There are endless options when it comes to flooring. Walking into your local home improvement store unprepared can be overwhelming, so we’re going to simplify everything you need to know about one of the most popular flooring options available: Tile.
The MOHS Scale
The MOHS scale measures the relative hardness of minerals. You’re probably wondering what this has to do with tile. Harder tiles, which resist scratches and abrasions, are rated a six or above on the MOHS scale, while softer tiles receive a lower rating.
Unglazed porcelain tile is equivalent to an eight on the MOHS scale, making it the hardest tile available. Sheet vinyl flooring is the softest, scoring a one on the MOHS scale. Check out this guide to see how your tile of choice ranks on the MOHS scale.
The Porcelain Enamel Institute puts tile through rigorous laboratory testing and issues an abrasion rating based on the results. These ratings take the MOHS scale into consideration and give buyers a better understanding of where specific tiles can be used.
- Class 0: Tiles that fall under class 0 should only be used on walls.
- Class 1 or PEI 1: PEI 1 tiles are sometimes used in residential bathrooms, but it’s probably best to use PEI 1 on walls.
- Class 2 or PEI 2: PEI 2 tiles are great for commercial and residential walls. These tiles can also be used on floors in areas with light foot traffic.
- Class 3 or PEI 3: PEI 3 tiles can be used on walls, floors, and countertops. These glazed tiles are durable enough to stand up to everyday wear and tear.
- Class 4 or PEI 4: PEI 4 tiles are often found in commercial kitchens and retail stores. Homeowners with pets may want to consider PEI 4 tiles.
- Class 5 or PEI 5: PEI 5 tiles are mainly used in high traffic public places, such as shopping malls and airports. Although, some homeowners do use PEI 5 tiles for exterior patios and walkways.
Types of Tile
Now that we’ve covered the science behind tiles, it’s time to talk about the different types of tile.
Ceramic tiles have long been a homeowner favorite because they are one of the most versatile tiles available. Ceramic tile is waterproof, durable and easy to clean. It is also easy to install and relatively inexpensive. With an average cost of $2-$20 a square foot, there are ceramic tile options to fit any budget.
Geometric patterns are in style right now. If you feel like patterned tile is too busy to use in a large area, add interest to a fireplace surround, or liven up a powder room floor, with bold geometric ceramic tile.
These bold designs might inspire you take a risk with your tile choices.
If you like the look of ceramic tile but want something more durable, you should consider porcelain tile. Porcelain is impermeable to liquid and slip-resistant, making it perfect for bathrooms. Porcelain is also stain-proof, fireproof, and low maintenance. Expect to pay between $3 and $25 a square foot for porcelain tiles.
Do you love the look of solid wood floors but hate the idea of maintaining them? Wood look porcelain tiles have the appearance of wood without the commitment.
Glass tile is for walls, showers, and backsplashes. These beautiful tiles cost between $7 and $35 a square foot.
Create a spa-like bathroom with frosted glass tiles.
Natural Stone Tile
Natural stone tiles include marble, quartz, limestone, slate, travertine, and sandstone. There are marble tiles that cost as much as $125 a square foot, although most natural stone tiles cost between $7 and $ 40 a square foot.
Bring the beauty of the outdoors inside with carefully chosen natural stone tiles.
Still not sure if tile floors are right for you? It might be time to consider having professional wooden floors installed.