Tile Flooring

What you need to know about tile flooring

Tile flooring is perfect for kitchens and bathrooms because its ultra-hard surface resists water, mold, spills and staining. Of course, you may also want to consider it for other locations in and around your home, such as your patio, entryway or foyer, outdoor walkways, basement, utility rooms and more.

Tile Flooring Types

You may not be aware that there are dozens of types of home tile. The most familiar are porcelain and ceramic tiles, which are made from various types of hardened or fired minerals or clay. Porcelain tiles are naturally water-resistant due to their dense texture and beautiful glassy finish. Ceramic floor tiles, on the other hand, need to be glazed or sealed; otherwise, they may accumulate stains from water and spills.

Advertiser Links for Tile Flooring
[what's this?]

Another popular flooring tile variety is made from natural quarried clay and ranges in color from chalk white to deep reds and oranges. Terra cotta tile, with its familiar amber hue, is one such strikingly attractive example of quarried tile. Like many other tile types, quarried tile should be sealed properly so that it can stand up to water and heavy use.

Finally, don't neglect brick, concrete or pavers when selecting tile. Pavers are thin slices of brick or shale that are as easy to install as ceramic and other types of tile. They look best outdoors on patios and pathways because they truly complement the natural outdoor landscape. Although brick and concrete are also most common outdoors, they can add interest to a room requiring tough, easy-to-clean flooring, such as a basement or garage.

Tips on Installing Tile

Installing tile is relatively simple, even for home renovators with limited experience. Generally, if you're installing ceramic tile flooring, you will set the tiles into some type of mortar spread onto a clean, prepared base floor. Your base floor needs to be stripped and cleaned according to the directions on your mortar. In addition, you'll want to repair any cracks or irregularities before laying your tile.

Another important tip for ceramic tile installation is to measure the floor and sketch out your pattern before laying the tiles. Of course, this mostly applies if you will be using one or more shades or textures of tile. If you're using a single tile color, a sketch probably isn't necessary, but you still have to calculate the exact area of your floor so that you know how much tile you'll need and whether you'll have to trim any tiles to fit around doorways or in other irregular spaces.