Ceramic floor tile offers easy-to-clean beauty
Ceramic tile for floors, walls and counters offers an abundance of choices of sizes, patterns, surface textures and colors. Making a decision can be very tough! Here are tips that will help you make the perfect choice.
Ceramic floor tile:
Usually thicker than wall tile, ceramic floor tile is made with a tougher glaze and a clay body than wall tile. Tile sizes have been getting larger and larger with 12” x 24” now common, and some tiles as large as 3 feet square, or more. Floor tile may come with a coordinating wall base or surface bullnose. And floor tile can be used on walls, too, if you’ve fallen in love with a color or pattern, or if you want to create a flow from floor to wall.
Once installed, the size of ceramic floor tile can impact how your room looks. A large tile (18”x 18” and up) in a small room will actually make the room look larger. A smaller tile (12”x 12” and less) means more joints. It breaks up the floor space and makes the room feel smaller.
Ceramic wall tile:
Ceramic wall tile is best for backsplashes, wainscots and accent walls. Choose your look from a beautiful array of colors, patterns, shapes and sizes. Wall tile usually has coordinating trim pieces to finish the installation such as surface bullnose, double bullnose for corners, and wall base. It’s usually thinner than floor tile and may have a more fragile glaze and clay body. Tiles designated for ‘walls only’ are not recommended for floors as they may scratch or crack, or the glaze may not hold up to foot traffic.
When choosing tile consider how it will look set in a vertical format, a horizontal format, herringbone or subway layout. You may choose to have the wall tile in a 50% offset, or floor tile in a 33% offset. See the photos below for examples.
Talk to your project consultant to ensure the tile you’re considering is a good choice for where you want to use it.
Grout is another question
Yes, grout can make a difference. Consider the size of grout joints—do you want a thin grout joint or a thick grout joint? If your tile is a big, bold travertine with chiseled edges you will want a grout joint at least 1/2” wide. But if you’ve chosen a 3” x 6” subway tile on a backsplash you probably want a 1/16” grout joint. Work with your project consultant or installer to determine the best width of grout for the tile you’ve chosen. Discuss grout color and cleaning options, too. They’re important!
Pricing variations in tile
How and where tile is made; the pattern, size and trim choices; and how the tile is printed can all affect the final price. Talk to your project consultant about the type of tile that will fit your budget … or explore the incredible array of choices for your project, then look at price. Either way, it’s up to you!
It there’s a pattern in your tile, the price may be higher due to many different trim shapes available to coordinate with the pattern. Machine-made tile will generally be less expensive than tile made by hand, while tile manufactured by precision equipment may cost more than products made with basic equipment. Shipping costs can increase the price when tile is made in Europe or overseas.
Pricing is lower if each tile in your order is exactly the same size, so it’s easier to install. Of if each tile varies, such as with handmade tile, you’ll need a wide grout line to absorb the size variations. Large grout lines may not be the look you planned on.
Pattern choices also affect price
How often a particular pattern repeats within your chosen tile will also affect price. It’s less expensive to produce a tile that has just four or six different patterns. For example, wood grain ceramic floor tile: if every tile has exactly the same pattern printed on it, it wouldn’t look like real wood. You may see the same knot in the wood, or light or dark area in every tile, or on every fourth tile.
If the tile has a stone or marble pattern, there will be a minimum of 10 different patterns on the tile, in other words, every 10th tile will repeat the pattern. The more patterns designed and printed, the more expensive the tile. Some tiles today are printed so there are no repeats!
Depending on your project, ceramic tile may be a better fit. Ceramic tile tends to be less expensive than porcelain tile. Generally carrying a PEI (Porcelain and Enamel Institute) wear rating between 0-3, ceramic tile is more common for wall tile than floor. Ceramic tile with PEI rating 3 can be used for floor tile, but only for light to moderate residential foot traffic. It’s still more prone to wear and chipping than porcelain tile. Ceramic tile is almost always finished with a durable glaze for extra protection.
Talk to your personal expert, your Classique project consultant
As always, discuss your options with your project consultant. They’ll be able to guide you to the perfect choice to transform your space, whether it’s ceramic floor tile or beautiful colors and patterns in wall tile.