Ceramic Tile

Written by Patricia Skinner
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Ceramic tile flooring is popular for lots of different areas of the home. No wonder! It's durable, attractive and easy to keep clean. In fact, nothing can reflect your personal taste and style as accurately as ceramic tile. You can get any size, shape and color imaginable.

There are, of course, guidelines for choosing ceramic tile. Pay close attention also if you're planning to lay marble flooring, because the advice is more-or-less the same. The most important point about buying ceramic tile is that economizing is probably going to prove to be false economy in the long run. With most things you get what you pay for. Well made tiles will last a lifetime. Cheap ones tend to crack and chip at the least little stress.

Since it's impossible to protect ceramic tile flooring from the knocks and bangs of everyday life, the tile itself needs to be extremely durable. My advice to you here is, to start with, choose from the medium-to-expensive price range, and test your chosen tile before you buy. How can you do this? It's easy. Buy one and put it through every test you can think of. Drop it from about a meter onto stone. Drop something on it. Place it in the freezer for a while (especially if you live in a colder area). If you have children or elderly family members, give it the skid test too. Some ceramic tile has a non-slip surface. This can be a boon especially in busy traffic areas.

Laying Ceramic Tile Properly

Another area you should not try to economize in is laying your tiles. Hire the best tiler you can find. Check out credentials and try to speak to satisfied customers. Word of mouth is still the most reliable way of finding tradesmen such as tilers. It's a shame to pay a lot of money for durable ceramic tiles you love and then spoil the final effect by hiring a sub-standard craftsman.

Lastly, care for your tiles properly. Grouting is the most difficult aspect of ceramic tiling to keep clean, especially the more porous type. Try to keep mold at bay by scrubbing regularly. If you don't like to clean often, then get the type of tile that doesn't reflect too much light (pattern and texture help here--no solid color-high shine tiles for you!).

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