So you’ve taken the plunge and decided to renovate your home. You’ve looked online and through brochures, have some amazing ideas and are ready to start on the project. A key factor in home improvements is to find suitable tiles.
Tiles come in two types, porcelain and ceramic. There are key differences between the two, and this post explores what they are and their suitability as either floor or wall tiles.
The Differences Between Porcelain and Ceramic Wall and Floor Tiles
Both porcelain and ceramic tiles are made from a clay mixture and fired at high temperatures in a kiln. Porcelain tiles are fired at higher temperatures at more intense pressures than their ceramic counterparts. The higher temperature and pressure make porcelain tiles stronger and less porous.
Porcelain floor tiles are the only choice when you want a durable surface to walk on. They are stronger and more durable, and less prone to discolouring, giving decades of service. You can use porcelain floor tiles both inside your home and the garden and are ideal for wet environments such as the bathroom.
If using in a wet environment or in the garden, it is best practice to use slip-resistant tiles making for a safer and more practical environment. Good providers offer hundreds of designs, so finding suitable and attractive floor tiles to suit your home should be straightforward.
Regardless of where you lay floor tiles, you should find:
- Your tiles are strong and able to handle heavy furniture and foot traffic.
- Porcelain tiles extremely hardwearing and give decades of service.
- Your floor tiles are scratch-resistant and resistant to temperature changes and moisture.
- Porcelain tiles are stain-resistant and require low maintenance.
Providing your floor tile installation is installed to professional standards, you will enjoy your fresh, new, exciting design for many years to come.
Floor Tile Installation Tips
If you’re unsure what you are doing, it is best practice to hire an expert installer of floor tiles. If you are taking on the project yourself, these tips will be of use:
- Prepare – Sketch out the floor tile and note where grout lines will go and where the cuts will be. Ensure your design is symmetrical and balanced for a better finish.
- Floor height – Once you take into account backing boards, adhesive, and underfloor heat mats, you can easily add an inch to the floor. You may have to sand doors to allow for the floor level rise.
- Level the floor – Ensure the floor is level, and it is recommended to strip the floor back as far as you can. Floor tiles work best on a completely flat surface. If you have floorboards, lay tile backing board and anti-fracture mats to avoid excess movement.
- Waterproof – To make a shower floor waterproof, fit delta-boards and tank the joints. This will stop water from leaking through the grout into the substrate below.
Wall tiles do not have to survive the stresses of floor tiles, and as such, your options a little broader. Ceramic tiles are durable enough to survive moisture and temperature changes and look great in both the kitchen and bathroom.
Unlike the floor where only porcelain will do, your walls can be adorned with either ceramic or porcelain tiles. Given that ceramic tiles are arguably easier to install, you may want to use them instead of porcelain tiles.
With professional installation, ceramic tiles will give decades of service and thanks to an exciting design range; you should find something to get enthused about for your design project.
Porcelain tiles can also be used as wall tiles. Again, the great qualities they bring to your floor, they bring to your wall. That said, being heavier, the tiles require a better substrate than their ceramic equivalent.
If you’re on a limited budget, you may want to consider using ceramic tiles for your walls as they tend to be cheaper.
Tiles, both ceramic and porcelain, can bring a beautiful yet practical touch to your home. They are easily the most suitable material for bathrooms and kitchens and make your home more sellable when moving on.
Choosing a Suitable Tile Store
The tile space is competitive, and the better stores provide both an in-store and online outlet. From an online perspective, good stores will allow you to filter and home in on the kind of tiles you want. They also provide good customer service, so if you’re unsure about any aspect of tiles, a person who knows what they are talking about can help you.
Also, check reviews to get information. It is a good idea to read reviews even if the rating is around 3 out of 5. Sometimes, ‘bad reviews’ might be due to circumstances that do not apply to your situation and will not hold you back.
Tiles bring a certain classy style to any DIY project. Once the project is finished, you love your home even more.