Did you know that porcelain was first created in China almost 2,000 years ago? Ever since then, porcelain has become an important part of ceramics, sculptures, and floor tiles. Porcelain floor tiles are actually one of the most popular tiles for kitchens and bathrooms due to their easy maintenance and beautiful, sleek appearance. But when it comes to porcelain floor tiles, how should you go about choosing them? How should you go about doing a porcelain tile installation? Keep reading and learn more about what you should consider before choosing the perfect floor tiles for your next home remodeling project.
Consider the Type of Porcelain for Your Tiles
Not every porcelain floor tile is made exactly the same. Some types of porcelain are better for certain rooms in the house than others. For example, consider the unglazed porcelain tile.
As the name suggests, this tile does not don a glaze as most porcelain tiles do. However, this doesn’t make it any less desirable than glazed porcelain tiles. In fact, you may specifically want unglazed tiles for certain areas of your house.
These tiles are unique because they are made of clay that has already been dried. This type of tile flooring has a look that is quite different than other, ordinary tiles. In particular, because it is formed from dry clay, the texture of the tile itself is rougher and more defined rather than smooth.
And, due to the lack of glaze, these tiles have a matte look. This is ideal if you don’t care for the shiny look that most porcelain tiles tend to have. Instead, the matte look from your tiles can give a space a warmer and more old-fashioned appearance.
Also, because of the matte finish, these tiles are not slippery at all. This makes them ideal for bathrooms. The only downside is that you need to give these tiles an extra layer of sealant upon installing them.
Without the sealant, the porcelain will be very porous and will absorb water, and can stain easily. Unsealed porcelain is also hard to clean because it is so porous. But as long as you seal the tile, it will be easy to clean and you won’t have to worry about it staining.
Glazed and Full-bodied Tiles
Another type of porcelain tile is glazed tile. Glazed tiles, of course, are coated in a special glaze that is actually a type of glass. The creation of this tile is a bit different compared to the creation of unglazed porcelain tiles.
First, the tiles need to be baked, then glazed, then baked again. This will make the tiles quite hard and very shiny. The resulting appearance of these tiles can differ according to a variety of factors.
Keep in mind that the glaze will make the tile quite slippery, especially when wet.
For example, some glazed porcelain tiles have certain patterns printed on them so they look unique compared to other tiles. Finally, the last type of porcelain tile we will consider is the full-bodied tile. This tile is unique because it actually consists of two slabs of clay stuck together.
This makes full-bodied tiles very durable, in fact, more durable than any other type of porcelain tile that you can find on the market. Because they are so strong, it is best to place these tiles in areas that receive a lot of wear and tear such as entryways or kitchens.
Don’t Forget About Your Budget
Some people get so excited about the idea of getting beautiful, new porcelain tiles that they forget all about the money they are paying when choosing floor tiles. You shouldn’t let this happen to you for several reasons. First, if you spend too much, you might regret buying porcelain floor tiles in the first place.
Secondly, if you buy tiles that are out of your price range, you might not even be able to afford all the tiles you need to completely tile an area in your home. This, of course, would stunt your project in a frustrating way. To avoid these problems, you will need to keep a close eye on your budget as well as the price tag on whatever tiles you plan on buying.
As mentioned before, there are several types of tiles to choose from. Each type, of course, will have a slightly different price tag. The price of your tiles will also depend on other factors such as where they come from, the grade of porcelain, the size of the tiles, how many tiles you plan on buying, and so on.
If you’re not careful, you could easily end up spending more than you wanted to. For that reason, you should pay very close attention to all of the factors of a particular type of tile and how those factors affect the total cost. You also shouldn’t be tempted by the appearance of porcelain tiles alone.
Creating the Perfect Budget
While a high-grade tile might have the perfect appearance for your project, you shouldn’t destroy your entire budget just to get it. Instead, you will want to choose tiles that you like without going overboard. To do that, you will first need to create a solid budget.
Depending on the size of the area you need to add flooring, you may need to have a very large budget. Whatever the case, you should always set a specific number for your spending limit. If you only have a vague idea of how much you want to spend, you will be far more likely to go over your budget. Bear in mind that some tiles will also likely break during your installation. So assume that you’ll need 5-10% more tiles than are necessary to cover the floor. These will also come in handy in the future if for some reason one of your tiles breaks.
On the other hand, if you are stricter and come up with a specific number for your spending limit, you will be less likely to go over that number. A very specific budget will also help you better keep track of how much you’re spending on your tiles.
That way, you can enjoy choosing and installing your porcelain tiles without sweating too much over their cost.
Consider the Grade of Your Porcelain Floor Tiles
Durability is important when it comes to floor tiles, especially in areas that receive a lot of traffic. What many people don’t know when buying porcelain tiles is that not all types of porcelain are of the same durability. Some are actually much weaker compared to others.
Of course, the last thing you want to do is install a bunch of porcelain tiles that aren’t very durable in a well-trafficked area. Sooner or later, those floor tiles will start to sustain damage such as cracks, chips, scuffs, and stains. When shopping for porcelain tiles, you will want to look very closely at what grade the tiles are.
There are 5 grades based on the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) rating. Grade 1 is the weakest and least durable type of porcelain tile. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that this tile will crumble as soon as you touch it.
However, this type of tile is on the thinner side and is usually not best for floors. Instead, you may use it for walls or as a decoration. Grade 5, on the other hand, is the strongest and most durable type of porcelain. This kind of porcelain is perfect for high-traffic areas such as hallways, entryways, and so on.
For example, as mentioned before, full-bodied porcelain tiles are very durable and are very high on this durability scale. However, you don’t always need to get grade 5 tiles for your floors. It is recommended that your porcelain tiles are at least grade 2.
This grade is tough enough to sustain moderate amounts of traffic. However, it might start to break down over years of being walked over. For that reason, if you want to install porcelain tiles in areas that are typically busier, you should opt for porcelain that is grade 3 or higher.
Keep in mind that the price of the tiles will change according to what grade you are getting. If you are unsure if you can afford a certain grade of porcelain, you may need to expand your budget. It is often better to spend more upfront for durable, high-quality tiles than having to spend more money later on for tile repairs.
What You Need to Know About Porcelain Floor Tiles
Porcelain floor tiles make for a fantastic flooring choice. They have a unique appearance compared to other types of floor tiles and they can make your living space look completely different. When choosing these tiles, you will need to consider several different factors.
For example, you will need to think about the cost, the grade of porcelain, and the type of porcelain you plan to get. To learn more about choosing the right tiles, don’t hesitate to click here.