Best Tongue and Groove Ceiling Tiles

Best Tongue and Groove Ceiling Tiles

Ceiling tiles were designed to improve the functionality of a building. They are meant to hide the building infrastructure while allowing access for repairs and inspections. For many years they were simple white tiles, and nobody cared about their design.

Looking for the Best Tongue and Groove Ceiling Tiles

Luckily, modern innovations have brought us a variety of tile designs that are functional and look nice. For many, it is important that tiles form single flat surface. That’s why more and more people are looking for best tongue and groove ceiling tiles. We will cover three of the best tongue and groove ceiling tile on the market, so you can make a right choice.

USG New Orleans Style Tongue & Groove Ceiling Tile

USG wanted to make tiles that stand out because of their simplicity and affordability. Their New Orleans style of tongue and groove tiles manage to do that.

To start with, they look very nice. Because of their tongue and groove edging, you will be able to create a smooth and clean look without a problem. If you want to change the look, you can do that very easily too.

If you like, you can paint on them with water-based latex paint. Think about of all the endless options at your disposal. Your ceiling could look like a piece of art because these ceiling tiles are an excellent canvas.

They are super simple to install with staples. Plus, they do not need a grid to hold them.

Their wood fiber construction ensures durability, so they will last for years to come.

New Orleans tiles have a lot to offer and that’s why we consider them to be among the best tongue and groove ceiling tiles.

You get 32 of them in a pack at an affordable price.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Clean, monolithic look
  • Can be painted
  • No grid required
  • Affordable
  • Durable

Cons

  • No acoustic insulation
  • No fire resistance

Armstrong Cortega Acoustical Ceiling Tile

Armstrong has tried to make best tongue and groove ceiling tiles with their Cortega line. They wanted to make affordable and professional grade tiles. Indeed, these tiles look nice when fitted in offices or lobbies.

One of their main features is their acoustical performance. They absorb up to 55% of the sounds that hit their surface. This makes them very useful in commercial places such as utility rooms, mechanical rooms, and shops.

Cortega tiles feature a Bioguard surface. This increases their anti-microbial performance and makes them ideal for healthcare environments. Because these tiles are also water repellant they can be washed, and the anti-microbial solution will remain on them.

Armstong is also proud that Cortega tiles are very eco-friendly. Recycled content in these tiles is up to 43%, and they can be recycled through the Armstrong recycling program.

Another great feature of the Cortega tiles is the 82%-light reflectance. This allows them to improve the room perception and make the room appear bigger. They also reduce energy consumption and glare from light fittings.

Cortega tiles also have class A fire resistance. In a fire, they can lower the flame spread significantly.

Unlike the New Orleans Style Tiles, these tiles need a grid to hold them, but they are easy to install.

Cortega tiles are made from mineral fiber and will last up to 30 years.

These excellent features have convinced us that Cortega tiles are among the best tongue and groove ceiling tiles on the market.

One pack contains 32 tiles,  and they are affordable.

Pros

  • Professional look
  • Good acoustical performance
  • Anti-microbial performance
  • Eco-friendly
  • Good light reflectance
  • Class A fire resistance
  • Easy to install
  • Affordable
  • Durable

Cons

  • Grid required

Fasade Traditional 2 Matte White Tile

Fasade wanted to make tiles that could recreate the look of the traditional tin ceilings at an affordable price. These tiles can fit in traditional and contemporary settings. With these tiles, you have the complete freedom to decorate your rooms whatever way you want.

You can paint Fasade tiles without a problem. This provides you with an incredible creative outlet. No doubt, the beautiful design of these tiles, combined with your artistic efforts could create something amazing.

Installation of these tiles is child’s play. You do not need any grid. Instead, you just have to glue them to the ceiling. They can be cut with snips, scissors or a utility knife to shape them whichever way you like.

Fasade tiles have class A fire resistance. In a fire, they will help to reduce the flame spread.

Fasade tiles are made from PVC, and the manufacturer’s warranty is five years. These tiles are water and corrosion-resistant, guaranteeing exceptional durability.

We feel that Fasade Traditional 2 tiles are among the best tongue and groove ceiling tiles when it comes to artistic expression. You can shape them and paint them into something beautiful.

Pros

  • Traditional and elegant look
  • Can be painted
  • Easy to install
  • Creative freedom
  • Class A fire resistance
  • No grid required
  • Affordable
  • Durable

Cons

  • No acoustic insulation

Summary

You won’t make a mistake if you decide to purchase any one of these tiles. They are the best tongue and groove ceiling tiles you can find today. You just have to know what it is that you need.

If you want tiles that are made from wood you can paint, then you should choose USG New Orleans style tiles.

But perhaps you want tiles that look professional and are brimming with various features. Then, the Armstrong Cortega Acoustical ceiling tiles are the right choice for you. For total creative freedom with your tiles, the Fasade Traditional 2 matte white tiles are your definite choice.

But for us, the ultimate winner in the best tongue and groove ceiling tiles category are the Armstrong Cortega Acoustical Ceiling Tiles. They are durable, professional looking tiles that are packed with many useful features. They offer so much at a very affordable price.

Without a doubt, the Armstrong Cortega Acoustical Ceiling Tiles are the best tongue and groove ceiling tiles on the market today.

How To Install Granite Flooring

If so, a granite flooring installation would give you just that.

Are you thinking of installing a flooring material that would transform a room into an entirely new level of class?

A lot of people would choose granite flooring primarily because of its unique combination of durability and elegance. The kind of elegance that can only come from natural stone.

It comes in a varied assortment of colors: in black, pink, green and more. It also has different grains and patterns, showing a mixture of speckles, gold is a personal favorite of mine.

Granite is also the toughest among natural stones. It comes from a metamorphic rock with high silica content, which contributes to its hardness.

Because it is hard-wearing, it is commonly installed in high foot traffic areas like hotel and office lobbies. Since it can also withstand almost any kind of acids or chemicals, it is heat and scratch resistant, it is also used for table tops and counter tops. With proper care and maintenance, it is also resistant to stains, molds and mildew.

Granite tile size usually comes in 12 by 12 inches, in thickness of 3/8 inches.

The good thing about granite tiles is you can also install it yourself in just a few days.

This article will guide you on what you need and the steps you need to take for an effective granite installation. So keep on reading to learn more.

How To Choose Granite

The price of the granite depends on the color and pattern that you want.

Aside from that, it also depends on the quality. Of course, the highest quality is preferred but if you have a limited budget, you might opt for low quality granite.

There are 3 known grades based on granite quality: premium (first) grade, standard (second) grade and commercial (third) grade.

A premium grade granite has a precise cut and even thickness all throughout. It may have just a few fillers.

Standard grade granite have minor imperfections and more fillers, and you can expect commercial grade ones to have uneven thickness, more imperfections and non-uniformity in grain pattern.

Tools And Materials Needed

To prepare for installing granite on your floor, here are the things that you will need:
  • Granite Tiles
  • Plastic Spacers
  • Wet Saw
  • Notched Trowel
  • Grout
  • Grout Float
  • Mortar
  • Grout Sealer
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Sponge
  • Level

Step-By-Step Installation Process For Granite Flooring

Step 1: Prepare the Sub-Floor

The first step to the question “how to install granite floor tiles” is you need to make sure that the subfloor is clean and even.

If you’re installing over concrete, patch any cracks and holes, and sweep off all debris. Fill in the low spots and grind the high spots. This will ensure that you don’t have any bumps or hollow areas that can be weak spots that can rapture your floor.

If you’re installing over old flooring, completely remove the old tiles, as well as adhesives, grouts and residues.

This is a very critical step, as an uneven subfloor can cause the granite tile to crack in the future.

Step 2: Layout the Tiles

Plan the layout before permanently laying granite floor tiles. You can either choose to start laying at the center of the space, or at the corner near the entry door.

Remove the tiles from their respective boxes and try to lay out a few rows to know how they’ll look like. Use tile spacers especially if it’s a big room, so you get an accurate idea of the size of the cut tiles along the edges. If the cut tiles will become too narrow, then you will have to adjust your layout.

Step 3: Mix and Apply Mortar

First you need to make sure that you are using mortar that is specifically made for granite laying.

Mix the mortar according to manufacturer instructions. The recommended mix is 1 part cement and 5 parts sand and then mix with water to achieve ideal smooth consistency.

Aside from mixing conventional mortar, you can consider using a tile adhesive. You can apply it in thickness between 6 to 8mm. There’s also thin-set mortar that is already pre-mixed for your convenience like this one from SimpleSet.

Using a trowel, apply a thin an even layer over the surface and spread it covering small areas at a time.

Step 4: Install Granite Flooring

Place the granite tile on top of the mortar and press it firmly on all corners, and then twist it a little so it bonds better with the mortar.

Lightly tap the tile using a rubber mallet. This will ensure that the tile is in proper contact with the mortar.

Place tile spacers and then place the next tile using the same procedure. Continue doing this until you have covered the entire area, except for the edges.

Just like porcelain tiles, granite tiles can handle small grout joints. Typical tile spacers give 1/16 inch distances in 4 corners. However, if the granite tiles you purchased have imperfect cuts, using tile spacers can be a challenge. If such is the case, you need to increase the grout joints to around 1/8 inch, and use a chalk line to ensure the rows are straight.

Here's where you can get 1/8 inch tile spacers and 1/16 inch tile spacers.

You will need to cut whole tiles until you cover the edges all around. To do so, take measurements and you need a diamond wet saw if you want to do it easier and faster. You can also cut granite tiles using a circular saw but it is harder to set up, and there’s a greater possibility that the cuts will be imperfect.

You might want to consider installing crack-isolation membranes between the granite and concrete subfloor. This is so when the subfloor cracks, it won’t affect your finished granite. This will prevent you unnecessary costs for repairs in the future.

The video below will show you how to install crack isolation membranes:

Step 5: Spread Grout Over Tile

If you used tile spacers in between tiles, or if the distance between them is less than 1/8 inch, then you can use an unsanded grout.

Before applying, mix grout that’s good enough for a small area. It’s better to work with them in batches.

As you spread the grout over the tile, apply pressure to force the grout into the gaps. Wipe out excess grout before it hardens.

Step 6: Cleaning and Sealing

Wait for the grout to cure for 3 days before you clean the tiles with sponge and warm water. This will clear your floor of any remaining debris and residue.

After that, apply grout sealer to ensure that the joints are also protected from water and stains. One of the highest rated brand for grout sealers is StoneTech.

As for sealing the granite tiles itself, it would depend on the type of granite that you used. To test if your granite needs sealing, place a paper towel soaked in water over the granite. Wait for five (5) minutes. If discoloration occurred after you placed the towel, then it means that the granite is absorbing the water. This procedure is called the “paper towel test”. If such is the case, you need to seal your granite floor.

Next, you need to perform a solvent test. Pat some paint thinner over the granite and observe if the color has darkened after around five to ten minutes. If it did, then it means that your granite also absorbs solvents. Therefore, you need to seal it to prevent oil-based stains.

To put it simply, if there’s a change in color after exposure to water or solvents, then seal. If not, then don’t seal your granite.

As a rule of thumb, most granites that are dark in color, like browns, blues and blacks do not require sealant application. Granites that are lighter in color are the ones that are recommended for sealing and resealing after every few years.

Among the popular brands for granite sealers are: Granite Gold and Black Diamond Stoneworks

Installing granite flooring is more difficult than common floor tiles. It requires a little bit more effort and monetary investment.

But the beautiful outcome and a lasting one at that, is worth it.

For sure your new granite flooring will make a lot of first impressions. Your dream of making your room classy will definitely be achieved.

Hope you learned a lot from my take on how to install granite.

What kind of tools did you use when you installed your granite flooring? Please share your experience in the comments section below.

How To Install Cermamic Tiles On Concrete Floors – A Step By Step Guide

Ceramic tile flooring is considered to be one of the most cost-effective and low maintenance flooring materials available.

It is very visually appealing and offers a lot of variety in terms of color and texture, making it easy for you to create a personalized style in your own home.

Aside from that, it is very durable and can withstand wear and tear in high traffic areas.

It may not be the easiest to install, but it’s not that hard either. With the proper tools, laying a tile floor is a manageable do-it-yourself project if you want to save costs. And the result is hard-wearing and attractive flooring.

In this article, I’m going to show you how to install ceramic tiles on a concrete floor substrate.

What Do You Need To Lay Ceramic Tiles? 

Before you proceed, you have to pick out the tile design that you will be laying.

Materials Needed:
  • TSP (Trisodium Phosphate)
  • Concrete Patch or Self-leveling Compound
  • Concrete Sealer
  • Tile
  • Mortar
  • Grout
Tools Needed:
  • Tile Cutter
  • Tile Spacer
  • Trowel
  • Grout Float
  • Grout Sponge
  • Tape Measure

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1 - Preparing the Concrete

Here’s the deal.

It doesn’t matter how high quality or expensive your ceramic tiles are. If the concrete subfloor is not prepared properly, problems like ceramic tile cracks can occur.

First, you need to prepare the TSP solution according to the package instructions. It is very effective in removing dirt, oil and grease on concrete surfaces. 

Pour adequate amounts of the solution on the floor, then scrub using a brush and let it dry. Carefully examine the concrete surface for any cracks and small holes. Also make sure that it is smooth and level.

If you discovered any defects on the floor, fill them with a concrete patch or self-leveling compound to achieve a flat surface that’s ready to receive ceramic tiles.

If you’re going to install tiles in wet areas such as bathrooms and balconies, you need to apply a waterproofing membrane or paint first. This will protect any possible leaks on the wall and flooring.

Step 2 - Seal the Concrete

The next step is to apply a concrete sealer on the floor surface. This is an optional step, but can really benefit your tile installation in the long run. A concrete sealer prevents moisture from staying underneath the ceramic tiles. It will also provide a stronger adhesion between mortar and concrete.

Step 3 - Plan Your Layout

Okay, so you’ve prepared the concrete subfloor before installing the ceramic tiles.

Now what?

Now, it’s time to decide the starting point for laying the tile. After that, you will also have to think about how it will look like at the end.

If the end piece appears too small or narrow, you will have to adjust the start point from the edge of the tile to the center of the tile, for example.

Use a chalk line to mark your starting point on the concrete floor. Then use a square tool to check that the lines are perpendicular to one another.

Now that you have a reference point, you can be sure that the first row of tiles will be properly aligned.

Test how it will look like by laying the tile without adhesive. Use spacers for accuracy.

Step 4 - Mixing Mortar

There are a lot of tile mortars, also known as tile adhesive, to choose from.

The most commonly used is the thinset tile mortar. It is moisture resistant, budget friendly, and stays wet and workable for a long period of time.

Make sure that the tile mortar you choose is compatible with the site condition.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when mixing the mortar. Keep mixing until you achieve the desired consistency. You can either mix it on a flat metal or wood palette, or inside a bucket.

Avoid mixing too much mortar too early, as the mixture may harden before you need it. If it does start to harden, discard it and mix a new batch.

Step 5 - Applying Mortar

Once the mortar mixture is ready, dump or scoop it onto the surface. Spread the tile mortar using the flat side of a notch trowel at a 45 degree angle.

The size of the notch trowel will depend on the size of the tile. Larger tiles usually require a longer notch profile, allowing for a thicker mortar bed.

Cover only a small area when spreading the mixture, around 3 or 4 feet in length and width. Any further than that and you risk the mortar hardening before you place the tile.

The thinset mortar should cover at least around 80% of the size of the tile.

Step 6 - Installing the Tiles

When setting the tiles, work in grids of 2 tiles by 2 tiles. Use tile spacers for grout joints.

Place the tile firmly on the mortar, moving it slightly back and forth so it attaches to the mortar properly. Use a level to ensure that it is correctly aligned with the surface. 

Once you have set a tile, avoid disturbing it again. 

Complete setting the center tiles that do not have to be trimmed first. Afterwards, work on the tiles to be placed along the perimeter. These are usually the ones that need to be cut.

Mark the portion that needs to be trimmed using a pencil or marker.

Cut the tiles using a tile cutter or tile saw. Using a tile cutter is faster, and it gives a cleaner cut. The wet saw is used for irregular or curved cuts. For very minor cuts, use a tile nipper.

Double check that the cut tile will precisely fit the remaining gap. Clean any excess mortar from the tiles as you go along. You can use a dampe rag, spong or scrub pad.

Failure to do so will make it more difficult when you start cleaning them once they’ve dried up.

Step 7 - Grout the Tile

When you reach the part where you have to grout the tile, it means that the hard part is over. You’re almost done.

Filling the joints with grout gives it the finished look that it requires.

Mix the grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After mixing, let it set for around 10 minutes for the solid and liquid components to mix properly.

Add water or powder mixture afterwards to achieve the right consistency.

Spread the grout over the tiles using a grout float. Work in small areas at a time to avoid the grout hardening before it’s properly applied.

Hold the float at a 45 degree angle to push the grout into the joint. You want the gap to be compact and completely filled.

Once filled, hold the float in a flat position to scrape off any excess grout. Let the grout set for a bit before wiping off the excess.

Use a damp cloth or sponge to clean off any grout residue. If the tile still appears a bit hazy, don’t worry, because you can fix it at the next step.

Remember, don’t use a wet sponge when cleaning off the grout. Too much water can affect the adhesion of the tile on the surface. Also avoid scrubbing with too much pressure, because this can cause the tiles to move.

Step 8 - Clean Up and Sealing

Wait until the grout is completely dry, then wash the entire floor using a wet rag.

It the tile is still hazy, wait for the water to completely dry and then wipe it again, but this time with a damp rag.

Let the grout dry for another 48 to 72 hours before applying the grout sealer. Since grout is porous, a grout sealer closes the pores of the grout, therefore minimizing moisture absorption, mold and stains

Take note, though, that not all grouts require sealers, like epoxy grout. Grout sealers usually come in two types: membrane and penetrating sealer.

Membrane sealers or coatings are water-resistant, and protect only the surface of the grout. They are, however, not recommended for high-moisture areas like the shower. The non-porous surface blocks water from drying at the normal rate.

Penetrating sealers, as the name implies, penetrate deep into the pores of the grout. Once applied, water will no longer penetrate into the grout, but will instead form beads.

To apply the grout sealer, simply follow packaging instructions. There are three basic ways to apply grout sealer: spray-on, sponge or sealer applicator.

When applying, I recommend following a left-to-right direction so you won’t miss a spot.

Wipe excess sealant from each tile before applying sealant to the next one.

Once you’re done, wait for the sealant to dry for an hour or two, before applying a second coating.

Check out the video below on how to apply grout sealant:

Every year, check the effectiveness of the sealed joints by testing if water still beads when dripping over the grout. If that’s not the case, you need to reapply one coat of grout sealer.

Installing ceramic tiles or other stone tiles is not as easy as engineered or laminate wood, but it’s definitely worthwhile.

The great thing about ceramic tiles is that they are almost maintenance free if installed correctly. All you need is regular sweeping and mopping at intervals that depend on how dirty the floor becomes.

Should you need to repair a broken tile, it is also easy to replace as long as you have a spare tile in stock.

There you go. Simply follow the steps I’ve outlined above, and soon you will have a floor that is versatile, beautiful, and will last a long time.

Want to share your experience installing ceramic tiles? Feel free to comment below.

Cermanic Bathroom Tile – The Preferred Choice Of Bathroom Flooring

Using ceramic bathroom tile is becoming much more common lately. The idea of adding a little something to help tie this small room together is a popular idea. However, it isn’t necessarily as easy of a choice as you might think. Before purchasing your ceramic bathroom tile, take a look at a few things that are important for you to know when you’re thinking of making some changes.

Ceramic Tile Can Be Affordable

Yes, ceramic tile can often be more affordable than porcelain, something that is often seen as a major benefit. However, you should keep in mind that it may cost less, but you get what you pay for. Porcelain, though more expensive, is often a bit more durable or strong.

What you need to do is weigh the options. Some choose the affordability over the strength. Plus, for ceramic’s affordable price, you also get a wide variety of option.

There Are Options

Ceramic bathroom tile is often made of white or red clay that is put in a kiln and then finished with a glaze. So, when it comes to variety, you have found it in abundance here. You can essentially choose whatever type of tile will fit best with your bathroom. Whether you are trying to match it to your decorations or the baseboards, you can find something that will work.

You Want A Tile With A Strong Finish

Picking out ceramic bathroom tile is much more than just choosing the style or color. You want to make sure that you are choosing an option that has a very durable finish. How do you know if its finish is durable? Acquire a sample of the tile you are considering, take it home with you, and clean it repeatedly. It is recommended to use a cleaner that is mild. If the tile withstands the cleaning test, than its finish is durable enough to be installed in your bathroom.

However, if the tile is cheap enough that the finish is durable, you might have to consider spending more money on a higher quality tile.

Ceramic Tiles Commonly Have Texture

Bathrooms tend to be small and unnoticed. Thus, you might want ceramic bathroom tile installed in order to add a bit of dimension to the room. Ceramic tiles are often textured, meaning they add a level of depth that you can’t get with just any type of tile. Adding depth to a room that is often overlooked, will allow it to stand out.

Ceramic Tile Is Waterproof

Why install ceramic tile in your bathroom? Well, it’s water proof. What better option is there for a room that is notorious for water? If you want to install it on your wall behind the sink, you can rest assured if water from the sink hits it. If you install it in your shower, you don’t have to worry about the extreme damage that another option might cause.

Chips And Scratches Can Hurt The Glaze

One of the biggest downsides to ceramic bathroom tile is that if you chip it or scratch it through every day use, you can remove that glaze it has, which is essentially what gives your tile its unique color. Repairing this is much more difficult than desired. You might find this something you don’t have to concern yourself with, but it’s important to know.

The Installation Process Is Easy

Installing ceramic bathroom tiles is actually fairly simple. If you want, some people opt to make it a DIY project for themselves. Many tiles now are being made with arrows on the back to help you keep them lined correctly for the finished project to look its best. However, you still have the option of having it installed yourself.

Ceramic bathroom tile isn’t necessarily the perfect tile option for you. It isn’t the highest quality option, it isn’t necessarily the nicest choice. However, there are certainly many benefits to choosing ceramic bathroom tile. No, it may not be the nicest tile there is, but it is nice enough to make a statement and to give your bathroom the added touch that you think it needs.

When it comes to affordability, options, and little damage, how could you pass up this type of tile? But don’t take my word for it. Look through your options, decide what is best for you, and then make your decision. After all, it’s your home.

Travertine Floor Tile

If you’re tired of the look of traditional tile, I highly recommend turning your attention to travertine floor tile. Never heard of it? That’s okay, this unique and very chic flooring option is great for anyone who doesn’t want the typical floor for their home.

Travertine floor tile is similar to marble flooring but it is made naturally from hot springs with many minerals. The natural mixture of the elements are what create such unique designs, making your floor stand out from the rest.

This floor’s unique character means it can be added to any room. It comes in a variety of colors, which you get to choose from. You can even choose whether the surface of your tile is brushed, honed, tumbled, or polished. This unique option means you can cater to the style of any room you place it in.

Now that you know what travertine floor tile is, you might want to know a few pros and cons of this floor to help you make your decision. Keep in mind that while this floor is unique and classy, it isn’t an option for everyone. It is always best to weigh your options and compare them with your situation in terms of family, finances, and future. That being said, below are a few of the more common considerations you have when getting a new flooring.

Pros Of Travertine Flooring

It has amazing durability

Not surprisingly, travertine floor tile has a very long life expectancy, even in areas of high traffic. This floor is essentially good anywhere, even outside. Its incredible durability means that it is often used around pools. It can handle temperature fluctuations, even extreme changes, without any trouble, making it a floor that is worth your money. Sealed travertine is essentially stain and water proof, a great benefit if you have kids and pet.

It costs less than marble

You will find that marble is most regularly the floor that is compared to travertine floor tile as they are very similar in their appearances. However, while they are similar, travertine will cost less than a marble flooring. That being said, travertine is still not cheap. It is considered to be a luxury floor, so you should expect to pay a luxury price. However, considering its durability and versatility, this cost may be a serious benefit to some. If you are on a budget and just need a floor to last, this might be a serious negative for you.

Cons Of Travertine Flooring

It is not the easiest to maintain

With a floor this beautiful you have to make sure you’re taking care of it. Now, everyone knows the basic caring process: sweep regularly, mop regularly. But with a travertine floor you need to make sure that it is sealed or you will have some trouble. Unsealed travertine floor tile is much more porous and much more susceptible to stains. If you are not resealing your floor regularly, simple things like coffee spills will be a danger to your floor. Be sure to consider this when you are making your decision.

Keep the cleaning natural

Now, along with maintaining your floor daily and monthly, you need to make sure that the products you are using on it won’t be harmful. If you aren’t using the right products, you may as well just throw away your money because you will be ruining your beautiful new floor. Keep in mind that the floor you have is natural, thus it is much more sensitive than man-made flooring. You need to make sure that the products you are using are natural and made to clean natural stone products. This will ensure that they don’t have any harmful ingredients that will cause damage to your floor.

Travertine floor tile might not be for everyone, but it can’t be denied that it is a quality floor that would add to any home. Overall, if you can afford this luxury, I believe the benefits outweigh the negatives. The floor will last for a long time in high traffic areas of any room in your home (or outside) and the uniqueness of it will catch the attention of everyone who enters your space.

But, please, do your research. If this isn’t the floor for you, find the one that is. But if you want a fun, unique and natural floor for you living room, kitchen, pool, etc. I would highly recommend travertine floor tile.

10 Interesting Tile Work Ideas

Have you hesitated to have tile work installed in high humidity areas of your home because you think it's boring? That's actually not an uncommon perception of tile flooring. It can come off as uninspiring if you just go with a monochrome tile work scheme. However, the good thing about tile is that you can mix, match and create imaginative designs. Tiles are even versatile enough for a variety of applications.

10 Tile Work Ideas

Use Tile As a Backlash

This is actually a pretty common application for tile work. Installing a tile backsplash behind your stove or in any other area on walls that might get a lot of splattering creates a surface that is easy to clean.

Use It To Create Interesting Designs On Your Walls

This goes beyond the backsplash because you can actually create large, complex designs with tile work. Many people who install tile work on their walls use it to create surprising images and art designs that can break up an otherwise monotonous color scheme without having to find something to hang on their walls.

Tile Work Makes A Great Border

It's pretty common to use tile as a border to transition between two types of flooring in an open concept home or as a way to emphasize an interesting decorative design on the wall.

Use Tile Work In The Shower

When done correctly, tile work doesn't need to be a major slip hazard in your shower. Using bold colors and creative designs in your shower's tile work is a popular way to offset an otherwise pale color scheme in your bathroom (or vice versa).

Get Attention With An Optical Illusion

One imaginative thing to do with tile work is to create an optical illusion. Tiles can be used to suggest a wormhole or a multi-layered design that isn't. A unique one will get the attention of people who have gotten a little too used to boring floor designs. Just don't trip on that illusory stepping stone in the dark.

Create Pathways To The Parts Of Your Home That You Use The Most

This is an especially good idea if your home can be a bit of a maze for first-time visitors. I've been in homes that had unique layouts or were converted duplexes. Your tile work can subtly guide visitors to the parts of your home where you do most of your entertaining.

Use Tile As An Accent

An otherwise boring floor or wall element can be broken up by adding uniquely designed tiles as accents. Sometimes you can even have your accent tiles customized with your own designs, although this is often a little pricier.

Use Tile Work As Part Of An Outside Element

If you're revamping your landscape or putting in outdoor structures like a new swimming pool, options like shale tile make excellent choices for paving walkways or adding decorative surfaces to the swimming pool area. Shale is a form of tile that is uniquely designed to handle the wear and tear of the outdoor environment.

Create A Three-Dimensional Image

With a little planning (okay, a lot of planning), you can actually use tile to create a realistic three-dimensional image on your floor. We've seen tile work made to look like swimming pools with fish or dolphins swimming in them that actually look like they just got frozen in a moment until you get up close.

Replace Carpeting In Places That You Might Have A Hard Time Cleaning

Tile work is becoming an increasingly popular application for parts of your house that might be hard to reach while cleaning or otherwise pose a special challenge, like staircases and the back corners of closets that can be difficult to get into. Tile makes it less likely that dirt you might miss while cleaning will actually fall down into crevices or the deep part of a carpet, where that dirt becomes even more difficult to get out until you call the professionals.

The important thing to remember is that tile work does not have to be boring. Some options might take some extra planning and work to install successfully, but tile is versatile enough to create outstanding results when the project is completed. We've seen some truly spectacular designs with tile that a lot of people don't think is even possible if they're used to boring tile floors with maybe the occasional interesting border. Whenever you want to add a unique element to your home décor or just want to liven things up a bit, consider the versatility of tile.

Pros and Cons of Porcelain Tile Bathrooms

Tile is a pretty common flooring choice for bathrooms because it's usually made with an inorganic substance that's resistant to ambient moisture. When we take a long, hot shower or the sink springs a leak, we know the tile won't be damaged by it. A porcelain tile bathroom can continue looking good for a long time, but is it for you? Here's what you need to know about porcelain tile before you make a final choice.

Pros of Porcelain Tile Flooring

Porcelain is actually a very durable type of ceramic making it durable

During the manufacturing process, porcelain is fired at a higher heat than most ceramics. It's really designed for flooring applications in buildings that get a lot of foot traffic, like major international airports. Don't let this be a turnoff if durability is a major factor in the choices you're making in your residential bathroom application, though. If your bathroom floor really takes a lot of abuse, high quality porcelain is a good choice.

Porcelain allows for a very wide variety of styles

Maybe you're one of those people who never wants your floor to be boring regardless of where it is. The good part about choosing your porcelain tile style is that it doesn't matter whether you want your bathroom floor to be modern chic, rustic, or psychedelic. You can usually find porcelain tile styles to match or mix it up to create your own style. If you want your bathroom floor to be unique, be sure to make sketches so that the professional who installs it has an idea of what you have in mind.

Porcelain isn't very porous

Porcelain has what they call a low porosity, which means that the firing process used to create porcelain gives it a high density and low pore count. This means that less water can seep into porcelain and linger in a way that might contribute to mold, mildew and bacterial growths in your bathroom.

It's fairly cheap

You can buy most porcelain tile flooring materials for $3-7 per square foot. If you find it for less, feel free to ask questions about it because it might be better suited for a bathroom wall or backsplash.

It's easy to maintain and clean

The density and porosity of porcelain means that dirt, grime and liquids are less likely to seep into the tile. Most messes can be gotten rid of with just a vacuum and a mop. If it shows signs of staining, you should have the material underneath inspected because this may be a sign of a serious mold or mildew growth.

Cons to Porcelain Tile Flooring

Best to have it installed professionally

You could try installing it yourself, but one common mistake that DIY enthusiasts make is using the wrong kind of setting compound. The downside of porcelain's low porosity is that it requires a specific type of setting material, so make sure you ask the manufacturer for recommendations or let the professional handle it.

Manufacturing runs can vary

Porcelain is actually more predictable than most types of ceramics, but if you look closely at what you purchased, you may notice that it doesn't completely match the samples you saw. When dealing with any type of ceramic, it's important to remember that one manufacturing run is rarely 100% identical to another.

Porcelain tile may be slippery when wet

This is one of the major weaknesses of installing tile flooring of any type in your bathroom. It may be slippery and might cause you to slip and fall if you don't watch your step. If you have members of your household who aren't very steady on their feet, make sure you have options available that will give them some traction.

A salesperson probably won't know much about porcelain beyond the fact that it's a type of ceramic flooring that's popular for its durability. However, you can usually find information about the manufacturer, which employs experts that can usually answer questions and help you make the best choice for your bathroom floor.

Porcelain tile is popular for its durability, good looks and ability to resist water damage in high moisture environments like your bathroom. It also does well in high traffic areas of your home because it's designed to handle a lot of foot traffic and heavy wheeled luggage being towed along on the floor. On the flip side, it is easy to make mistakes when installing porcelain tile, so there's no shame in hiring a professional to handle the job. Once it's installed, porcelain will pay for itself by being a durable, attractive and easy to maintain flooring.

20 Ideas For Slate Tile Flooring

If you're looking for a flooring option that is not very vulnerable to water damage, you may have already gotten the idea that inorganic options are the way to go. Inorganic flooring is typically made using materials that were never plant-based. That means some form of tile flooring. Ceramic and porcelain are pretty common options for tile floors, but a third option that is getting the attention of people who want a unique look is slate floor tiling.

Slate is a form of metamorphosis rock that was formed at the bottom of the sea floor. The natural process of compressing the rock under tons of water and minerals found on the bottom of the sea forms a material that is durable enough to suit most flooring purposes. Basically, there isn't much you can do to abuse this flooring material that it hasn't gone through an intensified version of already. Now you just need some ideas for what to do with it.

5 Common Ideas For Slate Tiling

  1. Use as Ordinary Tiling: One of the cool parts of using slate floor tiling is that no two pieces are alike, so even if you install it as an ordinary tile floor, the tiles won't be so predictable that they're boring.
  2. ​Put it in an Entryway: Slate makes a very nice contrast to an otherwise all-hardwood floor when you use it to create a short entryway near your front door.
  3. It Make a Good Border Between Flooring Types: If you need a good way to transition between tile and another type of flooring in an open concept house, a slate tile “pathway” makes a good way to do that.
  4. ​Create a Slate Pathway: Slate can work both indoors and outdoors to add a pathway to your landscaping or highlight the main thoroughfare from your front door through the rest of your house. It's pretty common to use a mix of blue and gray slate for this to create the impression of an ambling brook.
  5. Use in a Modern Kitchen: Some people like to match smoothly polished dark gray slate with stainless steel appliances to create a modern look in their kitchen.

5 Crafty Idea For Slate Tiling

  1. Try Irregular Shapes: We've had customers tell us that they were bored with looking at square or rectangular tiles, so we found more natural-looking rounded or irregularly shaped tiles for them.
  2. ​Create Artwork on Your Floor: If you're choosing slate tile flooring, you probably want it because it's not boring. You can add even more interest by using it to create images of dragons, rockets, or Van Gogh's Starry Night. slate is something you can really use your imagination with. Don't forget to make a rough sketch with color so you can better visualize the concept when you talk to sellers and installers.
  3. Create an Optical Illusion: If you don't mind the risk of losing your balance because the floor faked you out, you can have fun with slate by arranging it in a way that creates an optical illusion.
  4. ​Make a Big Chess or Checkers Board: One thing that board game lovers often have fun with is using tiles to make a big board for their favorite game. Then you can find some giant chess pieces and set them up in a way that draws people into the game.
  5. Use it to Create Accents: Sometimes when people install a tile floor, they like the look of slate options but don't want it on their entire floor. A slate tile design added to the ceramic tile installation can create an interesting element in your floor and break up a ceramic tile installation that might otherwise be boring.

5 Ideas That Don't Involve Your Floor

  1. Use Slate as Part of Your Wall: Slate tile isn't limited to just flooring. We've seen some really neat slate tile walls installed in bathrooms.
  2. ​It Looks Good as Part of a Fireplace: Slate is a heat-resistant, fire-resistant and soot-resistant stone that adds an attractive appearance to your fireplace.
  3. Use it on Your Staircase: If you've just gotten tired of a carpeted staircase, it's easy enough to replace that carpet with a layer of slate tile.
  4. ​It Makes a Good Surface for Your Pool Area: If you have a deck with a swimming pool, slate can hold up as well as brick when installed on the deck. It can even be used to suggest the idea of pebbles on the beach for an aquatic theme.
  5. A Rough-Textured Slate Can do Well in Your Shower: If you worry about slipping in your shower, you might have tried one of those slip-proof mats, but you may also be thinking about replacing the surface. The rough texture of some slate options may help avoid the risk of a smooth surface that contributes to the risk of falling on a slippery surface.

5 Unconventional Ideas For Slate Tile

  1. Brick it: Rust-colored slate can be used to create a “brick wall” pattern that could be mistaken for real bricks if you aren't looking directly at it.
  2. ​Go Rustic: Multicolored slate with a rough texture is available for people who like a rustic or retro look in their home.
  3. Mix & Match: The neat thing about slate tile is that you aren't stuck with just one color or design option. Sometimes people will choose the natural coloring of slate tile and contrast that by adding the occasional brightly colored ceramic tile as part of the pattern.
  4. ​Create the Illusion of Depth: Some slate flooring options use layers or texture to make the design look like it has some depth.
  5. Installing Slate Tile in More Than One Room? Create a Design that Covers Both Rooms or Use Complimentary Designs: This gives you a sense of continuity when you go from one room to the next.

Because slate tile has a wide range of color and texture options, you can make choices that suit your individual taste. Be sure to make sketches of what you want beforehand. That way, not only can you show the sellers and installers what you want, but you can also get a good visualization of what it'll look like when it's installed. The most important thing when choosing and installing a slate tile floor is to have fun with it.

How To Use Marble Tile Flooring In Your Home – TheFlooringLady

how to use marble tile

Marble tile is an undoubtedly beautiful, elegant and classic flooring material. Marble is also incredibly strong and completely waterproof. As a natural stone, there are no concerns of off-gassing or toxins releasing from the flooring breaking down over time. So why don’t we see designers and homeowners singing the praises of marble as often these days? Primarily, this is because marble tile is expensive, difficult to repair, and can feel cold. Used correctly, however, marble is a natural flooring choice that will be timeless in your home.

Are You Considering Marble Flooring? 

Here are the right ways to use marble tile flooring in your home!
Laundry Rooms

Laundry rooms were once the closely guarded secret in a home. Even in the most upscale homes, laundry rooms were often left ugly and dingy. However, design has taken a significant turn these days. The intention behind design is no longer to show off for guests, but really to inspire happiness and comfort in our homes. We spend a lot of time in the laundry room, so it’s important to make this room a place that is beautiful in addition to functional! Marble is an excellent flooring choice for this. It can handle water spills and is easy to clean, is beautiful, and, as a bonus, a laundry room is typically a small enough room that it’s fairly inexpensive to cover the floor in marble tile.

Bathrooms

Traditional Carrara marble, subway tiles, marble Herringbone tiles…there are unlimited design options for your marble tile flooring in the bathroom, all of which will look clean and elegant. When choosing marble tile for your bathroom floors, keep in mind that you will want to use non-abrasive and non-acidic cleaners, as marble is a soft stone and these can be damaging.

Sun Rooms

A sunroom is my personal favorite location for marble tile flooring in the home. You can fill your sunroom with plants and not worry about water damage when you water them. The sun shining through the windows will warm the floors underfoot and the marble tile, in turn, will help keep the room feeling cool.

The Kitchen

Marble tile in the kitchen is a fantastic choice IF your kitchen meets the following criteria:

  • Not too large! If you have a huge kitchen, consider using the marble tile flooring in only one area of the kitchen. For example, use marble around your kitchen island and sink area, but not in the dining area of your kitchen where your table is, or vice versa. Marble is a non-porous material, making it ideal for areas where you are preparing your food, as it leaves no place for bacteria to breed and grow, unlike with hardwoods.
  • Not overused! If you’re putting marble tile flooring in your kitchen, use warmer colors on the cabinets and counters. Cherry, for example is a beautiful, rich color wood for cabinets that will pair well with marble flooring. While you can still use marble countertops with marble tile flooring, try using different but complementary colors and patterns.
Outdoor Living Area

Similar to a sunroom, marble tile floor is a wonderful choice for an outdoor living space, whether that be a screened in porch or outdoor dining area. Marble is easy to maintain and clean in an outdoor space and this natural stone that shines beautifully in an outdoor setting. It’s also very durable and can last for decades when taken care of correctly.

How Not To Use Marble Tile Flooring

  1. Your Entire Living Area: Have one large open concept first floor? Do not cover the entire room in marble, unless the look you are going for is a marble palace or upscale hotel. However, an entryway is a beautiful place to put marble and, when broken up with a mix of materials and patterns, marble can be used throughout the home.
  2. ​Any Room From Floor To Ceiling: If you are in love with marble tile flooring and marble counters and marble on the walls, choose contrasting patterns and tiles for interest and dimension.
  3. Bathrooms: Generally, marble in the bedroom is not the best choice, as no one likes to step out of bed in the morning onto cold marble floors. If you do want to use marble tile in the bedroom, you should use lots of area rugs, especially next to the bed, to warm up the room.

Ceramic Tile Flooring in the Kitchen – TheFlooringLady

kitchen tile

Ceramic tile is pretty standard for kitchens, especially ones with a vintage overall style. We like it because it's made with inorganic materials like clay, which makes it less vulnerable to damage caused by exposure to moisture. It's also versatile, but is it right for all kitchens? We've noticed that the pros outnumber the cons, but you do want to weigh your options before you make a final choice.

Pros of Ceramic Tile For Kitchen

It's unlikely to harbor germs and is easy to clean.

Ceramic is actually one of the easiest flooring materials to keep clean with a vacuum, mop and bucket. Unlike flooring made with organic materials like wood, it won't curl or warp if exposed to excessive moisture. When properly installed, ceramic tiles won't have any spaces for dirt and debris to fall into and give germs a place to hide and grow. If the ceramic gets stained, you can use a heavy-duty cleaner without worrying about damaging the ceramic.

It can come in a wide variety of styles.

A ceramic floor doesn't need to be boring. If you aren't finding a style you like at your local home improvement store, you may be able to find something you like online because ceramic tiles tend to be more versatile when it comes to style than wood or laminate. Can it be customized? Possibly. You can certainly find customizable decorative ceramic tiles online, but it may or may not be suitable for a kitchen floor. At the very least, if you find an option you like but you think the color is too dark or too light, you might be able to ask the employees of the home improvement store if they have something in a different color.

It's one of the most durable flooring materials.

Archaeologists have found ceramic tile at sites like Pompeii that were still intact and looked pretty good after 2,000 years. That's how durable ceramic can be.

It doesn't collect allergens.

Allergens that land on a ceramic floor don't land in a place where they can avoid a vacuum cleaner or mop. That makes them easier to sweep up on a regular basis.

The price range is attractive.

Depending on the quality of the ceramic and what it's made of, the price can range from 5 to 10 dollars per square foot, making it cheaper than some other options.

Get glazed ceramic if you can.

Glazed ceramic has a special coating that makes them more resistant to liquid spills, stains and normal wear and tear. They're also more resistant to high humidity environments, which is a major reason that glazed ceramic tile floors are popular in kitchens and bathrooms.

Cons of Ceramic Tile Floors in Kitchen

Ceramic is hard.

Ceramic has a tendency to be hard on legs and feet if it's going into a room where people stand for long periods of time. Expect meals that do not take very long to prepare if you are going to install this in the kitchen. The hardness can especially become a problem if somebody doesn't see a spill right away and slips on it. Padded underlayments will not help, but a few rugs can help to offset this.

It can be difficult to install.

Ceramic requires special tools to install and can be difficult to work with. Installation is usually done by contractors for this reason, which can eat into the money you saved by choosing ceramic. Ceramic is also heavy, so it may not do well if installed above the first floor of a multi-story building. If you intend to install ceramic tile above the ground floor of your home, have a contractor check the integrity of the structure that will have to hold it up.

It gets cold, especially in the winter.

Ceramic is not very good at retaining heat, so it can be a bit of a shock if you are walking on it with cold feet. On the flip side, it doesn't get overly hot during the summer, especially if you run the air conditioning.

Can ceramic tile work for your kitchen floor? We like it as something that's easy to clean, can be unique, is durable enough to be installed in high-traffic or high-humidity areas in the home, and doesn't cost a bundle to buy and install. The thing to remember about ceramic tile is that you don't need to settle for something that almost works. There's a wide variety of options out there, so we like to keep up with the latest designs available from several manufacturers and sellers.