David Thompson
By David Thompson

Tile or Stone in Your New Remodeled Kitchen – Which One to Use?

Kitchen

The style of your kitchen floors can make or break the overall appearance of this most central room in your home. Material, color, style and maintenance requirements should all be factored in during the decision-making process.

Remodeling floor choices with the array of materials available for a new kitchen seem endless, however there are some timeless materials that are important to consider. Tile and Stone flooring is a natural choice for kitchens. Tile is hard, durable, water-resistant and shrugs off stains. There is also a huge array of styles, shapes and colors available to select from, including wood plank tiles.

Kitchen floor tile comes in three types: porcelain, ceramic and natural stone. Prices of each type run the gamut, from $2 to over $100 per square foot.

Ceramic and porcelain tile are similar as they are made from clay mixtures fired at high temperatures to produce a hard, durable tile. Both come either glazed or unglazed. Beyond that, there are important differences.

Porcelain floor tile is the most durable. It has sand added to the clay mixture and is made with heat and pressure to produce a tile that’s harder, denser and less porous than regular ceramic tile. It’s tough enough to be used outdoors in any climate so high traffic area fare excellent.

Ceramic floor tile is softer than its porcelain cousin and is normally glazed to create a hard-wear surface in virtually any color.  Although it’s more porous than porcelain, the glazing creates a surface that’s impervious to kitchen spills and splashes.

Natural stone is considered a high-end luxury material. These include slate, granite, limestone, onyx, travertine, and marble, to name a few. Most natural stone products tend to be porous and need to be refinished with a quality stone sealer every two to three years, however the beauty is unsurpassed by any material. Maintenance is the key to any floor lasting for years to come.

Natural stone can be polished or honed. Polished stone surfaces such as Travertine lets the full beauty of the stone show through. Honed stone tiles will have a more natural finish and provide a more non-slip surface.

Ceramic and porcelain tile are also manufactured to look like wood. If you’re worried about how well it’ll mimic wood in your kitchen, don’t be. The rich colors and detailed grains make it look very real and have a higher durability.

Remember tile and natural stone surfaces are hard, unforgiving surfaces. Dropped glasses and dishes won’t survive.

Tile and Stone requires maintenance, too. We have all seen that the grout between tiles can get dingy with age. Have your professional use a grout sealer and a professional cleaning on an annual basis should be considered to keep your floors looking new.

Also, consider the weight as all these materials are heavy on 2nd floor installations so make sure your professional contractor discuss in detail your particular situation.

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