Different Types of Kitchen Floor Tiles
Give your kitchen a fresh look with floor tile
Your kitchen is a room where people will gather every day, so choosing flooring material is one of the most important design decisions you will make. With a rich array of colors, styles and finishes to choose from, it’s easier than you think to transform a dated kitchen into an inviting room that draws your family and friends together. Renew your kitchen decor with a long lasting foundation by incorporating the beauty and durability of ceramic and porcelain floor tile. Slate and tumbled natural stone tiles are also perfect for fitting in with any kitchen decor, offering a timeless look with many different styles that are easy to clean and maintain. Set the tone in your kitchen by installing a tile floor that will create a beautiful,
Types of Kitchen Tile Flooring
Ceramic and porcelain tile are similar. Both are made from clay mixtures fired at high temperatures to produce a hard, durable tile. Both come either glazed or unglazed. Beyond that, there are important differences.
- Porcelain floor tile has sand added to the clay mixture and is made with heat and pressure to produce a tile that’s harder, denser and less porous than regular ceramic tile. It’s a good choice for high-traffic areas, kitchens and bathrooms. It’s tough enough to be used outdoors in any climate.
Glazed porcelain tile has a glass-like coating applied during firing to produce colored surface. Unglazed porcelain has color added to the clay mixture so the color and pattern is carried all the way through the tile. Any wear or scratches won’t show on unglazed porcelain.
Porcelain can be difficult to install and requires special tools, making installation a less DIY-friendly project.
- Regular ceramic floor tile is sometimes called “non-porcelain” to clearly differentiate it from porcelain. It’s softer than its porcelain cousin and glazed to create a hard wear surface in virtually any color. Because it’s softer, it’s easier to cut and install. Although it’s more porous than porcelain, the glazing creates a surface that’s impervious to kitchen spills and splashes.
- Stone floor tiles are made from natural stone including slate, granite, limestone, travertine, and marble. Most stone tiles are porous and need to be refinished with a quality stone sealer every two to three years.
Stone can be polished or honed. Polished stone surfaces are slippery when wet, but the polishing lets the full beauty of the stone show through. Honed stone tiles provide more traction but have a less vibrant look.
Drawbacks of Kitchen Tile Flooring
Tile is a hard, unforgiving surface. Dropped glasses and dishes won’t survive, and long hours of food prep may bring about fatigue. Tile reflects sound, so tile flooring can contribute to a noisy environment. Area rugs and anti-fatigue mats are good remedies.
Tile requires maintenance, too. Although ceramic tile itself is durable, the grout between tiles can get dingy with age. Use a grout sealer on a regular basis to keep your floors looking new.
Tiles surfaces can be slippery when wet. If you’re concerned about traction, look for tiles that are certified to be slip-resistant by the Americans with Disabilities Act. You should be able to spot the ADA certification on packing boxes and product literature.
What’s the benefit of wood-look tile over hardwood in the kitchen?
The strength and durability are the biggest advantages that wood-look tile has over hardwood flooring, especially in the kitchen. It won’t scratch or need refinishing like a hardwood floor. If you want the appearance of natural wood with the durability and easy-to-clean quality of ceramic tile,
What kitchen tile is most durable?
Tile is ideal for high-traffic areas like your kitchen because it is very durable. Porcelain and ceramic tile are hard, resilient materials that are great choices.
What is the best way to clean kitchen floor tile?
Make sure you choose a non-acidic, antibacterial cleaner for both man-made and natural stone tiles.
Porcelain Tile Kitchen Flooring
Porcelain tile is very similar to ceramic tile, yet takes durability and water resistance up another few notches.
Simply put, porcelain tile flooring is one of the most durable kitchen floor materials. It’s so strong that it can even be used in commercial kitchens and other high-stress environments.
Not only can porcelain tile stand up to heavy impacts, but it’s also even more water resistant than ceramic. The Porcelain Tile Certification Agency requires porcelain tiles to have less than a 0.5% water absorption rate.
Porcelain tile flooring is also low maintenance. Cleaning it usually only requires sweeping and perhaps mopping with a damp rag.
Take good care of your porcelain tile kitchen floor, and you can easily expect it to last for several decades.
Like ceramic tiles, the main downside to porcelain tiles is weight. They are often too heavy for upstairs use. DIY installation is also difficult because of the weight.
Porcelain tiles are more expensive than ceramic tiles. The difficult installation also means there are higher installation costs.