Decorating and Reflooring with Ceramic Tiles

Unless they are cracked, missing or need to be replaced completely, tile is another one of those issues homeowners rarely think about – until it’s crucial. But when it comes to floor coverings, as we’ve mentioned previously, hard surfaces come with hard choices to make. Besides the floor, tiles can be used for a kitchen backsplash, countertops, around a shower or bathtub, and various other places. With thousands of options available including style and color, the project can be daunting. Are you looking for ceramic tiles? Stone? Metal? Terra Cotta? Even leather tiles exist for those willing to pay the price. The colors, sizes, and edges also vary. The following guide will help you get a handle on any tile project before you begin.

Evaluate your lifestyle

Considering just a few aspects about the way you live can help any Fairmarket contractor narrow down the best choices for your home. Without knowing what you want, or at least having the slightest idea, even the savviest shoppers will have a tough time deciding. The complexity of changing a tile design once it is set combined with the cost of tile, makes evaluating decision that much more important.

Start by asking yourself the simple question, “What is my lifestyle?” Think about how often you entertain, do you have a home full of family, friends, and neighbors at any given moment? Do you have a casual lifestyle or formal? Glazed ceramic tiles are a good fit for casual homes, while handcrafted designs in limestone or formal patterns in ceramic tiles could be a fit for formal homes.

Function and ceramic tiles

You must think about function as some ceramic tiles and others could stand in your way. Porous materials such as limestone and terra cotta are terrible choices for kitchen floors and countertops, unless they are completely and properly. Consider color choices and shy away from white or light colors if you have pets or children. Check out the other surfaces of your home to see what tile would blend well? If the grain of your wood floor forms a pattern, then think about the ceramic tile would look next to it.  Many homeowners like the idea of using tiles for the entire house as an all-over flooring option.

Going beyond ceramic tiles

By now you know there are many tiling options available, but you’re probably wondering if or how they are different? Ceramic tiles and most others are made of minerals, solvents and clay. They are then sized, shaped, and heated at extremely high temperatures. After it is heated and dried, the tile is considered “finished,” however most people prefer a glazed and/or decorated tile. Without a glaze, ceramic tiles can be extremely porous. Although they are still attractive, it’s in a rustic way that isn’t always appealing to homeowners. Once glazed, ceramic tile because a desirable surface for most aspects of the home. The possibilities are endless!

Keep in mind that indoor tiles & outdoor tiles differ

In most cases you’ll always want waterproof or weatherproof tiles. If you are using ceramic tiles for a backsplash or countertop, then you don’t need to worry about buying slip-resistant options, but if you are using them for a walkway outdoors, it is a necessity. If you’re using ceramic tiles for a kitchen counter, you’ll want to choose both glazed and scratch-resistant features. The ceramic tile should also be durable enough to withstand heavy pots, pans, and other kitchen appliances.

Hand painted ceramic tiles for decoration

If you are choosing tiles for wall decoration, you will have several more options as they do not have to be as durable. They will be less like to get abused so hand painted more luxurious options can really bring out a room.

Ceramic tiles can be confusing

You can avoid costly mistakes by understanding tile terminology and hiring a professional Fairmarket contractor to do the job. For starters, PEI ratings and glazes are used to help you better understand the difference between porcelain and non-porcelain tiles. Porcelain tile is produced by pressing various clay materials out of porcelain, resulting in a tile that’s impervious, dense, smooth, and fine-grained. Although not frost-proof, porcelain tiles absorb water at a lower rate than ceramic tiles. As mentioned, glazed porcelain tiles quite different in ceramic tiles because they are damage-resistance. With a PEI (porcelain Enamel Institute) rating of 5, porcelain tiles are an excellent choice for a variety of options whether commercial or residential application.

Non-porcelain ceramic tiles are produced using white or red clay then heated in a very high setting in a kiln. With a PEI rating of 0 to 3, cutting them is easier than porcelain. Ceramic tiles are an excellent choice for areas with light to moderate traffic. They have a greater water-absorbency, which makes them less frost-resistant than porcelain. Additionally, they are better able to handle everyday wear and tear. Even better, ceramic tiles are typically less expensive than porcelain tiles.

PEI Ratings

PEI Class 1 Rating: This type of ceramic title should have absolutely no foot traffic. It is for residential and commercial applications as long as it is for wall decoration purposes only.

PEI Class 2 Rating: This ceramic tile is recommended for wall use and applications on the bathroom floor.  

PEI Class 3 Rating: Works best on walls, countertops, and floors with little to normal traffic.

PEI Class 4 Rating: Ideal for residential applications and medium commercial uses.

PEI Class 5 Rating: Perfect for all residential uses as well as suitable for heavy commercial uses.

Natural Stone Tiles

In addition to the variety of options in ceramic tiles, natural stone tiles have plenty of offerings as well. The differences are subtle, yet significant including variances in water absorption and appearance. Each stone tile is unique, with no two stone tiles ever the same. The natural stones most commonly used in tiles are limestone, slate, travertine, marble, and granite.

The combination of the unique colors and veining of intensity and depth, along with the natural materials in these deposits create beautiful designs before for decorating bathroom walls and flooring. No two natural stone tiles will be the same and that goes for most other tiles as well.  Each tile, be it ceramic tiles, limestone tiles, or others, offers its own natural beauty. Tiles are a beautiful and durable option for home decorating.

Call a Fairmarket contractor today!

If you are interested in ceramic tile application, give a Fairmarket contractor a call. Our reliable contractors can offer suggestions as well as expert advice for home decorating. You can expect all tile application, be it indoors our outside, done in a timely and professional manner. Give us a call today!

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