If you’ve made the decision to use tile flooring for your home or business space, congratulate yourself on completing the first step. What you’ve likely realized is there are seemingly endless types of tiles you can use for this purpose. Here are a few things to consider when making your decision.

Color, texture, and shape are important to finding the right tile flooring, but climate, traffic, occupants, and location should be a major part of the decision process as well. Shiny glazed tile on bathroom floors may look great, but it can be a slip and fall hazard. Wide grout spaces on kitchen floors and other high traffic areas may be visually appealing, but are more difficult to clean.

For design purposes, ceramic tile is available in different sizes and shapes. It is also available in hardness ratings for scratch resistance. The Mohs Hardness Test, named after mineralogist Friedrich Mohs, can be used to rate a tile’s mineral hardness. A rating of at least five is good for most home applications, but seven or higher is needed for commercial use. Glazed tile is less porous, but unglazed, unpolished tile is a better choice for floors. Many homeowners may not realize it, but code requirements in certain areas may require tile to meet a BOT-3000 Test rating. This test rates tiles for the amount of friction when wet.

Real porcelain tile is made of different clays than standard ceramic tiles. It also has less of an ability to absorb water. The clay type and hardness allows porcelain to wear better and maintain its beauty longer than standard ceramic. The Porcelain Enamel Institute offers a wear resistance scale that numbers from PEI 1 to PEI 5 to rate tile for use in both low and heavy traffic areas.

Entryways should use a kind of tile that is least likely to cause slipping. The sudden transition from an outdoor surface to an indoor slippery tile is a common hazard. Porcelain varieties hold up better to impact. However, when choosing any tile, make sure to buy an extra box in case a repair is needed later on because available tile designs can change often.

For more information on how to choose your tile flooring, contact the flooring and design experts at Unique Flooring in Oceanside, CA. In addition to ceramic and porcelain tile, we also carry a wide variety of other styles. Call 760-945-0010 today for a free quote.