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Tile FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions about tile flooring.

Which is the best tile for heavy traffic areas?

When choosing tile for performance, consider both the hardness and the surface finish of the tile. Every tile carries a hardness rating that tells you how much traffic it will withstand, and these ratings are very accurate. Beyond their hardness, the finish also determines how the tile will perform. Natural finishes such as stone and marble may be vulnerable to staining. These natural materials need periodic sealing and maintenance.

Where can tile be installed?

Tile is the most durable and versatile floor you will find. It is a great choice for basements, bathrooms, kitchens, backsplashes, and even patios. It will hold up under wet conditions, endure all kinds of abuse from pets and kids, and stay looking good year after year. Tile may chip and break if something hard like a heavy pan is dropped on it, but individual tiles can be replaced when broken. This makes it an excellent choice for areas with a lot of heavy traffic and exposure to the elements, such as entries, walkout basements, mud rooms, laundry rooms, kitchens and baths.

What kind of subfloor do I need for ceramic tile?

Ceramic tile may be installed over any level cement floor. It may also be installed over existing floors (such as old linoleum tile) without removing the flooring provided they are level. It is not a good choice for floors that don’t have solid support. Floors that flex too much may lead to breakage of the tile or cracks along grout lines. In addition, tile is a heavy floor and requires a good supportive subfloor.

Is tile good for homes with children and pets?

Ceramic tile provides an almost impervious surface that you can open up to pets and kids without fretting over every spill. Your pets’ nails will not scratch or damage it, and anything your kids spill will clean right up. It is a hard surface, however, so falls on tile are going to hurt more than falls on other surfaces. Securing area rugs in strategic locations such as bathrooms and beneath stairs can help prevent injuries.