black and white checkboard ceramic tile

Benefits of Ceramic Tile Flooring

Ceramic tiles have forever been a practical, affordable and therefore popular choice for kitchen floors. They are made from clay and other natural minerals and materials and when baked in extreme heat, these tiles become extremely strong. From a kitchen design perspective, this product is a great flooring choice for your kitchen, strong, easy to clean, and very affordable. Photo by Chastity Cortijo on Unsplash

How much does ceramic tile cost?

Choosing tile for your kitchen space provides plenty of options.  Depending on the quality, size, brand and thickness you choose will determine your price therefore you can spend a little, or a lot!

There is an overwhelming variety of tile flooring to choose from.  From size to shape, thicknesses to strength, color to texture there is a lot to consider. You can buy ceramic tiles anywhere from $3 – $50 or more however, the variety of choice makes ceramic tiles quite cost effective.

Ceramic Tile Flooring Design

Your options are truly endless with respect to color, texture and style of ceramic tiles. The hardest part about choosing the right flooring tile is deciding which one best fits with your space!

Ceramic tiles are a porous material thereby requiring a sealant or in other words a glaze. A natural glaze application would allow for the tile to gain a hard surface but would also leave the tile in its natural hue. In order for a tile to have a particular color, pigments are added to a glaze and once fired, become an intentionally colorful tile.

** It is important to note that variety is fantastic however it may be difficult to find the same style of tile in the future. Be sure to buy extra tiles to have for replacement otherwise you may have a very difficult hunt on your hands if damage occurs.

Is a ceramic tile kitchen floor durable?

The durability of ceramic tiles are ranked using a grading system. The lowest grade of strength being 1 and the greatest level of strength would be 5. Today the internet and discount tile supply stores are a fantastic option for getting great prices on tiles, but beware that not all packages will be properly labeled to distinguish a grade.

With respect to durability, a grade 3 or higher glazed ceramic tile is an excellent solution for flooring in any kitchen for many reasons: is very strong and can outlast almost any flooring product on the market today if installed properly and well maintained.

In kitchen flooring it is vital to have a tile with at least a grade III strength. Glazed ceramic tiles rank highly among similar materials for scratch resistance.

Ceramic Tile Strength

Although the strength of glazed ceramic tiles are ranked in grades and can be very strong with respect to wear and scratching, they can be susceptible to damage. Very heavy objects could eventually create enough pressure over time to crack tiles and should something heavy fall onto the floor, breakage can occur. It is possible to fix broken tiles, however this process can also damage surrounding tiles so always be sure to have extra on hand.

Are Ceramic Tiles Fire Resistant?

Glazed ceramic tiles are an excellent fire resistant product, they will not burn or emit toxic fumes.

Are Ceramic Tiles Water Resistant?

Glazed ceramic tiles are moisture resistant with an absorption rate of 3% to 7%. If water is left pooling on a ceramic surface for a prolonged period of time, damage is possible.

How to Maintain Ceramic Tile Flooring

Using ceramic flooring in the kitchen is fantastic as it is so easy to maintain.  Sweeping and light mopping make these floors super easy clean and they can withstand wear and tear for years.  Often home owners consider using ceramic tile in and around high traffic areas in the kitchen such as by the sink and use hardwood surrounding it as hardwood wears faster than tile.

 Construction & Installation of Ceramic Tile Flooring

Unlike sheet vinyl or linoleum flooring, the installation process for these tiles is much simpler. It is not necessary to have this material professionally installed, in fact with the proper knowledge it can be a great DIY project for those who are handy and will significantly lower your kitchen renovation costs.

Choosing a color or style of tile is an important consideration, but so is your grout! Keep in mind that the color or grout you choose is another design option!  Certain tiles look amazing when contrasting the grout color, but be careful as it can also make the floor look busy.

Take your time to choose the right grout color as it could dramatically change the overall appearance of your floor for better and for worse! Choosing the spacing between your tiles is another important element to decide which will impact the overall look of your floor.  Something as simple as tile spacing can create a dramatic result.  Plan it out carefully.

Handmade Tiles

Another tile to consider installing in your kitchen is handmade tile. One very important thing to note about using and installing these tiles is that each tile is generally different. This tile can add rustic beauty to your space but beware of inconsistencies your end result may not resemble your intention!  Handmade tile is a nice option to consider in a new-construction home.  The imperfections in the tile help make the new home feel lived in and can add character.

Ceramic Tile Flooring & Your Health

Ceramic tiles are an excellent choice for kitchen floors in that they are very easy to clean. These tiles are non-conductive and therefore do not attract dust and dirt.

From a green-living perspective, ceramic tiles are not ideal. They are created from natural ingredients that do not harm landfills but they do add to them. The problem with ceramic tiles is that they require an enormous amount of energy in order to fire-bake them. This contributes to energy consumption and Co2 contribution. However there are now manufacturers producing recycled ceramic and porcelain tiles, perhaps a preferred choice for those wanting to support greener initiatives.

Ceramic Tile and Indoor Air Quality

As for indoor air quality, this flooring material is an excellent choice. They are easy to keep clean and do not harbor dust mites and allergens however, you must ensure that you use environmentally friendly grouts, adhesives and sealers, and green cleaning products to maintain air quality.

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