When it comes to beautiful floors, it is hard to beat tile. Tile floors are beautiful, durable, and natural. With today’s sealers, stone and clay tiles are virtually impervious to food spills, water and mud making them very practical for kitchens, bathrooms and entry ways. There is a extensive range of colors in the natural stones from cool white marble to black granite, with golds, grays, greens and brown in between. Stone floors can be accented with an inlay or a border in contrasting stone or they can simply be topped with an area rug.
Tile floors can run from country casual to formal and luxurious and some of them can come at a high price. There are bargain prices out there at the home warehouse stores, but when buying tile for floors be sure the tile you are choosing is rated for flooring. It will say so on the box. Floor tiles are thicker and more durable then those for walls or countertops. Unless you expect extremely heavy traffic, your tiles need only be approved for residential, not commercial use.
Tile floors do have certain drawbacks. If glassware falls on tile floors it will take a beating, in fact it will probably shatter. If small children fall on it……well, the floor is hard so you get the picture. Tile floors can be tiring to stand on for long periods of time and unless radiant (underfloor) heating is installed, they are almost always cold. Finally, remember that most hard flooring is heavy, so be sure that the subfloor is strong enough to support it.
If the area to be tiled will get wet, either choose tiles that repel water, or be prepared to some extra maintenance. Select floor tiles with a grainy or bumpy surface, so they won’t be slippery when wet. With the rise of modern manufacturing methods, many tile materials have become chameleon-like. Porcelain or ceramic tiles, for instance, can be made to look like natural stone, either textured or smooth or can even look like terra cotta. With all these possibilities you can get the look you like as well as the properties you need without a lot of maintenance.