How to choose the tile that's right for you

How to choose the tile that's right for you

It might seem as though the most difficult part of selecting tile is to sort through the abundance of colors, patterns, designs, shapes, and sizes.  That's largely true, but there are other considerations to take into account.

Ask yourself some questions first:  How are you using it, on the floor, wall, countertops, tub, and shower surrounds?  Will it be used indoors or outside?  In what room will it be installed?   Do you have kids or pets and do they run a lot? Do you have elderly residents? Is it high or low foot traffic? What is the moisture level?

Two kinds of tile

Porcelain is a kind of ceramic, but it’s also comprised of sand and glass, making it a little heavier and a good choice for busy areas, like the kitchen or bath.

Always waterproof, it can be used outside.

Porcelain tile is white, somewhat translucent, and comes in a lot of patterns and can be made to look like anything, from wood to marble and other stones. Marble bathrooms are trending right now.

Ceramic tile is thinner and comes in a large variety of decorative designs and colors, shapes and sizes. Glazing makes them waterproof and super-strong. They should always be used inside, and are appropriate for floors, walls, countertops, etc.

Other considerations include:

  • Porosity. It has to do with how fast liquids and stains get absorbed. It affects staining and clean-ability. 
    People don’t often think of this, but they should because each room has different concerns. 
    Be sure to ask about the water absorption ratings.  There are four, ranging from impervious to non-vitreous.

  • Minimize the slippery.  Especially when wet, they can be slick. If you have children or elderly residents, ask about textured surfaces.  Also explore some of smaller tiles, like mosaics, because they have more grout lines which makes them a little coarser

  • Hardness. Some are appropriate for wall-only use. Others are appropriate for floors, but various activity levels. Be sure to discuss your planned usage with your flooring pro so that you get the one that's appropriate for your needs.

For more information, speak to one of our flooring experts at the ALL-PRO FLOORS showroom in Arlington, TX.