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Before You Buy Ceramic Flooring Tile

What You Need to Know

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Before You Buy Ceramic Flooring Tile

It takes careful planning to create an amazing floor and baseboard like this custom tile space.

You have sorted through the many flooring options and are leaning toward the purchase of ceramic tile.

Here are a few points to consider as you prepare to make your decision:

  • Why Buy Ceramic Flooring Tile?

    Ceramic tile is a popular choice for today’s homes. It is durable, easy to clean and gives rooms an upscale look. Ceramic tile is available in a number of sizes, shapes, textures and colors, and can match almost any decorating style.

    Laying ceramic tile is a job that handy homeowners can do themselves with patience and a bit of guidance. However, mislaid or unevenly spaced tiles will look shabby and removing them will be a chore, so if you doubt your abilities leave the installation to a professional. Ceramic flooring tiles range in price from less than $1 each to several dollars a tile, and you will pay a premium for professional installation.

  • Types of Ceramic Flooring Tile

    According to the Tile Council of North America, there are two major types of ceramic tile. Quarry tile is made by extrusion from natural clay or shale. The other type is made by compacting clay dust. The second category includes wall tile, mosaic tiles and floor tile. Any ceramic tile type may be glazed or unglazed, including porcelain tiles.

    • Glazed tiles are available in high-gloss, matte, and abrasive slip-resistant finishes. High-gloss tiles will become slippery when wet, so they are probably not a good choice for flooring. Hand-painted glazed tiles come in beautiful and intricate patterns, but the glaze doesn’t go all the way through, so if it gets chipped, you’re going to see the color inside, which will give your tile a discordant look.
    • Mosaic tile is made from different types of clay with color pigments added so the color goes all the way through the tile. These tiles are available in glazed or unglazed finishes. They also resist moisture and will not chip easily, according to Hometime.com’s home renovation guide.
    • Quarry tile is made from a mixture of unglazed clays. These tiles come in earth tones: gray, red and brown. The color comes from the clay as well as the temperature and duration of firing. These tiles are usually porous and may stain if left unsealed. Quarry tiles come in squares, rectangles and hexagons.
    • Porcelain tile is fired at extreme temperatures, making them stronger and harder than other ceramic tiles. They are extremely wear-resistant and absorb less water than other ceramic tiles, making them an excellent choice for high-traffic areas of the home, especially those regularly exposed to moisture.

  • Choosing the Right Ceramic Flooring Tile

    Ceramic flooring tile comes in a few different sizes, from 1 inch to 24 inches square. Most tiles are 12 inches or 18 inches; small 1-inch mosaic tiles that come in sheets are also common. Mosaic tiles can cover an entire floor or can be used with larger tiles to add visual interest. For less spacious rooms, stick to smaller ceramic flooring tiles, such as 12-inch squares or smaller. Larger tiles may overpower the décor in the room. Consider using larger tiles for big rooms. The larger the square, the less busy the rooms looks.

Tips

  1. Buy more tiles than you need in case some get broken after installation.

  2. Consider placing tiles on a diagonal rather than on the grid. It will add visual interest to the room.

  3. Laying intricate patterns or adding special accents, borders and trim pieces will elevate your costs as well as require more expertise to install.

    Kera Ritter is a real estate investor and former reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer. She has been a staff writer for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland and The Boston Globe and is currently a freelance home and garden writer.

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