Purchasing Ceramic Tile Can Be Challenging Unless You Know This
The great news is that ceramic tile flooring offers you a wide selection of styles, textures, patterns, and price points. However, all that variety can be challenging for some shoppers.
In this section, we’ll introduce you to information on topics such as color and shading, ceramic tile trim, moisture absorption, and grout. Our aim is to make you a smarter shopper long before you purchase.
That way, your ultimate decision creates a warm, beautiful living environment and delivers what tile floors are noted for: excellent durability and easy maintenance.
For Those Who Love To Personalize, Tile Rules
The beauty of tile is the flexibility you have with design options, primarily through the use of accent pieces, trim work and decorative tiles.
However, if you’re concerned about applying trim work and decorative tiles, you should know that there is a specific step-by-step procedure.
The correct order of this procedure is first to identify the room and its application, select the type of tile, then its color and shade, and then its texture and size.
Finally, a layout pattern is developed, the trim and decorative patterns are determined, and the grout color and specifics type are chosen.
Our staff will guide you through this process, so that after we install your tile, the final result will please you for years to come.
To help you give you a clear understanding of floor tile trim terminology, we can cover a few definitions.
Floor Tile Trims
Bullnose: It has one rounded finished edge on the tile to give a nice finishing touch. Sometimes it is also used as a substitute for cove base.
Corner Bullnose: It has two rounded finished edges on the tile to be used to complete a corner.
Sanitary Cove Base: It has a round finished top like a bullnose to cover up the body of the tile. This is most often used in commercial applications.
Essential Tips On Variance, Texture, Shading, And Color
Many of today’s popular styles of ceramic tile are developed to look and feel like natural stone, mimicking rugged surface and color variations.
These tiles are intended to show color and texture variations, just like natural stone. Because the composition of the tile’s glaze also varies, different tile styles will also exhibit different gloss levels.
You should also be aware that solid color tiles provide a consistent look; however, shade variation is inherent in all fired ceramic products. Individual tiles will show differences, even within their dye lots.
Shade variation may be highlighted on the back label of each sample with a low, moderate, high, or random rating. Here, to help you, are the definitions:
Low: Reliable shade and texture
Moderate: Moderate shade and texture variation
High: High shade and texture variation
Random: Very high shade and texture variation
The color of the body of the tile is determined by the color of the clay used by the manufacturer that is available in their geographic region.
Color variations will also be present between manufacturers’ samples of the same color and throughout installed countertops, wall tile, or ceramic floors.
Color variation is something you should understand and carefully consider when selecting ceramic tile. Our associates will be happy to review with you what to expect from different ceramic tiles.
What Smart Shoppers Should Know About Moisture Absorption And Tile Density
As the composition of glaze varies, different styles of tile will exhibit different gloss levels and surface textures. This is important to note when choosing your ceramic tile flooring.
For example, in areas that are used while wet, such as your shower or bathroom floor, tile should have low moisture absorption and excellent slip resistance.
Moisture Absorption means that, as the tile density increases, the amount of moisture that tile can absorb becomes less.
Tile Density means that, as the weight or the density of the tile increases, it becomes a more durable tile.
Tile density and moisture absorption have an indirect relationship to each other. This means that as the density of the tile increases, the moisture absorption rate decreases.
Non-Vitreous Tiles are tiles that absorb 7% or more moisture. They are suited for indoor use only.
Semi-Vitreous Tiles are tiles that absorb from 3% to 7% moisture. They are applicable for indoor use only.
Vitreous Tiles are tiles that absorb less than 3% moisture. They are referred to as frost resistant tiles but cannot be used in exterior areas where freeze-thaw conditions could cause tile cracking.
Impervious Tiles are tiles that have less than .5% moisture absorption. These tiles are frost proof and can be used in exterior areas or on the outside of building facades.
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The Ins And Outs of Grout
Grout is typically mixed on-site, but slight color variations can occur within different areas of the same installation with the same grout color and differ from the manufacturer’s sample you saw in the store.
This can be linked to variances in temperature and humidity at the time of grouting, and it’s just a fact of life.
It is typical to see grout variations when comparing the grout color in a tile floor and the identical grout color on the tile countertop or wall.
When choosing a grout color, you can pick a color that blends in with the overall tone of the tile to reduce the appearance of the grout.
Or you can select a grout color that is lighter or darker than the tile. If the tile is installed in a high traffic area, then you may want to choose a darker grout.
Exact layouts, type of grout and grout joints widths are determined by the tile setter at the time of fitting and are governed by the size and shape of the tile, and the specific dimensions of the areas to be covered.
Once the tile has been laid and grouted, it is your responsibility to maintain all caulked areas to protect against water damage. Grout may also darken in the long run especially in areas with heavy water use.
Also, changes of season can affect surfaces adjoining the tile to expand and contract, making the grout to crack and separate.
A Word Or Two About Subfloors
No subfloors are ideally level. So, you may hear reverbs sounds where your subfloor’s surface dips and ridges.
Be sure that this does not affect the standing or installation of the ceramic tile. Hollow sounds are normal and are not considered a product or installation defect.
Get On Top Of The Bottom Line. Know The Complete Cost Of Ownership.
The “cost per SQ FT” of your ceramic floor is just one aspect of the entire project cost. To ensure there are no issues, and the ceramic you pick fits within your overall project budget, be sure to ask us to estimate the total cost of your floor covering project.
Here’s a high light of possible additional expenses you may incur:
- Furniture removal/replacement.
- Demolition/disposal of the old floor covering. Depending on the existing floor covering, this can be a costly item; also, be sure to include the cost to dispose of the old floor covering.
- Subfloor preparation. Depending on the state of the subfloor, it may need additional work.
- Product delivery.
- Installation. Determine the cost per SQ FT to install it.
- Materials required to complete the installation. Your new floor may need additional materials to install it properly.
Don’t forget to consult the manufacturer’s warranty and care guide for directions on how frequently your floor should be cleaned and the cost to clean it.
There’s a lot to consider before buying your ceramic tile floor, but it’s worth the effort.
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