Tips for Choosing the Right Floor Tiles for Your Home

Tile flooring has come back into vogue as a flooring option throughout the home recently because of its combination of beauty, resiliency, and customizability. When you first begin your quest for the perfect tile, you may find the sheer volume of styles, colors, sizes, and textures quite overwhelming. Tile is an ancient building material, and modern technology has been used to perfect the manufacture of tile and provide a wide array of flooring options for home projects.

While narrowing down your tile selection can be difficult, there are fortunately a few tips that you can implement to help trim the list of options and find the tile flooring in Bellevue, WA, that’s best suited to your décor and lifestyle needs. Before you set foot in a tile flooring outlet, make sure you factor in the following considerations to help you focus on the right qualities and find a floor tile that perfectly meets your flooring needs.

Measure Resilience

Tile resilience is an important factor to consider when selecting a tile because it’s a function of the tile’s ability to withstand routine wear. The softer the tile, the more likely it is to be scratched, chipped, or otherwise damaged. Tile resilience is measured using the Mohs scale, which measures the ability of the tile to withstand abuse from traffic and everyday use. The Porcelain Enamel Institute, or PEI, issues the ratings after thorough testing and is considered the industry standard. It ranks tile from Class 1, which is reserved for wall tile, to Class V, which is appropriate for all tile applications and can withstand heavy use. Think about how your tile will be used and abused and be sure to select the proper hardness for that application. For example, a mud room just inside the back door will see a lot of foot traffic and exposure to grit. A harder tile, such as Class IV or V, would be most appropriate in that setting.

Consider Porosity

Tile porosity is another important feature that many homeowners may not consider. The porosity of flooring tile is a ratio that measures the number of air spaces compared to solids in the tile. It determines how much moisture the tile will absorb from the ambient environment. Porosity is described in four classes: impervious, vitreous, semivitreous, and nonvitreous. Impervious tiles absorb very little moisture and are best used in wet environments, such as the kitchen and bathroom. Vitreous and semivitreous tiles can be used in other rooms of the home where water isn’t present. Nonvitreous tiles aren’t recommended for flooring use at all. 

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Remember Slip Resistance

While tile has many benefits, one potential drawback can emerge if you don’t select the right tile for your application. Some tiles have a tendency to be slick, especially if water is routinely present in the environment. The slip hazard potential is important for those who may be at increased risk of falling, such as the elderly or children. For tile in the bathroom or kitchen, make sure you look for tiles with a good coefficient of friction, which means that they are more slip resistant. Some tiles achieve a more favorable slip coefficient through specialized coatings. Also, remember that the smaller the tile, the less of a slip hazard it offers since the increased density of grout lines can mitigate slippage.

If you’re in the market for flooring tile for your home, make sure to account for these considerations when making a choice. Think about your applications within the home and match these critical qualities to your need. By doing so, you can trim your options and home in on the perfect tile for your needs. To learn more about how to choose the right flooring tile for your home, contact Eastside Design Group at (425) 654-4144.  

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