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Two things to know when shopping for tile flooring

Tile flooring is beautiful and can add value to a property. Sometimes, especially when in an upscale bathroom remodel, it can bring a return on investment of 55%. However, it's vital to select the right one for your installation, so there are two things you should know.


Not every ceramic tile is the same

If you haven't been to a tile store lately, you might be surprised at the vast assortment, but they aren't all the same. The word "ceramic" refers to any object composed of clay, even if the composition includes other substances, such as sand or glass. That makes for many kinds of ceramics that all behave differently depending on the application.

Porcelain is also a type of ceramic, and the composition includes clay, sand, and glass. That makes it heavier and more dense and ideal for highly trafficked, busy rooms such as the kitchen or bath. It is waterproof, whether or not it's glazed, and stands up to weather, so it's fine to use on patio and deck floors.

Porcelain comes in an almost unlimited number of patterns and colors and is often favored as a stone or wood look because of the large format and few seams. This can also be used on walls or tub, and shower surrounds. It has the cache of fine China or Italian porcelana, and, when taken care of properly, it can last up to 50 years.
Other ceramics include the 4 X 4 square, which we also see on backsplashes and accent walls. They are best for medium trafficked floors. Others are mosaics, often used for floor and wall decoration; terracotta, with that beautiful rustic reddish-brown color and subway tile, can be used on low traffic floors. Non-ceramics include glass, metallic, and cement tiles.

What to look for

Check the box carefully; it will be marked as to whether it can be used on floors or walls. Floor tiles are thicker and meant to stand up to the weight of foot traffic, but they can also be used on walls. However, wall tiles are thinner and will not stand up to weight, so they cannot be used on the floor.

Other ratings that you'll see are strengths that determine whether it can be used on low, medium, or high trafficked floors. The coefficient of friction means to grip, and that number should be at least 0.50. Look at porosity; "impervious" means completely waterproof.

We'll help you sort it out. Visit any one of the Metro Carpet & Floors five showrooms. We have locations in Dearborn Heights, MI, Canton, MI, Waterford Township, MI, Troy, MI, && Farmington Hills, MI. Visit us for a free quote on your next tile flooring project.