At Done Right Tile and Flooring of West Palm Beach, we know tile selection is very important. There are several things to consider when selecting tile. First of all, is the type of tile. Factors to consider are water intrusion, durability, and ease of cleaning. Then there is the shape and size. Other factors are the size of grout line and grout color.
Porcelain is the tile of choice for durability and water absorption. That makes it ideal for kitchen and bathrooms. It is baked at a higher temperature and from a finer clay than ceramic. Porcelain is durable enough to be used outside
Tile made from ceramic is less durable and absorbs more water than porcelain and is used for the interior. Because it’s more porous than porcelain, we recommend getting it sealed, especially if used in high traffic and stain prone areas, like a kitchen.
Mosaic is the design of tile, which is usually used in a kitchen backsplash, and as an accent in the shower enclosure. It’s a very small tile sometimes in irregular shapes and colors, but also can be several different color and sheens of the same size tile. People frequently use it as an accent design element to break up an existing pattern to make it more appealing to the eye.
Like mosaic, glass tile is usually used as a kitchen backsplash, or in the shower. Many tile manufacturers use it in mosaic because of the way glass reflects light. This is not an option for flooring, but only walls, due to the more delicate nature of the material.
Hexagonal tile is a more complex shape. It was popular in the 1930's and is making a comeback, along with other geometric shapes. Frequently this pattern uses more than one color.
No matter what tile you choose, we do not recommend a textured tile. As you can see in the photo below, they attract dirt and require scrubbing and steam cleaning, especially in high traffic areas like an entryway or kitchen. You want to spend time enjoying your home with family and friends, not steam cleaning tile for hours a week.
There are a few important ratings to know about when selecting tile: grade, co-efficient of friction and water absorption.
This rating measures the thickness and degree of imperfections in the tile.
Grade 1-is the highest quality, thick with few imperfections.
Grade 2-is thinner, with more imperfections, but can still be used on floors, though best not in high trafficked areas like kitchens.
Grade 3-is the lowest quality. Grade 3 can only be used on walls and not floors.
This is a measure of the weight of water absorbed through the tile as a percentage of the tile's weight. This can be found on the umbrella label on boxes of tile.
Non-Vitreous (7% or more)
High absorption, not used in high moisture areas like bathrooms, outdoor or for kitchen or laundry room floors.
Moderate absorption, not suitable in high moisture areas.
Low absorption, used in bathrooms, kitchen floors and outdoors.
Impervious-(less than 0.5%) Suitable for outdoors, pool decks and pools.
Co-efficient of Friction (COF)
This is a formula is a measure of the force used to move an object across the tile. Values are between 0-1.
Slip-resistant-CPF 0.69 or greater.
This is ADA compliant and is best used for the elderly, people with balance and orthopedic issues, or commercial applications.
Conditionally Slip-Resistant-COF of 0.50-0.59
Suitable for bathrooms, kitchens and laundry areas. (OSHA complaint)
Questionable (less than .050)
Greater than 0.50 is recommended for residential and 0.60 for commercial applications, meets ADA guidelines. We recommend this (0.60 or greater) for the elderly, people with orthopedic issues, and people with balance issues. The higher the number, the less slippery the surface.
Thinset, thickset and mud are the products used to adhere your tile to the wall or floor. Installation costs depend on the type of tile used, and the difficulty of applying it. A heavy tile requires more application cost. So does a tile that is more difficult to cut. Another factor of installation is the pattern, a herringbone or a diamond pattern incurs a higher cost because of the labor in making the additional cuts to the tile. That added labor cost is frequently cheaper than going with a more expensive tile. Products like Marble that take longer to cut can also add to the cost of labor. So if you're on a tight budget, go with a less expensive tile, laid out in a more complex pattern. It will give your home a more visually appealing look. The key is to hire professional installers who know what they are doing. Improperly installed tile can cause cracking, and water intrusion, which can lead to larger problems like mold. At Done Right Tile and Flooring, our installers are experienced and well-trained. We do tile right.