As your distributor for tile in Oceanside, CA, we get a lot of questions. While not every question is considered here, we will field some of the most common ones. So, what are some things people want to know about porcelain and ceramic flooring?

What’s the difference?

In terms of application, there is very little difference in these materials. Both make excellent flooring, countertops, backsplashes, and walls. Both are hard, highly water-resistant, and are resistant to scratches and scuffing. Both are essentially lifetime floors. The difference comes from the manufacturing process. While both are made from clay, the clay used to make porcelain has been pulverized and is very fine. It is also fired at higher temperatures than is ceramic tile, making porcelain slightly more water-resistant and slightly more resistant to heat.

What kind of subfloor do I need?

Vibrations in your home can cause tile flooring to crack or break, thus it is very important to prepare the floor surface properly before installation. If you are installing over a concrete subfloor, a “mud-bed” can be formed on which the flooring is laid. One advantage of such a subfloor preparation is that any slight imperfections in the original flooring can be repaired before the installation of the floor. In areas with wooden subfloors, either an additional layer of wood is installed or a layer of cement-board, again to create an as stable and vibration-proof surface as possible. An added benefit is that with a proper subfloor, your grout will also last longer.

Are tile floors a waterproof floor?

Yes and no. For the most part, both ceramic and porcelain are waterproof floors. The weakness comes in the grouting process. One must ensure that they have a proper grout that is designed to seal your floor from moisture that might soak through the grout material.

Can they be used outdoors?

The good news is that here in southern California, our climate is mild enough that ceramic or porcelain tile can be installed outside. If we were further north and at risk of frost, that would not be an option, but here it works well outside. Thus, if you would like to extend your flooring out onto a patio or place it around a swimming pool, it is well suited for the job.

Do you do custom tile work?

Yes, yes, and yes. We love custom projects as they let us show off the skills of our installers. Whether you want borders or inlays or anything unique…we call ourselves “Unique Flooring” for a reason.

Do these products work well for commercial use?

Yes. Both ceramic and porcelain tile are exceptional options for commercial applications. They are durable and are well suited to high foot-traffic. They also look very classy.

Should I order extra in case some break?

Ordinarily, when a job is complete, there is a few extra pieces leftover. You will want to keep these on hand in case a piece breaks. In such a case, the old tile is chiseled out and the new is put in its spot. If you are concerned about breakage, speak to one of our sales associates and they will order enough to ensure you have some leftover.

At Unique Flooring, we take great care to ensure that you have the best possible options for the flooring you desire. Our showroom is in Oceanside, but we serve the areas around Carlsbad and Vista as well. Give us a call or stop by our showroom and we would be happy to entertain any questions you might have regarding tile flooring. Our sales staff is knowledgeable and will work with you to achieve the floor you want.