Tile Flooring Guide
Thanks to its durability, versatility and resistance to water damage, tile is a widely popular flooring option that is often used throughout the home. Whether you choose slate, porcelain, ceramic or another type of tile, you’ll enjoy a durable, waterproof surface. Today, tile is available in many styles and patterns, including the look and feel of hardwoods, stone, brick and other natural materials. Tile is available with either rectified or pressed edges, in matte or polished finishes. When you’re trying to find the right one for you, use the following tile buying guide to help!
Shop by Type
Ceramic tile floors are a very durable long-lasting surface. Ceramic tile is not impacted by moisture, so these floors will not mildew, burn or fade, and they will not shrink, expand or delaminate. Ceramic tile floors are strong and highly stain-resistant. These floors are suitable for kitchens as substances like grease, dirt, smoke and germs will not penetrate.
Ceramic tiles are made from powdered clays and sand, which are pressed into the desired shape under high pressure. The tiles can be glazed with various colours, silk screened or left natural. The tiles are then fired at high temperatures, resulting in a finished product that is very hard, durable and easy to maintain.
Slate tile is made from slate, a metamorphic rock which can be found in large deposits all over the world. Slate tile has been used in roofing and flooring for centuries. Slate comes in a range of colours, which is part of the appeal. It can be gray, bluish, green, red, orange or brown, often with veins of colour running through the tile.
Porcelain tiles are ceramic tiles with a water absorption rate of less than 0.5 percent. They can be either glazed or unglazed and can be used to cover floors and walls. One of the biggest benefits of porcelain tile is its durability. Porcelain tiles can be used indoors or outdoors as they’re extremely dense. They’re resistant to water and can handle cold temperatures. Like ceramic, porcelain is available in many styles, colours and designs.
Mosaic tiles are typically arranged in elaborate patterns, often to create artwork. They utilize many small pieces of tile to create larger, eye-catching designs. Whether made of stone, metal or glass tiles, a mosaic will highlight any room or setting. Because a mosaic can be made with your choice of tile, it offers lots of opportunities to create a design that’s unique to your home.
There are many kinds of natural stone flooring: slate, marble, limestone, granite, sandstone and more. Each has its own unique appearance and properties, but they all share a luxurious look and feel. Using stone tile as a flooring option means choosing a material that’s unique and eye-catching. Keep in mind that some types of stone are more porous than others and will need to be sealed regularly to stay beautiful.
Patterned tile features decorative, recurring designs. From intricate trellises to Moroccan motifs, patterned tile can make a wonderful statement in virtually any room. It’s also available in a wide range of colours and styles, so there’s something for everyone. Laid on the floor in a kitchen, bathroom, mudroom or other space, patterned tiles draw the eye and add visual interest to even the most utilitarian room.
Majority of tile manufacturers use the following size grades:
2”, 3”, 4”, 6”, 8”, 12”, 16”, 18” and 24”
Note: Tiles that are specifically made for flooring are from 6” upward.
Tile hardness ratings help you determine the durability of the tile. This will help you know if the tile is suitable for the area where you want to install it. For example, a kitchen and entryway need a hard, abrasion-resistant, moisture-proof tile, while bathrooms require a moisture-proof, nonslip material.
Tile that experiences much foot traffic should be harder and denser than than that receives no foot traffic. Tile installed on a wall receives no foot traffic and, in fact, almost no wear of any kind.
Porcelain Enamel Institute hardness ratings:
I – Wall tiles only, and unsuitable for use on floors.
II – Light-wear areas, using soft footwear. Wall applications. Best for bedrooms and bathrooms.
III – Light traffic living areas. Residential with normal foot traffic. Ideal for countertops and walls.
IV – Moderate to heavy traffic. Residential throughout the home, or light-medium commerical use.
V – Heavy to extra heavy traffic. Residential throughout the home, or heavy commerical use.
– Tile Benefits –
Easy maintenance: Sweep or vacuum and an occasional cleaning with water.
Durability: Excellent for high-traffic use.
Water & stain resistance: Low water absorption rate so stains cannot penetrate down through the material.
Style: Comes in a range of appearances to fit any style. Made from high-quality cmponents to give your home a natural, yet luxurious look and feel.
Adhesive – Substance used for bonding tile to surfaces. Other common names thinset, glue, mud, mastic, mortar, and paste.
Backing – Material used as a base over which a tile is installed.
Battiscopa – Floor trim also known as bullnose that has a finished edge on one side.
Bullnose – Trim tile with a finished edge.
Caulk – Waterproof filler used to seal joints and make tile joints watertight.
Feature Strip – A narrow strip of tile with design, texture or contrasting color that creates a design concept. Also known as Listel or Listello
Grout – Mortar used to fill the joints between tiles
Trim Pieces – Various shaped of bases, caps, corners, moldings, angles, etc.