Picking Tiles that will withstand the Test of Time
Techniques and personal preferences aside, tile flooring simply refers to durable material that can be placed in consecutive rows over a sturdy surface. Though some eccentric characters have taken this definition as far as using solid gold blocks, or broken seashells, the most conventional options for bathrooms, kitchens and other areas of the home are stone, porcelain, concrete or glass.
As most tiles are praised for the ability to be strong, functional and practical as a form of flooring, it can be difficult to determine which option is right for you when you are searching for a material capable of withstanding the test of time. Fortunately, the decision can be made easier with a few simple considerations.
Porcelain or Ceramic Tiles
The industry of ceramic tiles makes it easy for consumers to select a tile that is appropriate for their specific application with the use of a valuable rating system, referred to as the PEI scale. This system is used to rate the surface of any given tile with a number between one and five, one representing the material least resistant to abrasion, and five representing the material that is most resistant. Though just about any tile can be utilized on a wall, flooring tiles have to withstand a lot more traffic. For floors that only see light amounts of foot traffic, a rating of class 2 could be an adequate choice. However, for kitchens and entryways, class 3 or greater is likely to hold up the best.
Because natural stone tiles have not been constructed by man, it is incapable of following a rating system similar to ceramic tile. Stone has been utilized throughout construction for thousands of years, and some areas paved with stone flooring are still holding strong today.
Other Options (Glass and Concrete)
Every day, industries are developing new materials that expand consumers’ options when it comes to selecting tile products. Today, it is possible to access options that range anywhere from glass, to cork and concrete, made specifically to endure the test of time. However, it’s worth recognizing that decorative materials such as glass are likely to be less durable, and more prone to damage than classic options like porcelain or stone.
Often, stone-effect or rustic tiles are the most popular option for homeowners, because they are capable of fitting well with just about any style of décor. What’s more, these options are ideal for hiding evidence of dirt, which makes maintenance less of a problem. Tumbled marble can be a great and timeless look that fits in many rooms, and white tiles remain popular, although they require extra upkeep. Newer options such as metal and glass tiles are sometimes being incorporated into new designs for a striking appearance, however, when you choose newer concepts for your home, you run the risk of having to change as styles continue to evolve.
Only you will be able to decide which color is the right one for your design purposes, but there are a few basic rules that you should remember if you want your tiles to withstand time. Darker colors are ideal for adding warmth to a space, and are good for hiding dirt in areas that see a great deal of traffic. Lighter colored tiles, on the other hand, can be utilized to make a space appear larger. Neutral colors are usually the best option if you think that your style of decorating may change over the following years, and in this case it is a good idea to stay away from bright and trendy colors, as tiles can be with you for a long time.
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