Tiling your floor? Don't fall victim to its pretty looks alone or you may have to pay to re-do it in a short period of time.
Tile may look beautiful but if it is not durable, its looks will quickly fade as chips, cracks and other unsightly marks begin to appear.
Special care must be given when choosing floor tile. If you're in the market consider whether it's a bathroom or a high traffic area such as the entryway that's going to be tiled. Is it outdoors or indoors?
Many people lay down tile only to have it lift or fade. Choosing the right materials and the right people to do the job can save money and stress.
"If someone is looking for something that's really easy maintenance than a porcelain tile is most appropriate or something very dense like a granite, in the stone category," says Mary Anne Moffatt, owner of MA Tile and Stone Design in Encinitas, Calif.
But right now Morffatt said what's really popular is the light colored natural stone.
"A Travertine will have a chip or dent, natural fissures in the stone, natural imperfections of the stone, whereas a porcelain tile will be completely non-pervious, perfect," explains Moffatt.
Prices are typically higher and the cost goes up if want Travertine in a color other than the prevalent light beige.
However, if you choose to go with a porcelain or ceramic tile, make sure you know its rating before you buy it.
Tiles are rated by the Porcelain Enamel Institute. Depending on their durability of hardness a tile is rated between one to five. Tiles with a rating of one-to-two are strictly for walls and countertops; three-to-five is strictly for floor. A five rating is the highest and is designed for heavy impact, heavy frost, used typically for commercial settings. If you're tiling outside look for a four or five rating and "Make sure that it's porcelain because ceramic will tend to fade away in time," warns Erik Jimenez, owner of Balboa Flooring in San Diego, Calif.
Equally important to the type of tile or stone you put on the floor is what goes beneath and between the tiles.
"When you're [tiling] a floor and you're on wood, first you want to make sure that the wood sub-floor is in good condition, removing any kind of rot and replacing it with new wood, fastening any kind of wood sub-floor with screws or nails and then when you install the cement board or the backer board you want to trough mortar underneath it and that provides a sure bond so that you don't have flexing of the backer board," says Jimenez.
As for the grout, keep in mind that lighter colors show dirt and stains faster and grout should always be sealed.
"What we recommend is that the grout be matching if possible and minimum or as small as possible and that the tile make the statement not the grout. But … I've seen jobs where the grout creates a real checkerboard or real accent. It depends on what your objective is," says Moffatt.
"With something that is 1/8 of an inch or smaller you use a non-sanded grout, and then anything that is 1/8 of an inch or larger you will use a sanded grout and that's for bonding purposes," says Jimenez.
New flooring can increase the value of your home inside and out. In a backyard, tile can really upgrade an old concrete patio. Just remember to use the right materials for the area you're flooring.