BUYING GUIDE: HOW TO SHOP FOR TILE
The beauty of tile is that it comes in a wide variety of looks,sizes, and finishes. Tile is extremely durable and versatile. From stone-look to wood-look, large format to subway, tile has something for everyone.
Why Buy Tile?
There are two types of tile – porcelain and ceramic. Both are durable, and inkjet technology is used to create the design of each tile. Inkjet technology is like high definition image capturing. Porcelain and ceramic tiles can be produced to look and feel like real hardwood, natural stone, cement or brick, and they also come in many different textures, colors, and patterns.
What’s the Difference between Porcelain & Ceramic?
Porcelain and ceramic tile are both are made from a mixture of clay and other natural resources, but are used in different ways. Porcelain tile is extremely dense and can be used indoors and outdoors. It’s waterproof and can be exposed to cold temperatures. Ceramic tile is also extremely durable, but the main difference is that it's water-resistant and a little more sensitive to varying temperatures. It comes in various colors, textures, and sizes, and can be used in many different ways indoors.
Choosing the edge of your tile is another factor to consider. Tile comes with two types of edges – rectified and pressed. Rectified edges are cut during production so that every tile is the exact same size, allowing for very thin grout lines. Pressed edges are more rounded, and can have a more dimensional look.
The type of finish you choose often comes down to personal preference because both matte and polished tile are great options. Matte tiles are more slip-resistant and have a natural finish that comes in a variety of styles. Polished tiles have a smooth and shiny finish that looks great on both floors and walls. Note that polished tiles are not recommended for floors in wet areas unless they have been pre-treated for slip resistance.
Floor & Wall Tile
It’s important to keep in mind that there is tile designed specifically for floors and walls. Floor tile tends to be more durable and is suitable for high traffic areas. It’s rated from light residential all the way to heavy-duty commercial applications. Wall tile is designed with decorative appeal in mind and should not be used on floors. Some options can be installed on either service so be sure to take note of the application requirements before selecting your tile.
Durability & Maintenance
Porcelain and ceramic tile are both easy to maintain. As one of the hardest working tiles, porcelain is a great choice for high traffic areas. To maintain your tile, you should clean it regularly with water or a mild detergent. Wall tile should also be cleaned regularly with a damp cloth or sponge. Grout is key when it comes to tile, so be sure to seal your grout after installation.
Easy to maintain, durable, and stylish, tile is a great choice for your home. Be sure to check out one of our Tile DIY classes at your local Floor & Decor, and to also get all of the installation tools and accessories you’ll need to finish the job.