Tile is a manufactured piece of durable material such as metal, glass, stone, porcelain or ceramic. It is used to cover roofs, walls, showers, tabletops or floors. We will be focusing on tile for flooring in this guide. Floor tile can range from simple squares to more complex mosaic designs. Thinner tiles are often used on a floor which helps to resist impact and create a more durable, long-lasting outcome.
Tiles can be used in bathrooms, kitchens, mudrooms, entryways, patios, laundry rooms or other living spaces. Most
often it is used in places in the home where wear and tear is inevitable. Tile is particularly well suited for potentially wet spaces such as baths, kitchens, laundry, mudrooms or entry areas. It looks clean and elegant, but is easy to maintain. While the material works for all locations, it may not be the best choice for everyone and every room. Let’s learn about the pros and cons of this flooring option, the types available and other helpful information to help you make your decision.
Pros & Cons of Tile Flooring
In terms of home resale value, tile flooring significantly increases the value of a home. This is because the allure of this floor and its look lasts for a long time when it is maintained properly. Ultimately, tile flooring is the easiest to clean. It has a timeless appeal to potential homebuyers, especially when natural colors are chosen. Also tile that has been glazed will require even less maintenance other than vacuuming or dusting.
Many enjoy tile flooring because it remains one of the best surfaces to install radiant floor heating on, which has become popular in homes. Because of this added features, it’s only natural that tile flooring continues to be popular in years to come. Tile flooring can withstand water as long as tiles and grout are properly sealed. This is what makes it a popular choice for both bathrooms and kitchens.
This type of flooring is non-toxic and is great for allergy sufferers. They also work great for pet owners as when pets have accidents it can clean up easily and thoroughly. It also can endure a pet’s nails.
In terms of options available, there are countless types and styles of tiles to choose from. Because of this large range of options, it is easy for homeowners to find something that fits their specific taste and their budget.
However, with all of these pros come some cons regarding tile floors. For instance, for floors that aren’t installed with radiant heating, tile floors can be cold and hard to walk on. If you live somewhere there is cold weather, slippers are a must for winter mornings.
Also for do it yourselfers, tile floors are some of the most difficult surfaces to install on your own. This is because special saws are needed in order to cut tile properly. Also, after mortar starts to dry, it is unforgiving and takes a skilled hand in order to create a professional result.
Also, tile doesn’t do anything in terms of sound control such as cork flooring or carpeting. However, area rugs or runners help reduce noise in those areas.
Lastly, glazed tiles can be slippery in areas that may see some water. Also white tiles in areas where heavy foot traffic occurs can become cracked or chipped easily. Experts suggest that using this type of tile in a bathroom can be dangerous.
Types of Tile Flooring
Selecting the right texture, color and size of tile is important. First, let’s learn the types of tile flooring available.
Ceramic is a type of tile that is glazed or unglazed. Glazed ceramic tile has a liquid glass coating that helps tiles to resist scratches, fire or stains. This glaze also helps to protect it against fading and makes it easier to clean. This type of tile can be single or double fired with single-fired tiles have the greater strength. Unglazed tiles that have no coating are great for high-traffic areas in a home. This type of tile should still be treated in order to help them to resist stains.
Porcelain tile is a versatile choice that can be used both in and outdoors. It is a hard surface which allows it to withstand heavy foot traffic areas. Porcelain resists water and can be coated to create better traction. It is especially helpful in bathrooms and kitchens.
Quarry tile provides a natural look to the home with excellent traction, perhaps the best. It is highly durable and can be installed in nonfreezing areas outdoors.
Saltillo or Terra cotta tiles are handcrafted or machine made and gives a unique worldly look to a home. It is advisable to apply a special sealer to this type of tile for added protection.
Stone tile comes in a variety of types including limestone, marble, slate or granite. This polished stone looks gives a
shiny finish that is great for low-traffic areas in a home. Marble is another option that gives a timeless and high-end appearance to floors not subject to freezing temperatures. Slate gives a subtle natural look that resists chemicals and fading nicely. Limestone or sandstone is economical choices that may be more brittle then other stone tile variations.
Glass tile is a versatile type of tile that is non-permeable and suitable for a room that needs to resist moisture. It is great for both indoor and outdoor options and is especially slip resistant.
Vinyl tiles are great for basements or rec rooms as they are heavier than other types of flooring and can only work effectively in this part of the home. They give homeowners the ability to choose large heavy tiles that may not work anywhere else. They offer a relaxed yet durable look that is resistance to moisture that may occur in basements.
Floor Tile Cost Considerations
Ultimately, pricing a tile floor job can be difficult. This is because the material of tile and how much is required for the room being tiled (the size of the room) all influence this price. This means that more basic floor tile will of course be cheaper than more customized or heavy-duty tile flooring options.
For instance, glazed ceramic tiles can cost as much as $20 per square foot while unglazed tiles cost about $2 per square foot. Stone or porcelain tiles average about $2-4 per square foot while natural stones such as marble, granite or slate will cost significantly more.
Take into account the cost of having your tile floor installed if you are not embarking on this project yourself. Many tile floor installers charge up to $10 per square foot. Also, removal of furniture or odd-shaped rooms will yield additional fees.
For tile-warming systems, homeowners can expect to spend around $1,100 for a 10 by 10 room just as a starting point. For self-installation including wiring and the thermostat, the cost lowers to nearly $500.
Floor Tile Installation Considerations
It’s important to select the proper size tile for the room you’re installing them in. Take into account the appropriate grout color and width needed for your project. Purchase spacers that coincide with that width.
There are various installation methods used for tile flooring while the proper preparation is important no matter what type of process you decide to use. All installation process will require a bonding material or floor adhesive, a grout, a sealer and the tools needed to cut the tiles you have chosen for your room. For inexperienced do it yourselfers, it may be advisable to hire a tile floor installer.
Ultimately, larger tiles are the easiest to install such as those used on flooring. Ceramic tile is optimal for bathroom as it absorbs the most moisture. Make sure to select tiles that are appropriate for the room you’re installing them in.
To make sure that your tile is safe to walk on, always look at the COF rating or coefficient of friction or smoothness before purchasing your tile flooring. This rating is evaluated from a number from 0 to 1. The higher the number, the more non-slip the surface is. Grade 2 tiles work great for light-traffic areas while Grade 3 works best for moderate and Grade 5 for heavy traffic areas.
How to Install Tile
First, remove any freestanding fixtures such as sinks or toilets, any old flooring (if applicable), moldings or baseboards. Assess the existing floor and subfloor to determine if it must be removed first. If you decide to keep the floor in place, thoroughly clean the area. Make sure that your plywood or joists are in working order. Always purchase extra tile to allow for breakages.
Begin by laying out your tiles to ensure that they are square to the wall. Work from one side to the other to ensure the right installation. Use a floor adhesive to place the tiles that fit properly. For odd shaped or areas that need to be cut, do those last to ensure the rest of the tiles are in place. Follow the instructions of the adhesive for drying time.
Next, work on your grout by filling in the spaces made while installing the tiles. Follow all instructions in terms of mixing the grout, how to use it and more. After waiting for the grout to dry fully, you can apply a sealant on your floor.
Floor Tile Conclusion
Tile flooring remains a smart choice for a flooring option for durability and withstands wear and tear. For the most part, it can be cost-effective and add value to your home. While installation may be challenging, professional tile floor installers can complete the project efficiently. Take time to learn the proper way to care for your new floor and maintain it according to add to its lifespan.