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Ceramic tile, porcelain, marble or stone?
The selction of tile is almost limitless. So what do you decide for your new tile? Many homeowners are taking the selection of their tile more seriously than ever before. The old traditional look of 4x4 ceramics on the walls and floors is falling to the wayside as consumers look for the perfect tile for their projects. Then, of course, comes the question: What is the best choice? Tiles come in a wide variety of materials including clay, porcelain, and even glass among other choices. The durability of tile is graded in hardness. The more dense the tile, the harder the finished surface is. Porcelain, for instance, is the best tile in terms of density and hardness. Porcelain has color all the way through the tile versus screen print tiles which are basically painted only on the surface. Porcelain will lasts longer with fewer problems with wear. Porcelain is also preferred for outside installations because it is more frost resistant.
Marble and stone are in a class all by themselves. Natural tiles require more care in selection and maintenance. Installation of these materials is more labor intensive requiring a greater degree of skill and know-how. Prices for stone materials are typically higher than ceramic or porcelain tiles and installation costs reflect the degree of difficulty to install them. Stone materials bring nature into your home. They add a feeling of luxury and permanancy. Granite countertops in kitchens and baths combined with a tumbled marble backsplash make for an executive look and feel to any home.
The tile you select for your project is just as important as the installer. Leave some money in your budget for a quality tile job. Once installed, tile can't be changed as easily as your paint color. Consider all the options and textures for tile and plan to spend a day or two looking at several different distributors. Be careful of discount tile as it is sometimes inferior in quality and ultimately will make for a bad tile job. Remember, you get what you pay for. Don't skimp on your tile project. It will costs much more down the road to repair or replace your tile.