People have been crafting ceramic items since 28,000 BC and the art has continued even today. Today, ceramic products such as ceramic tile flooring are more advanced than ever and there are also many options to choose from. If you’re thinking about a ceramic tile installation for your floors, you might be wondering where you should start.
After all, there are many different types of ceramic tiles and some may be better suited for your home than others. Keep reading and learn more about how to choose the best ceramic flooring options for your home.
Consider the Ceramic Tile Class
Many people think that all ceramic tiles are more or less the same when it comes to durability, but this is not quite true. This is because ceramic tiles come in different hardness levels or classes. While all ceramic tiles are hard to a certain extent, some are much harder and more durable than others.
The hardness comes from the thickness of the ceramic tile to a certain extent. Naturally, thinner tiles will be more brittle and likely to crack while thick tiles are much sturdier. However, the creation of the ceramic tile itself is also important.
Depending on how long the ceramic was fired in a kiln and what temperature the ceramic was fired at, the ceramic may be very strong or relatively brittle. The only way you can tell how durable a piece of ceramic tile is, is to decide on a particular class. For example, class 0 ceramic tiles are the weakest of all ceramic tiles.
For that reason, you can’t actually use these tiles for your floor (or at least you shouldn’t). This is because these tiles are quite thin and brittle. If you install them on the floor, they will start to crack and break down after you walk over them a few times.
Instead, class 0 tiles are only meant for walls where they will not receive any foot traffic. Class 1 tiles, on the other hand, are a bit more durable, but they are far from the most durable of all ceramic tiles. You should not put these tiles in areas that receive a lot of foot traffic. Instead, you should install them in locations that are not often frequented. It is also best to walk over these tiles with bare feet instead of with shoes.
Different Class Types
Class 2 tiles are slightly sturdier and are better for more versatile locations throughout your house.
They are ideal for moderate food traffic. It is recommended that you don’t install these tiles in busy areas such as the kitchen or hallways. Class 3 tiles are all-purpose tiles and you will often see them in kitchens, bathrooms, and other regions of the house.
They are quite sturdy and you shouldn’t have to worry too much about them cracking, although they may get scratched if they receive too much traffic. Class 4 tiles are especially sturdy and you won’t have to worry about them getting damaged at all. These tiles are not only good for your home but also for commercial areas that receive plenty of traffic on a daily basis.
Last but not least, there are class 5 tiles. These are the strongest of all the tile classes. They are usually not necessary for homes but instead for commercial areas that receive very high amounts of traffic.
When choosing tiles for your home, it is important to measure these different tile classes very carefully. If you’re unsure what tile class to get, it is best to get one that is relatively sturdy. That way, you won’t have to worry much about the tile cracking or getting scratched as you walk over it.
Pick the Best Tile Finish for Your Home
Besides debating between the different ceramic tile classes, you will also need to debate between the different tile finishes for your ceramic tile flooring. Some people don’t put a lot of importance on a tile’s finish, but this is a mistake. This is because the finish of your tiles can change the entire appearance of your house’s interior.
Some finishes might make your home look more rustic and warm while others might make your home feel more modern and sleek. Some finishes also allow more grip on your feet while others are quite slippery. There are three main types of finishes for ceramic tiles: a gloss finish, a matte finish, and a semi-matte finish.
Gloss finishes are quite popular because they give the tiles a unique shine and sleekness that you can’t get with any other kind of tile finish. They can give your home a very clean and modern look. Besides that, they even can reflect light that filters through your windows which will actually make the inside of your home appear brighter.
This is especially true if you choose tiles that are light in color. The main downside of these tiles is that they are quite slippery. For that reason, it is not recommended that you put these tiles in the bathroom or kitchen where you will be more likely to slip. Instead, they are ideal for areas such as hallways, bedrooms, living rooms, and so on.
What You Need to Know
Matte finishes do not have any gloss at all and, as such, they are not very slippery. While they do not reflect light in the same way glossy tiles do, they have the benefit of having great traction.
For that reason, you can put them in the bathroom or kitchen without having to worry about slipping on them. They also give a warm and more rustic look to your home compared to glossy tiles which provide a cooler look. But what if you can’t choose between one tile finish and the other?
After all, they are both very stylish choices. If you can’t choose between them, you can always opt for a semi-matte finish. As the name suggests, this finish doesn’t quite have the same look as a true matte finish but instead has a very light shine due to a thin layer of gloss over the top. Semi-matte finishes have the best of both worlds because they have a bit of gloss to their appearance but they are not so glossy that they increase your risk of slipping. That makes these tiles especially versatile and you can place them almost anywhere in your house, including the kitchens and bathrooms.
Don’t Forget About Your Budget
Some people get so excited about ceramic flooring installation and different tile styles that they end up forgetting all about their budget. You should try to keep this from happening to you, otherwise, you might regret all the money you ended up spending on your floor tiles. As mentioned before, there are many ceramic tile options to choose from.
Besides choosing tiles that complement the interior of your house, you should also choose tiles that fit your budget. Keep in mind that you don’t have to opt for the cheapest tiles available just to save some money or stay within your budget. In fact, buying the cheapest tiles on the market is often a bad idea since they are usually poorly made and not very durable.
You shouldn’t necessarily splurge and get very expensive tiles either. While very expensive tiles might be stylish, they tend not to be all that much better than average tiles. If you opt for mid-range tiles, you will find that you can choose between many options that are both affordable and stylish.
If you are on a very tight budget, it may be wise to hold off until you can afford mid-range tiles. Opting for cheap tiles will only cost you more money in the long run. While they might be cheap upfront, they will eventually be in need of repair or replacement which will only cost you more money down the line.
Slightly more expensive and better quality tiles, on the other hand, are more affordable overall because they will last much longer without needing to be repaired or replaced. And, of course, before you opt for any kind of tile, make sure that your tile choice matches well with the rest of your house’s interior.
All About Ceramic Tile Flooring Choices
When it comes to ceramic tile flooring, there are many options to choose from and many factors to consider when choosing. For example, you will need to think about what tile class you want to get so that your floors are durable enough to sustain the traffic in your home. You’ll also want to think about the different finishes for your tiles as well as the cost.
To learn more about tile floors, click here.