Homeowners and builders have several different options to consider in selecting tiles for flooring. Tiles are attractive, durable options to consider. Though tiles are most commonly used in the kitchen or bathroom, they are also great options to consider in other parts of the house. Before you select tiles for flooring, there are several factors you must consider.
1 – Material
Some of the most popular tile materials are wood, laminate, ceramic, brick, marble, granite, slate, porcelain, mosaic and vinyl. All these materials are available in many colors and price ranges.
2 – Durability
While ceramic, brick and vinyl are highly resistant to wear and tear, some other options such as granite and marble may be prone to cracks and staining. Before you select a tile, carefully consider the foot traffic in the intended area of installation.
3 – Resistance to Water
In areas such as the kitchen and bathroom, some of the better options for tiles are materials such as marble, granite, mosaic or ceramic. However, you must also remember that the smooth finish on marble and granite can increase the chances slipping. Hardwood and laminate are not good choices for the kitchen or bathroom.
4 – Indoor or Outdoor Use
Some of the best tiles for outdoor use include terracotta, clay and brick. Most other tile materials can be adversely affected by the elements if they are installed outdoors.
5 – Ease of Maintenance
The texture of the tile and the number of grooves on the material have a direct relation with the amount of dirt the tiles will accumulate. You must also consider the compatible cleaners for the tile. Stone tiles and other expensive options require special cleaners that will not erode the sealant or damage the surface.
6 – Resistance to Chemicals
If you plan to install the tiles in a commercial environment or in an area where they may be subject to abrasive materials or chemicals, you must select a hardy tile, such as slate.
7 – Attractiveness
Tiles are available in a variety of finishes ranging from glossy and semi glossy to dull. Some of the tiles that are most sought after for their attractiveness include marble, granite and hardwood. Mosaic tiles are also attractive and provide a range of color options.
8 – Size and Shape of Tiles
Square or rectangular tiles are no longer the standard. Tiles are available in every shape imaginable. Some interesting options include hexagonal, octagonal, circular, triangular and concave shapes. Keep in mind the final look you want to achieve. Choose darker colors for high traffic areas that are prone to more dirt.
9 – Room of Installation
Higher traffic areas such as the living room, family room and kitchen require tough tiles that will last for long. Kids’ playrooms require tiles that will stand up to abrasion and heavy use as well. Bedrooms can be suitable for stone or wood tiles that will require delicate care.
10 – Exposure to Sunlight
Consider the amount of sunlight that streams into the room at different times of day. Some tiles are equipped with ultraviolet proof coatings that provide more protection. Synthetic materials such as concrete and vinyl offer more sunlight resistance.