Porcelain Tile Flooring

Porcelain tile is a durable and beautiful alternative to natural stone that enhances the look of floors, counter tops, and walls. Porcelain tile flooring is gorgeous, designed to last, and easy to take care of when properly installed. Porcelain tile floors add elegance to any home or office they adorn.

Porcelin Tile With The Look of Hardwood?

Interested in the durability of porcelain but the look of hardwood? 

Great for bathrooms and kitchens!

Porcelain tile flooring has long been the choice of emperors and royalty for centuries. Now it’s readily available and accessible to anyone. Specialty flooring companies like Lumber Liquidators in addition to wholesale porcelain tile outlets all offer a variety of styles of porcelain flooring designed to fit different tastes and budgets.

Porcelain Tile Manufacturing

Porcelain tiles mimic the look of natural stones like limestone and granite, but are actually manufactured from natural materials. Fired clays and crushed stones are used to manufacture porcelain flooring, a process very similar to the manufacture of ceramic floors, though porcelain is often considered the more luxurious and valuable product. Porcelain tile is prized as a flooring material because of its hardness.

Porcelain has many advantages as a flooring material. It is considered one of the strongest fired flooring options today. This type of tile simply provides a durability that is hard to match. Porcelain tile flooring is also very decorative, coming in a wide variety of glazes and finishes, ranging from matte to high gloss looks. Some porcelain tile even has a translucent look reminiscent of glass or gems. Many homeowners also appreciate the convenience of porcelain flooring tiles in their home, as well.

Pros and Cons for Porcelain Flooring

Top five advantages that rank porcelain tile flooring higher than other flooring options:
  1. Durability: As a material, porcelain tiles result in lasting, hard tile floors.
  2. Design: Color variety, overall appearance and the polished, clean look of porcelain tile make it a favorite among homeowners and designers alike.
  3. Maintenance: One of the most praised aspects of porcelain tile flooring is the ease of cleaning.
  4. Water Resistance: Low moisture absorption makes porcelain tile a fantastic choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and indoor/outdoor rooms.
While there are many advantages, some of the disadvantages of porcelain tile include:
  1. Cost: Higher prices accompany porcelain tile over the flooring options, due to the higher involvement in the manufacturing process.
  2. Installation: Porcelain tile can be fickle to install, and the lack of uniformity of size and shape lead many to make the decision to go with a professional installation over attempting a DIY install.
  3. Cold! Many complain that porcelain feels too cold. We have a few suggestions for you to combat this, however, later in this article.

Durability of Porcelain Tile Flooring

Porcelain is made similarly to other ceramics, although it is generally fired at higher temperatures. Porcelain tiles for the floor are made by combining natural products such as crushed China stone (a type of feldspar) and kaolinite with chemicals that give the porcelain strength. The “mud” is pressed, shaped, and glazed, and then finally is fired in a kiln at temperatures of 1200-1350 degrees Celsius (2192-2462 Fahrenheit). Before firing, some tiles may be given a coat of colored enamel to give the tiles a color or design. The resulting tiles are durable and slightly translucent.

Because of the high temperatures during firing, porcelain tiles have a very high hardness rating. The MOH (measure of hardness rating, as developed by the Porcelain Enamel Institute) of porcelain floor tiles varies between manufacturers, but tiles with a MOH rating of 6 or 7 are quite common. This very high hardness rating puts porcelain tile well above other flooring options when it comes to durability.

The Look of Porcelain Tile Flooring

Porcelain has a long history and has been used in China since the early Han Dynasty. Chinese porcelain art tiles are one example of we can see today of ancient porcelain. Also, in Europe since the early 1700s, porcelain has been used for many decorative and functional purposes. Italian porcelain tile has been some of the most prized tile in European places of worship and fine homes. Decorative porcelain tiles have been used for floors and walls, creating durable and elegant entranceways and artwork.

Porcelain tile floors in the home result in a clean, polished look and a cool feel to the touch, combining both form and function. The size of the tiles vary, and when choosing your tiles, you will want to consider both the size of the tiles and the coloration. Larger tiles require fewer grout lines between tiles, which results in a more modern appearance. Smaller tiles are a more traditional choice and fit in better in an older home. As far as the coloration of the tiles, there are incredible variations in color and pattern choices available. Some tile is even designed to mimic the look of wood and can be used in rooms where you may otherwise be hesitant to lay hardwoods, like a bathroom, due to the potential for moisture damage.

Porcelain Tile Flooring Maintenance

Cleaning porcelain floors is often as simple as using a damp mop and all-purpose cleaner. Mop your tile floor using warm water and a clean, nonabrasive cloth, mop or sponge. Cleaning products for porcelain tile help remove soils that sweeping, vacuuming or damp mopping leave behind. Part of the care for porcelain tile involves not only sealing the tile and grout after installation, but also removing dirt and grime regularly to help preserve the finish and look of porcelain floors.

You will want to be careful to replace any cracked tiles, as cracks can trap moisture and bacteria in warmer, higher moisture places like the bathroom. You will also need to be cautious to keep all the grout in between the tile clean. If you’re at all concerned about keeping your porcelain tile clean, consider avoiding unglazed tile, as it is more difficult to keep up with than glazed porcelain tiles.

Water Resistance

With a good glaze, stains on porcelain tile are rare. Since porcelain tile is also has a very low moisture absorption rate, it is the perfect solution for bathrooms and kitchens. The low absorption rate can also help ensure high air quality in a home as the floor tile will not absorb chemicals and other unwanted substances.

The Downsides of Porcelain Tile Flooring

One drawback of porcelain is that tiles of this materials are not perfectly uniform in size, which can make installing porcelain tiles rather challenging. Porcelain tiles are fired in a kiln at such high temperatures that they generally become slightly distorted. When selecting porcelain flooring tiles, then, you will need to take extra care to choose the most uniform tiles you can. Working with porcelain tile during installation can be frustrating, or it can be an artistic endeavor with beautiful and interesting results.

Some homeowners find that having a professional install the porcelain tiles can also reduce the problems that uneven tiles can cause. They can also better handle porcelain tile cutting because they have the right tools and experience. Pricing porcelain tile installation has to be part of your consideration when evaluating the use of these tiles. Another small drawback of porcelain is the higher cost. Since the tiles are considered stronger and since they take more energy and heat to make, they often carry higher prices than other flooring materials.

And finally, let’s address the temperature complaint. If you live in the global south, the coolness of porcelain will probably be more of a benefit than a negative to you, especially in a room like a sunroom. However, porcelain is actually a suitable flooring choice for under floor heating installation! Imagine stepping out of your shower in the morning onto warm porcelain tile floors with radiant heating to keep your toes warm and comfortable.

Selecting Porcelain Tiles For Your Home

Before choosing your porcelain tiles, you should take your time investigating the range of manufacturers, installers and design options. While looking at porcelain tiles in the store is a good first step, you should absolutely compare some of your favorite tiles in the home before investing. The natural lighting in a room can have a profound effect on the final look of the tile flooring. Anywhere you purchase tiles from should provide you with samples to bring into the home prior to purchase, and you will want to lay out as many sample tiles as possible in a lot of areas of the room to get a sense of the final look in the room. Some companies, like Empire Today, will actually send a representative to your home to demonstrate the flooring for you.

Your home is your castle, and now you can make it look like that of royalty without emptying your coffers. If you need a high quality flooring solution with a high hardness rating, porcelain tiles may be a great investment for you. The beauty and durability of the tiles is sure to please you for many years.

Porcelin Tile With The Look of Hardwood?

Interested in the durability of porcelain but the look of hardwood? 

Great for bathrooms and kitchens!


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