile floor needs very little cleaning unless, of course, something has spilled on it, routine vacuuming and dusting suffice very well. Provided that the tiles and the grout have been properly sealed, this flooring type is superior at resisting water damage, this is ordinarily why bathroom and kitchen floors are tiled and popular. Have you ever experienced a carpeted kitchen or bathroom? Believe it or not, as ridiculous as it may seem, they exist and are highly unappealing, leaving homeowners little choice other than to replace it or experience a loss in the value of their home. Furthermore, tile is among one of the best surfaces to install above a radiant floor heating system. Due to such systems becoming increasingly popular, it’s sensible that the demand for tile will continue to rise.
Here are some of our tips to assist you in determining which will suit you best.
First, strongly consider the hardness of the tile!
When considering the different types of tile flooring, pay close attention to its hardness as it’s one of the most important features. The Mohs scale, which is used in classifying minerals, goes from 1 to 10 utilizing a series of associating minerals, and the position on the scale depends on the ability to scratch minerals that are lower rated as well as the wear of the material. The softest mineral used is talc which is rated at 1 if no scratch and the hardest is a diamond rated at 10 if no scratch. It’s normally referenced in the tile section or packaging. We mention this as it’s pertinent to better understand tile when you’re considering which type you’ll be implementing and in what area.
With that information in mind, and as an example, full body, unglazed, porcelain tile in an area such as your living room (though it’s versatile to most areas) may be ideal, as unglazed porcelain tiles have higher abrasion resistance, higher slip resistance, higher impact resistance opposed to glazed porcelain tile. However, not all porcelain tiles are created equal and there are several things you’ll want to consider. Such as the area where it will be placed, how often it will be exposed to foot traffic, what items may be placed on it and so on. We recommend using PEI ratings when deciding if porcelain is an ideal option for the area where you’d like it. These ratings are provided by PEI (the Porcelain Enamel Institute) and are formed by scrupulous testing.
- Class I: No presence of movement, essentially only appropriate for walls. We only mention this as it’s the first rating and realize it’s not an option for flooring.
- Class II: Suitable in rooms with no shoes or soft soled, and normal foot traffic, with no scratching debris. Eg. Rooms with no access exteriorly.
- Class III: Suitable in areas with ordinary foot traffic and minor amounts of scratching debris. Essentially nearly any room in the home, except for areas of high traffic. Eg. Entryways and kitchens.
- Class IV: Suitable in areas with medium to heavy traffic. Basically all rooms in a home, including entryways, kitchens and halls.
- Class V: Suitable in areas with substantial to extraordinary traffic, including exposure to scratching debris. Superior to install in any area of the home including commercial spaces.
Secondly, strongly consider the porosity of the tile!
Porosity is a crucial feature not to be overlooked. It’s based on the ratio of air holes to solids in a tile, which influences the quantity of water it absorbs. If you’re considering implementing tile in an area prone to moisture, such as your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, etc. strongly consider its rating. We suggest ceramic stone tile for the kitchen based on it’s ratings and elegance.
Porosity Classifications are as follows:
- Low density: absorption of water that is of 0.5 percent or less. Strongly recommended for the kitchen, and even more the bathroom.
- Vitreous: absorption of water that is between 0.5 percent to 3 percent.
- Medium density: absorption of water that is between 3 – 7 percent.
- Non Vitreous: absorption of water that is more than 7 percent. We highly discourage tile with this rating for floor use. Yet there are tiles available with this rating, hence considering the porosity.
Other things you need to consider!
Confirm the slip resistance. Search for tiles with a high COF (coefficient of friction). Tile materials have a tendency to be slippery, especially when water is introduced. This shouldn’t deter you from choosing tile for any area, as there are an array of tile options and other simple solutions. Ask about slip resistant coatings, especially for the bathroom and if you have children or elderly people in your home. Such as textured, slate (naturally slip resistant) pebble stone and more. Area rugs are ideal, appealing and a solution for larger areas and accent rugs for smaller areas.