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Tile is a very popular form of flooring in today's market. You'll find it everywhere from entryways, baths, kitchens, walls, and backsplashes. Homeowners, both those staying put and those selling are looking for ways to make small changes to improve the appeal of their homes. We at Elite Flooring DFW have so many choices for tile from porcelain, ceramic, stone and everything from made in the US to imported tile from Italy, Spain, and Brazil.

Benefits:

  • Durability: Tile installed correctly can last for decades. Apart from accidental chips and cracks, it really stands up to normal wear and tear.
  • Beauty: Versatile designs and colors make for a beautiful choice for any home. From luxury to budget, there are a wide range of sizes and surfaces from which to choose!
  • Affordability: While marble and travertine can be budget-busters, ceramic and porcelain tile can many times be less expensive than laminate or even carpet.
  • Easy to Clean: Simple mopping removes most dirt and grime, which wipes away easily. Tile is also virtually stain resistant.
  • Heating: Tile works well with radiant heat flooring. Have heat wires installed for toasty toes during winter months.
  • Go Green: Natural stone and non-toxic grout are stellar green flooring choices, especially when compared to carpets. It has fewer fumes and toxic coatings.

Ceramic VS Porcelain Many homeowners ask us which is better: ceramic or porcelain. Since both tiles offer an endless array of styles, sizes, colors and textures, the answer is less about aesthetics than it is about functionality. The tile you need depends on the room you're thinking of installing it in and where the room is located in the house.

Glazed Ceramic tile is made from a mixture of clays that are pressed into shape. Tiles have either a glazed or unglazed surface. Glazed tiles have a special ceramic coating that is applied to the body of the tile and then fired under tremendous heat. The glazing becomes hard and non-porous, resulting in a flooring that possesses the following characteristics:

  • Stain resistant
  • Scratch resistant
  • Fire resistant
  • Slip resistant
  • Easy to clean

If glazed, the glaze on the tile doesn’t go all the way through, so if a tile gets chipped, the inside color will show through. Glazed tiles may tend to get scratched on frequently used countertops, but are ideal for walls. Both ceramic and porcelain glazed tiles are available in high-gloss, matte, and abrasive slip-resistant finishes. For floors, make sure to choose a finish that won’t be too slippery or show scratches easily. Ceramic tiles with bright reflective surfaces (bright glaze finish) are not recommended for floors as they can pose a slip hazard and have poor abrasive resistance.

Porcelain Myth: All porcelain tiles are “through” colored products. Actually, only “unglazed” porcelain tiles are through-colored, meaning that if the tile is chipped, the color showing beneath the top layer will be the same throughout the thickness of the tile. Once a tile has been glazed, whether ceramic or porcelain, the body under the glaze will never be exactly the same color or texture as the top layer. This is an important consideration when choosing the tile that is right for your space. Porcelain tile is actually a form of ceramic tile, but made from much finer clay than ceramic, composing kaolinite minerals, quartz and feldspar, covered by spray and shaped by dry pressing the clay dust to form a ceramic material that is then fired at higher temperatures than ceramic. One of porcelain’s most important characteristics is its resistance to moisture. It is also resistant to wear, deep abrasion and frost, making porcelain a great product for use in harsh climates. Available in matte, unglazed or high polished finishes, porcelain used to be available only in standard 6” by 6” wall tiles and 12” by 12” floor tiles. Today, tiles are made in many different sizes, including 20” by 20” for those spaces that would benefit from a stone “slab” look.

Unglazed porcelain tiles are very tough and they are extremely vitreous and dense. They are a through-color product and in very heavy traffic areas like hallways they may wear, but will retain their original color. Unglazed porcelain tiles are available in various finishes, from matte to high gloss, and some have textured finishes, made to imitate natural stone. Glazed porcelain tiles have a gloss or matte finish, and they can be ground and polished to produce a completely flat surface. They are also available in the stone imitation finish. The main beneficial characteristics of a porcelain tile, be it glazed or unglazed are:

  • The body is less porous, which makes it perfect for bathrooms and kitchens where water is a consideration.
  • Being denser than ceramic, porcelain tiles will tolerate higher loads.
  • Other important considerations when choosing tile include the slip-resistance, size of tile, size and color of grout joints, thickness of tile, height variations from room to room, suitability of the subfloor and maintenance of the tile.

Unglazed Ceramic (Quarry Tile)

  • Overview and General Characteristics: Quarry tile provides an attractive floor that is durable and easy to maintain. These tiles are usually red in color and 6” x 6” in size with a ½” thickness. Quarry tile is often installed in foodservice areas.
  • Composition: Made from a mixture of clays that are fired at high temperatures (approximately 2200 degrees).
  • Maintenance Characteristics: Quarry tile can be finished with standard floor care products although this is not generally advised in foodservice or other “production areas”. If installed in hallways, stairwells or other non-production areas, Eccothane™ can be used with great success on these floors. Clean with neutral detergent or an all-purpose cleaner.

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