Tile is a fantastic flooring choice for virtually any room. It not only looks clean and elegant, it is also very durable and easy to maintain. However, while tile is suitable for use in all locations, it may not be for everybody.
Before you decide on what type of flooring to have installed in a room, consider the pros and cons.
Tile for flooring: Pros
Any real estate professional will tell you that tile flooring significantly increases a home’s resale value. The beauty and allure of tile flooring lasts a very long time when it is maintained properly. Much like hardwood, tile has a timeless appeal, especially when earth tones are used.
Tile is also one of the best surfaces to install over a radiant floor heating system. As these types of systems become more popular in American homes, it makes sense that tile will grow in demand.
If the tile used has been glazed, its beauty will last for years with very little extra maintenance. In fact, other than routine vacuuming and dusting, a tile floor requires very little cleaning unless something is spilled on it. As long as the tiles and the grout are sealed, this type of flooring is the best at withstanding water, which is why tile floors are so popular in kitchens and bathrooms.
Tile floors are nontoxic (as long as nontoxic grout is used) and excellent for those who suffer from allergies. They are also great for homes with pets, as accidents can be cleaned up easily and the hard surface is capable of withstanding a dog’s nails.
Because there are many different types and styles of tile to choose from—including ceramic, porcelain, quarry and marble—a homeowner can easily find a flooring solution that meets design needs and budget.
Tile for flooring: Cons
While a popular choice in millions of American homes, tile flooring is not for everybody; nor is it without its share of drawbacks. For instance, tile that is not installed over a radiant floor heating system offers a cold, hard walking surface. If you live in a cold-weather climate and don’t have radiant floor heat, you will need to wear slippers on cold winter mornings.
Tile floors are also one of the more difficult surfaces to install for the typical do-it-yourselfer. Special saws are needed to cut the tile, and once the mortar starts to dry, it is very unforgiving. So it takes a skilled hand to make the floor look its absolute best.
Unlike carpet or cork flooring, tile has no insulation properties and does nothing to dampen the sound in a room. This problem can be solved somewhat by strategic placement of area rugs and runners.
Glazed tiles, while easy to maintain, can prove to be slippery if they get wet. This is mostly evident with older tiles as new innovations have produced an anti-slip surface to help reduce this problem. While tiles can withstand heavy foot traffic, they can be easily chipped or cracked if something heavy is dropped on them—and the repair is not that simple for the average homeowner.
Tile for flooring: Consensus
Tile flooring will always be a smart choice for American homes, because of its timeless appeal and durable nature. For the most part, it is a cost-effective means of adding value to a home while providing a lifelong flooring solution. Installation may be challenging to the homeowner, but it can be done DIY-style if proper installation instructions are followed.
Taking the time to learn about the proper care and maintenance of tile floors will also add to the floor’s lifespan and the enjoyment of the homeowner.