How to buy porcelain tile
A porcelain tile buying guide
Porcelain tiles are ceramic tiles that have been specially treated to have a water absorption rate of less than 0.5%, making these types of tiles a beautiful and durable option for many rooms in your home. Compared to ceramic floor tiles, porcelain tiles are a harder tile option and therefore more resistant to cracks and stains.
>> Consider benefits of porcelain tile
When researching how to buy porcelain tile, you will discover the many porcelain tile benefits to using them in your home. Porcelain tiles can be used indoors and outdoors, adding the eye-catching and luxurious look of stone to your home without all of the cleaning and maintenance. With a durable and scratch-resistant surface, these tiles are ideal for areas that will be used frequently, such as entry ways and kitchen countertops. While other tiles may seem to offer a better value, the porcelain tile benefits make this type of tile a great long-term investment for any home.
>> Where will you use your porcelain tile?
When you are deciding how to buy porcelain tile, it is good to consider where you will be installing the tile. There are many different types of porcelain tile uses. With a low water absorption rate, porcelain tiles are perfect in kitchens and bathrooms as flooring, backsplashes, countertops, walls, showers, ceilings and many other applications.
>> Consider the dimensions of your space
After deciding where you will be installing your porcelain tile, the next important step is to consider the dimensions of the space. Not every tile comes in the same porcelain tile sizes or the same shapes, so you will need to choose a tile that suits the space shape. It is also good to remember that each box of tile may cover a different square footage so you will need to know how to calculate your space's dimensions.
- Step One: Measure the length and width of the space you plan to tile. If it is not a perfect rectangle shape, try breaking it into smaller rectangles if needed. For example, if your kitchen has a breakfast nook, measure your kitchen area first and then measure the nook.
- Step Two: Simply multiply the length by the width to determine the square footage. If you separated the space into smaller rectangles, you calculate rectangles separately and then add all of the totals together.
- Step Three: Most porcelain tile boxes will list the square footage they will cover on their packaging. These numbers will vary since porcelain tile sizes are different depending on styles. All you have to do then is divide the listed square footage into your final square footage. For example, if you need to cover a space that has a total of 180 square feet and each box of the porcelain tile you have chosen covers 60 to 70 square feet, you will need 3 boxes to finish your home improvement project and may even have some tiles left over.
>> Consider different types of porcelain tiles
There are many types of porcelain tiles available for your home. The simplest way to separate the types of porcelain tiles as you research how to buy porcelain tile is to categorize them in indoor and outdoor categories. Indoor porcelain tiles often feature a shiny and lustrous finish from the glazing process that is resistant to stains and simple to maintain. In bathrooms, large porcelain tiles are used for flooring while the small porcelain tile uses include tub and sink applications. For kitchen installation, large tiles can be used for flooring small or mosaic tiles for backsplashes and countertops.
Outdoor porcelain tiles are left unglazed to become more slip resistant, hold up to various temperatures and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. These tiles are ideal for pool, patio and carport areas. There are many different types of porcelain tile sizes, styles and designs available for both indoor and outdoor applications.
>> Consider durability of porcelain tile
While all porcelain tiles are generally considered to be durable, the Porcelain Enamel Institute says that there are ratings of strength that every consumer should consider when researching how to buy porcelain tile. While these porcelain tile uses and ratings focus more towards flooring purposes, these ratings can be helpful no matter what purpose.
- Group I Light Traffic: Family bathroom floors where bare or socked feet are the only traffic.
- Group II Medium Traffic: Inside homes where there the chance for scrapes and scuffs are slight. Tiles with this rating are not recommended for kitchens or entries.
- Group III Medium-Heavy Traffic: Ideal of any home interior.
- Group IV Heavy Traffic: Used in homes or light-to-medium commercial areas.
- Group V Extra-Heavy Traffic: Perfect to use anywhere.
>> Consider colors and porcelain tile designs
No matter what the decor is for your home, there are many porcelain tile designs that will complement your style. Whether your style is vintage, modern or even retro, there are many different colors and designs of porcelain tiles to choose from. In your research on how to buy porcelain tile, you might run across tiles that are labeled as "full color." This refers to porcelain tile designs that have a colored glaze applied to them rather than a clear glaze. This process results in a porcelain tile that has a deeper color that goes through the entire tile. These full color porcelain tiles are more scratch resistant since there are additional layers of color beneath the surface.
>> Consider cleaning and care of your porcelain tiles
Porcelain tile benefits include it being easy to clean and resistant to germs and bacteria. It is recommended that you clean your porcelain tile by sweeping or vacuuming the loose dirt and dust from the surface before mopping or wiping it clean with a damp cloth sponge. You may also use a mild cleaning solution before rinsing it thoroughly with water. Follow these instructions and your porcelain tile will keep its beauty and strength for many years to come.