When it comes to selecting flooring for your home, you want to make a choice that is aesthetically pleasing, but also durable. There are a number of options for flooring available today but if you prefer a flooring material that has been providing beauty to homes and buildings for ages, yet still looks fresh and modern, take a close look at ceramic tile.
The process that creates ceramic tile has been around for thousands of years. By taking slabs of clay and kiln firing them to create a hard, durable surface, ceramic was originally used for pottery. Now ceramics are used for a wide variety of products. As flooring, ceramic tile provides durability that can literally last the lifetime of your home, but also provide exceptional, majestic beauty to any room. The ceramic process infuses dyes or other coloring with it’s natural coloring. This provides the options of virtually any color to compliment any room.
When selecting ceramic tile for your home, there are a few categories you want to keep in mind. When you’re shopping, look for these categories listed on the box of the tile.
Glazed vs. Unglazed
Ultimately, it’s a preference in style. Glaze provides a hard, smooth surface and adds a glossy sheen. Glaze also provides a higher resistance to water. If you’re going for more of a rustic look in your home, you may prefer unglazed.
The box will list a grade 1 or 2. These are your only options for a floor tile, due to their durability. Grade One is the highest quality. Anything below Grade Two is wall tile and not made to handle being walked on.
When you’re looking at a box of GLAZED tile, you will see a “PEI” rating. This stands for Porcelain and Enamel Institute, and is a wear rating. PEI rates the glaze tile’s ability to withstand abrasion. You will not find a PEI rating on unglazed tile.
Water Absorption Rate
If you’re looking for a tile to use outdoors or in wet areas, the Water Absorption Rate is a number you want to check. It will be a percentage of water absorbed by the tile.
A number representing the Coefficient of Friction (C.O.F.) measures slip resistance. Lower numbers indicate that a floor provides less traction.
If you’re looking for an outdoor tile, this will indicate the resistance to freeze and thaw cycles.
If there is intentional difference from tile to tile in order to replicate the look of natural stone, there will be a listing for Tone. If you’re looking for consistent color, you may not want to select toned tile.
While you may think tile is out of your budget range, there are a variety of tile options to fit a variety of budgets. There are glazed tile choices from $1 to $20 per square foot.
Installation of ceramic tile can be a do-it-yourself project. You’ll want to make sure you have the right tools and some patience.
Carolina Flooring Services offers a variety of brands for ceramic tile, including Mohawk and Shaw. Carolina Flooring Services can also provide installation. To schedule an appointment or consultation contact us today.