Home Owner’s Guide To Choosing New Tile
INTRO – BENEFITS OF TILE FLOORING
So, you’re considering tile as your choice for the next home renovation? Not surprisingly, tile has become one of the most popular flooring mediums in modern home renovation and interior design. It is versatile, long-lasting, and easy to maintain. Whether you’re a new home owner, are looking to remodel, or even looking to prepare your home to sell, tile could be the right fit for you. But you have quite a few options – so let’s look at the main benefits of tile for your home.
Home value increases when you install new tile. New buyers prefer its modern visual appeal, and will be impressed by the polished look of your home. Most buyers and real estate agents will look elsewhere if they see dirty carpet or cheap laminate, because it automatically indicates that your home is not move-in ready. Take a look at other houses on the market. The ones that are staged properly showcase their unique floor patterns to potential buyers. They will have newly installed or recently restored to increase the overall home value before listing. If you’re in the market to sell, installing tile could be an easy process that reaps benefits for staging.
Most people admire tile floors because they are the most durable of all flooring options. Carpet has a tendency to shred, and hardwoods can suffer damage from impact or heavy foot traffic. Laminate is robust against chipping or scratching, but stains can be almost impossible to remove. But ceramics and porcelain are made to last the lifetime of your home. Typically the object dropped on tile is more easily broken that the surface itself. It withstands shoe scuffing, water, tracking in of outside dirt, and is generally stain-resistant.
Cleanliness is another big factor when choosing tile over other flooring options. Because tile is so durable, you don’t have to worry about constant maintenance for a fresh look. Made of hard material, tile is easy to sweep or mop, without the use of chemicals or heavy-duty cleaners. Darker or patterned tiles do not show stains like carpet does. This is why many kitchens feature ceramic or porcelain floors, because they are prone to spills. Plus, tile is naturally resistant to water damage and stains. Water will only affect your grout, which is an easy problem to fix.
Tile is one of the few flooring choices that is actually environmentally friendly, and there are several reasons for this. The surface is naturally hypoallergenic, an important factor for families with children or pets. Certain flooring types, such as carpet and some hardwood, are manufactured in processes that create volatile organic compounds. These micro air pollutants can diminish the quality of air you breathe in the household. But tile is fired in kilns that do not create any sort of VOC during processing. Plus, you will not have to use as many harsh chemicals for cleaning, which hurts both air quality and can be ingested through household use and contact.
While tile is widely popular for these reasons, some people opt for a different option for comfort or an easier installation process. Porcelain retains the temperature of any given room, making it colder than carpet on your feet. While tile conducts heat very well outside, it will also stay cold in an air-conditioned home even during summer. Some people find walking on tile uncomfortable. But, using placemats (which are easier to clean than carpet) or wearing slippers around the eliminates this discomfort.
The other common objection to tile is that the installation is both complex and expensive. Installing tile may appear possible with DIY methods, but it is recommended that you hire a professional. It is not nearly as expensive as buying all the tools and extra tile necessary to complete the project yourself. This makes the process easy and fast. You can have the benefits of a beautiful tile floor or wall on a budget. But, let’s compare tile to other flooring options so you can make an educated decision.
Why tile is amazing for your home or office
- Extremely stylish
Tile on floors and walls are considered both timeless and stylish at the same time. They can be arranged in unique patterns and can utilize both texture and color to add style to any room. Here are some of our favorite tile trends right now.
- Tile can be used in a variety of places
One of the best features of tile is its diversity. You can use tile not only on floors but on walls. It can be installed on your kitchen floor, in the bedroom, as decoration above your bathroom sinks, or as backsplashes. Each room in your home or office can utilize this flooring type! You can get as creative or simple as you want!
- Easy to clean and maintain
Cleaning and maintaining tile is very easy. Because of the strength of the tile itself and the grout, you can clean with a mop, broom, and even a vacuum cleaner. Individual tiles that need to be replaced are as easy as removing and replacing the broken piece. This differs from wood or carpet flooring where you usually have to replace the entire floor.
- Tile will keep your home or office cool
Tile naturally repels heat. This is comparison to carpet flooring which tends to retain heat and increase the temperature of the room. Installing tile in your home and office will help reduce your electric bills throughout the year!
Tile Vs Other Types Of Flooring
As mentioned, tile is clean, long-lasting, environmentally friendly, and comes in a variety of colors, sizes, textures, and patterns. But if you’re shopping for multiple rooms of a house, or haven’t quite made your decision yet, it’s best to know the benefits and disadvantages of your major flooring types. The medium of floor you choose will significantly impact your interior design plans; it can determine the warmth of the room (both warmth of color tone and temperature) and the functionality within the space. You have many options, but we will only discuss the most popular flooring options here.
Carpet has long been the go-to for homeowners for their living and bedroom areas. It’s soft, warmer than other floors, and adds both color and texture to an otherwise plain living space. Carpet absorbs noise well, which helps in family rooms where the television and sound systems are typically centered. And if you have a “fixer upper,” carpet is the easiest installation for covering older floors. Carpet is an excellent choice for smaller homes and living spaces.
But, we see many people who replace carpet because of the high maintenance required. Carpet holds dirt, dust, pet dander, and other air pollutants longer than any other floor. It is not a good choice for people with frequent allergies, or who have many pets. It wears over time, but is harder to replace than tile. It just depends on the amount of time you can spend everyday on upkeep.
Hardwood outranks carpet when it comes to maintenance and aesthetics. Commonly used in bedrooms and family rooms, solid wood flooring stands the test of time. It provides warmth and a vintage appeal to the interior, especially if you use distressed or reclaimed wood. In recent years, the movement to use reclaimed wood has spread across the country as upcycling becomes both chic and encouraged by professional designers. Though some believe hardwood is the most beautiful of all flooring options, it does not hold up to moisture well. Natural wood shrinks and expands in high humidity, which can deteriorate the overall appearance as time goes on. It is also easy to dent, which is whereas tile is durable and long-lasting.
While hardwood is beautiful, it can be expensive. A cost-effective alternative to wood is laminate, a part synthetic, part recycled wood material. It’s made to look like natural wood but made more cheaply. The easy installation attracts many do-it-yourself homeowners, but there are downsides. Because laminate is a cheaper alternative, it is not as durable as tile. It scratches, sometimes unsticks from its adhesive, and cannot be refinished. So, if your laminate starts to deteriorate, you have no choice but to replace it. Older homes often rip out their laminate after a few years, because it does not withstand abrasion or wear from everyday use as well as other materials. While you may get the look of wood, it does not compare to the longevity of use. Tile, however does give you the benefit of long-lasting use, while offering the visual appeal of a hardwood.
Next in synthetic flooring is vinyl, a completely synthetic material which can look like wood or tile. Vinyl is water-resistant, unlike laminate flooring. It is also easy to install, typically glued directly onto the subfloor. You see vinyl in many homes with simple geometric patterns on the floor. It’s popular for kitchens and occasionally bathrooms. But, as the cheapest flooring option available, it’s quality does not match that of tile. Water can seep between the vinyl and subfloor, creating mildew that is expensive to clean (not to mention a health hazard in kitchen spaces). The main benefit to vinyl is the easy installation, but it can cost homeowners in the end.
Tile is hardest to install, but is more visually appealing than laminate or vinyl, and more durable than hardwood. When you buy tile, you get quality over price, getting you money’s worth in longevity. Tile is difficult to repair but easily replaced, and rarely broken. You have many options when it comes to the style of tile, which is what we will explore in the next section.
How tile is used
One of the greatest things about tile is that it can be used in a variety of places around your home and office.
Bathrooms are the most obvious places for tile in your home or office. It can be used as flooring, in and around the shower, and above the vanity countertop or sink. The bathroom is the perfect place to use tile because of its ease of cleaning and resistance to water and moisture.
Using tile can really add a lot of style to a kitchen. Tile tends to complement all of the kitchen appliances and cabinets and helps add depth and dimension. The most common uses are for flooring and backsplashes but it also looks great as counters or around the stove or appliances.
Entryway and foyer
This is where the first impression happens! Tile presents a great opportunity to wow your guests or clients. It will enhance all of the other features and furniture and sets the tone for the rest of the home or office.
Tile is an incredibly versatile floor choice, and can work with any personal design style because there is SO much to choose from! Tile that looks like wood is a popular choice for living rooms, especially in dry climates like Flagstaff because it’s easy to maintain and long-lasting.
Tips for caring for your tile
Although tile floor is known for being scratch-resistant and durable, we recommend sweeping or vacuuming your floors regularly to remove dirt and debris. Once the floor is clean, use a damp or wet mop to remove any other stains and to keep your tile floor sparkling.
Cleaning the Grout
If you notice that your grout is starting to darken, it’s time to give it a cleaning. Dirt gets trapped in grout’s pores, so even dark grouts need a thorough scrub, over time. There are many DIY options for cleaning grout. Here is one that we recommend.
Hire a Professional Floor Cleaner
If your tile is suffering from mold or grime OR if your grout needs cleaned and DIY isn’t for you, we recommend hiring a professional floor cleaner to keep your tile floor, walls, countertops, and backsplashes looking great!