Ceramic Tile

Tips on Purchasing New Ceramic Tile

Ceramic Tile
If you’re looking for a durable floor that will last for the life of your home, ceramic tile deserves special consideration. This flooring favorite was invented more than 6,000 years ago, and tiles dating back to the 4th century B.C. survive this day! The array of tile colors available today is very decorator-friendly and encourages custom design effects. Ceramic tiles can be as small as a square inch, or as large as a 2′ x 2′. Tile shapes include square, round, octagonal, and irregular or freeform. The design combinations are as endless as your imagination.

Where can I Use Ceramic?
While there have been a few innovations to make ceramic more durable, more affordable and more attractive, ceramic has remained essentially the smae over the centuries. Ceramic tile is appropriate anywhere is the house; indoors or out; below, on, or above grade level.

The correct subfloor structure is critical to performance
Ceramic tile, more than any other form of flooring, requires the proper subfloor system and setting materials. A double subfloor system with the total thickness of 1-1/4 in., over floor joists 16 in. on center is required. The top subfloor layer should be exterior grade plywood or an underlayment specifically designed for ceramic tile installation like cementous backerboard.

Special setting materials are available which will allow ceramic tile installations over existing floors that are solid and already meet the above requirements. Failure to provide a sturdy base can cause grout to crack and release or tile to crack.

Although many ceramic tiles look the same, there are quality differences
The quality of raw materials, the firing process, and the sophistication of glazing applications that create realism will determine the quality of the finished product. These quality differences are often reflected in the price.

Selecting the right surface glaze is an important step when selecting floor tile
Floor tiles are rated for glaze wear and slip resistance, which are important factors to consider. Glaze ratings should exceed 3 for residential applications with the exception of bath areas that can use tiles rated 2. Tiles with a slip resistant rating of 0.5 or better should work well in most indoor residential applications.

Use caution when selecting tile for installations outdoors. Unglazed quarry tiles, tiles with heavily textured surfaces, or porcelain paver tiles, all with slip resistant ratings of 0.6 or greater are possibilities. They must also be frost resistant.

Request the best in setting materials
New latex modified mortars and grouts provide better strength while also allowing greater flexibility.

Special Caution
Dropping objects on ceramic tile–particularly heavy ones–can chip even the best tiles.