Tile flooring is durable. It can provide almost unlimited options in the type of tile used. Tile flooring also enjoys an ample variety of designs. It can be as simple or complex as you desire. There are tiles that can last forever and others that are less durable but offer price advantages and flexibility in replacement.
Although kitchens and bathrooms are ideal areas for tile flooring due to tile’s resistance to water and spills, other parts of your home can benefit from tile. With children or heavy traffic, tile makes sense given its superior resistance to tracking of mud, water and spills of all kinds. Costs can vary widely. Consider the following:
- Vinyl tile is economical and among the easiest to install. It resists spills, but its relative softness can suffer wear and tear due to scuffing and acidic spills. It costs $3-$7 per sq. ft.
- Ceramic tile is more expensive and requires greater attention when installing, considering evenness and possible grouting concerns. In its native form it tends to be somewhat porous. It can also be subject to breakage but individual tiles can be replaced. It costs $8-$15 per sq. ft.
- Glazed ceramic tiles add a glassy and tough protection to your floors. They come in a wide variety of patterns and designs. When it comes to cost, glazed ceramic tile flooring varies in price due to hardness. On a scale of one to five, glazed ceramic tiles work best at grade III and above. The entire pricing gamut runs from $1-$10 per sq. ft.
- Porcelain tile flooring is a tougher version of glazed ceramic tiles since its higher glazing temperature adds extra strength. The process doesn’t allow as wide a range of design as glazed ceramic tiles. It comes in at the higher end of the $1-$10 range.
Installation costs can run $5-$10 per sq. ft. so a do it yourself effort can be tempting. In many cases an even floor surface makes DIY possible especially for vinyl and ceramic tiles that don’t require grouting. You’ll need mastic and tools to carry it out, and getting a smooth overall surface can be daunting. A professional can bring the installation near to perfection and provide a guarantee. Seating ceramic tiles can be difficult, and grouting takes special care in adding and finishing.
For cleaning and maintenance, vacuuming is recommended to pick up solid matter. Mopping with plain water works well for everyday practice. If stains and spots don’t come off easily, consider using pH neutral commercial cleaners. Baking soda and water make a good home-made cleaner for spot removal and cleaning grout. If grout won’t clean well, you can check with a home improvement store or a professional in extreme cases.