Tile and stone flooring is a popular option for homeowners; particularly in kitchens and baths. The look and feel of these floors is elegant and inviting; the care and upkeep minimal. What you may not realize, however, is the vast number of choices available to the discerning buyer.
Tile and stone floors are readily available in a variety of materials, sizes, and differing price points. Some of the most popular flooring is comprised of vinyl, stone, porcelain, quarry, terrazzo, travertine, and marble.
Vinyl flooring is a good choice if you are seeking a less expensive flooring option. It is easy to install and the color and pattern choices are numerous; however, it tends to scuff more easily and is less resistant to discoloration or staining than stone.
Stone tiles are comprised of marble, slate or granite. Widely considered the most elegant of tiles available; granite unfortunately tends to crack quite a bit due to its porous nature while marble and slate are heavy and somewhat cumbersome. We recommend professional installation if you choose to purchase this type of flooring.
Porcelain is a popular choice for a myriad of reasons. It is well priced (typically between vinyl and stone); far lighter than stone tiles and less likely to crack. Additionally, porcelain is more durable and stain-resistant than vinyl.
Quarry tiles are a composite of clay and shale. These tiles usually appear in varying shades of red but gray and brown are optional colors. Lighter than stone, these tiles can be somewhat porous making maintenance and cleaning difficult.
Terrazzo is a combination of marble chips and granite mixed with cement or a type of epoxy. Terrazzo tiles should be considered if you are seeking a lighter option than stone but wish to choose from a wide array of designs and colors.
Travertine is becoming an increasingly popular choice for homeowners. The material is similar to limestone which is created by an abundance of natural and organic substances. It is highly durable and relatively easy to maintain. Colors are diverse and unique.
Marble is actually crystallized limestone and one of the hardest and most beautiful substances available in flooring. Cleaning and maintenance is not difficult, however, we recommend that you do not utilize marble flooring in heavily trafficked areas as it requires regular polishing to maintain its natural beauty and shine. In addition, the cost is typically higher than other flooring options and can result in sticker shock if utilized to cover a large area.
Next time: Tile & Stone Flooring Cleaning & Maintenance