Floor Tiles 101

Not all tile materials are created equal. Each type has pros and cons that need to be considered when planning a tiling project. Here are some popular types and their benefits and drawbacks:

Marble

Real marble tiles have a beautiful, unique look like no other surface, with all their whirling patterns and shade variations. But the same patterns that make marble beautiful can be a real headache to match from tile to tile. To ensure that patterns match, the Marble Institute of America recommends having your contractor lay out the tiles over the entire surface before installing so you can approve the result. All your tiles should come from the same original batch.

Marble, like most stone tiles, has high maintenance requirements. It must be sealed and cleaned regularly; for cleaning, use only a mild detergent solution or a product specially designed for marble. Never set your drink down on a marble surface (it will leave a ring), and wipe up any spills immediately, as they can stain or etch marble’s porous surface.

Terrazzo Tile

Terrazzo is traditionally a flooring material made by exposing marble chips in a bed of concrete and then polishing until smooth. Now, however, you can buy terrazzo in tile form. It’s often used in public buildings because it’s long-lasting and can be refinished repeatedly.

Terrazzo is quite slippery and can cause falls, so it may not be a good flooring choice for families with young children or elderly members. Ask your contractor about applying non-slip additives to the surface.

Terra Cotta Tile

Terra cotta is one of the oldest tile materials around, dating back before the birth of Christ, when it was sun-dried rather than oven-fired. It’s often used, glazed or unglazed, to create a rustic, weathered look.

While high-quality terra cotta will last forever, it’s difficult to assess the quality, even for pros. Buy only from a seller whose reputation you trust, though even then you may encounter problems.

For practical uses, it should be sealed, particularly in kitchens.

Porcelain

Actually a subtype of ceramic tile, porcelain bears a perception of high quality, but for residential applications its particular toughness is unnecessary. It’s nonetheless popular in the residential market because the manufacturing process makes for unlimited design potential.

The problem is that do-it-yourselfers typically install it with setting material designed for ordinary ceramic tiles, but porcelain’s low porosity means it requires a special compound for setting. Ask the manufacturer—not a salesperson—how to install it.

Ceramic

Ceramic tiles are thin slabs of clay or other inorganic materials, hardened by oven firing and usually coated with some kind of glaze. Ceramic is best known for its durability, with some installations in the ruins of ancient Rome and Egypt still intact.

Ceramic tile is a great choice for kitchens and bathrooms because it’s easy to clean and doesn’t harbor germs. It’s manufactured in production runs; because of variation among lots, make sure the caliber number (indicating size) and lot number (indicating color) are the same throughout your order.

Slate

Slate tile is a popular roofing material with an air of prestige and a reputation for longevity. Although individual tiles sometimes crack, an entire roof made of slate probably won’t have to be replaced for 50 years or more. Properly installed, slate also makes dependable flooring.

Choosing the best tile for your home isn’t an easy task. That’s why at PlumbTile, our expert employees are there every step of the way. They will help you choose the right type, color, and size of tile for your home’s floors.

Extra! Extra! There’s a New PlumbTile Page! Read All About It!

It’s a new year, which means it’s time for something new to come from PlumbTile. With the New Year beginning, we are pleased to introduce our new “Other Brands” page on our website.  We are committed to bringing you the best of the best and that doesn’t stop with materials for your home. Information is a vital player in remodeling your home and the more information we can offer you, the better! Our goal is to provide the most comprehensive collection of Other Brands products on the web. Continue reading

Garage Insulation Basics

Insulation is a big part of making your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Consider all aspects of insulating your home — not just the exterior walls, but also the Interior walls for the kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, garage doors and the ceiling, particularly if you plan to add a heating and/or cooling system. And don’t forget to take flooring into account. For example, while an epoxy coating will add a protective layer to the floor, it won’t necessarily add insulating values. Continue reading

Organize Your Bedroom for Better Sleep

Imagine a clutter-free space dedicated to luxuriously restful slumber — a room where everything from the flooring to the scent in the air to the sheets is carefully chosen to enhance feelings of relaxation, peace and (yawn…) sleep. You’ve got the blackout shades, now here are 10 little things, from bedtime rituals to smart storage solutions, to help turn your bedroom into the sleek and cozy ultimate sleep cave.

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Do’s and Don’ts of Flooring

So many flooring choices, so little time to research which looks good, feels good, and lasts. No worries. We have it all sorted out for you with the following hand do’s and don’ts list.

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10 Key Features of HVAC Systems

It’s probably not news to you that, while the first considerations when buying a new home are usually the plumbing fixtures, cabinets, countertops or floor treatments, the heating and cooling system is often the feature with which most people are dissatisfied after they’ve lived in the home for a while.

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What It’s Like to Have White Floors?

Let’s be honest – white floors are pure and simple wonderful designing. They look absolutely gorgeous in photos, but very few people have them in real life. Read on to see what it’s like to have white floors, how to care for them and whether or not it’s crazy to consider white floors for your home. Continue reading

Mistakes That Make Your Home Unhealthy

If you have allergies you struggle every year with allergies, but did you know that you can harbor allergens in your home? For some people allergies are terrible all year long and we wonder why, here are a few ways to defeat allergies! By learning how to control the dust, mold, pollen and other contaminants that are making you sneeze and what causes them will make you better prepared all year long. Below are some common mistakes that you may be making that is causing you and your family to be unhealthy. Continue reading

The Right Type of Flooring For Pet Friendly Homes

When you’re thinking about remodeling (or even building a new home), your flooring becomes a huge part of the overall design. However, in today’s day and age, pets have become a huge part of people’s families, which may cause some stress when it comes to thinking about flooring options.  The four legged pals that are part of the family will cause wear and tear to the floor, and it will only build up over time. If you can find pet-friendly flooring, it will not only last longer (even with your furry friends running all over it), but it will tie your whole home together. Continue reading

Kitchen Storage: You Can Never Have Enough!

In terms of storage space in the kitchen, you can never have enough space or storage. When remodeling your kitchen, you can always buy cabinets that come with all the storage features you will need. That could eventually get pretty costly. Let’s look at your dream kitchen so far. You have just painted your space, replaced the lighting and have a beautiful tile on your floor. Now you are at your cabinet. You wanted to save some money to be put towards an upgrade to your flooring. Instead, you decided to re-face your cabinets, hardware and add storage space. Continue reading