Ceramic, Porcelain, Marble or Stone?
The selection of tile is almost limitless, especially here in Florida where there are so many domestic and imported tile from around the world shipped here.
Many homeowners are taking the selection of their tile more seriously than ever before. The old traditional look of 4×4 or 6×6 ceramics on the walls and floors is falling to the wayside as consumers look for the perfect tile for their projects.
Then, of course, comes the question: What is the best choice?
Tiles come in a wide variety of materials including clay, porcelain, and even glass among other choices. The durability of tile is graded in hardness. The more dense the tile, the harder the finished surface is. Porcelain, for instance, is the best tile in terms of density and hardness. Porcelain tile has color all the way through the tile versus screen print or glazed tiles, which are basically painted only on the surface. Porcelain will lasts longer with fewer problems with wear. Porcelain is also preferred for outside installations because it is more frost resistant.
Marble and stone are in a class all by themselves. Natural stone tile require more care in selection and maintenance. Installation of these materials is more labor intensive requiring a greater degree of skill and know-how to install them. Prices for stone materials are typically higher than ceramic or porcelain tiles and installation costs reflect the degree of difficulty to install them. Stone tile bring nature into your Florida home. They add a feeling of luxury and permanency. Granite counter tops in kitchens and baths combined with a tumbled marble backs plash make for a classy look and feel to any Florida home.
The tile you select for your project is just as important as the installer. Leave some money in your budget for a quality tile job. Once installed, tile can’t be changed as easily as your paint color. Consider all the options and textures for tile and plan to spend a day or two looking at several different distributors. Be careful of discount tile, as it is sometimes inferior in quality and ultimately will make for a bad tile job. Remember, you get what you pay for. Don’t skimp on your tile project. It will costs much more down the road to repair or replace your tile if done incorrectly and cheap.
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