What are the pros and cons of tile floors?
Tiles are popular for transforming homes from regular living spaces to classy and spectacular sources of inspiration and joy. Your regular home then becomes a place you’re proud to belong to. Tiles come in different types and styles thus can be overwhelming to choose.
Our list of pros and cons will help you answer all those ‘what if’ questions and clarify why you should or shouldn’t choose a certain type. We also explore the various types of floor tiles.
Pros of Tile Floors
When it comes to floor types, there’s plenty to like about tile floor installations. Below are the merits of tile floors.
Tiles, especially ceramic tiles enable you to embed your personality into your house. You can access them in nearly any color, shape and texture. Tiles also make it possible to give each room a different theme.
Apart from aesthetic features, you can choose tiles for different parts of the house based on functionality. For instance, for the bathroom, you can opt for tiles that are highly water-resistant, stain-resistant, and less slippery.
Durable with minimal repairs
A well-tiled floor can last up to 3 decades without requiring any form of repair. If well fitted and used, you never have to worry about repairs. Most tiles are also scratch, crack or break-resistant.
However, if they do crack or break, an expert can carefully remove that single tile and replace it without damaging the rest. Therefore, removal and replacement of tiles is quite affordable.s
Stain, water, and chip-resistant
Tiles like porcelain are suitable for commercial environments – they do not cave even under heavy impact. Most tiles are fit for high traffic areas and are not easily affected by water or any other spillage. When glazed, tiles are protected from any form of discoloring caused by mold or spill stains.
Hygienic and safe
Unlike other floors, for instance, carpeted floors, tiles can hardly conceal dirt. They also harbor minimal dirt because it can be easily seen and wiped off. Besides, vacuuming tiles is so much easier than carpets and other floor types.
Also, tiles harbor minimal allergens and are, therefore, ideal for allergic people. Tiles also help to fight fire outbreaks. They do not accelerate fire but instead, they limit the flames’ movement.
Cons of Tile Floors
Tiles are heavy and laborious to install
In general, tiles are cumbersome. The process of installing, cutting and shaping them into accurate cuts can be strenuous. Installing tiles is not your common ‘DIY” type of project. So, you may need a contractor to save you the hustle.
Besides, they may not be suitable for story buildings unless a building is designed to handle the additional weight.
High initial cost
Although tiles can last a lifetime – especially porcelain tiles, the cost of purchasing the material and labor can be one and a half times or more that of alternative floors. Installation requires an expert and could cost as high as between 25 to 30 percent of the overall cost.
If the tiles are custom made for you, this price could even be higher. But, the good thing is that this is a one-time expenditure. These floors last for years and years.
This is specifically for highly vulnerable tiles like glass tiles. In the case of chipping, you require an expert to fix the floor. Some floors like stone tiled floors may be sealed but still suffer water penetration, stains, or cracks after long periods of use.
Damage could also be resulting from high humidity or hard vacuuming. When this happens, you need to call a tile professional. Experts advise re-sealing after every 10 years, especially for stone tiled floors.
Cold and hard
Tiles do not give you the liberty to walk barefooted around the house, especially in winter. They can get too cold for that kind of comfort. Since most people cook while standing, tiles can also cause pain and discomfort because they lack that bouncy feel offered by carpets.
Lastly, in case one slips and falls, the impact is greater thus more pain. These impacts can be lessened by using area rugs, especially in the kitchen.
Types of tile floors
Well, tiles come in many shapes and forms. The most common floor tiles are as below:
These are probably the oldest tiles available. They are made using water, clay and sand then packed together to dry. Also, they are relatively durable but they do chip on high impact. If the chip happens, it can be seen because its color does not spread throughout.
Ceramic tiles offer an array of sizes, shapes, and colors. And the finishing can be matte or gloss. The best thing about ceramic tiles is that they can be customized per your need since they can be handmade.
Porcelain tiles are made of pressed clay – fired for a long time in extreme heat resulting in a hard, dense, and strong product. This enables manufacturers to construct big-sized tiles. Porcelain tiles are highly water or liquid resistant. Finishing is mostly gloss or matte although there are other options available.
This type of tile is mostly preferred because they are easy to clean and maintain. Also, in case of a crack, it’s hard to notice as the color spreads throughout the tile.
These are unique tiles obtained by mining. They have varied textures, colors, patterns, and density. Stone tiles include granites, onyx, marble, slate, sandstone, and travertine. They are all high maintenance tiles and mostly soft.
Also, they need sealers to make them stain-resistant. Due to their porous nature, they may not serve well in high traffic areas.
Glass is naturally highly delicate. You need a professional to handle the installation. However, glass tiles provide an array of beautiful patterns and colors. They can also be skillfully cut into customized sizes. Glass tiles are not wear-resistant and, therefore, are better for low-traffic areas.
Tiles serve varying purposes. Knowing where each type fits perfectly places you ahead of the game. In counter-tops, for instance, ceramic tiles tend to be the best. In places with high foot traffic, porcelain serves best.
Before you invest in tile flooring, you need to be convinced that it’s what you want because they are a permanent solution.