Tips & Advice
What is the best tile material?
The best tile material depends on the needs and budget of the homeowners, plus the location and function of the area where the tiles are located. Many people say that porcelain tile is the best for bathrooms because it is least porous, and absorbs almost no water, plus, it is durable. Ceramic tile is popular for living rooms and kitchens, because it is less expensive than porcelain and low-maintenance. For exterior floors, stone or paver tiles are best.
What are the benefits of tile flooring?
The benefits of tile flooring are: it’s long-lasting, environmentally friendly, and hypoallergenic (because the solid, non-porous surface is not as susceptible to mold as wood and carpet). Most types of tile are also easy to clean with just warm water and a splash of mild soap. Finally, tile is cooler than carpet, which makes it very popular in hot climates.
How much does it cost to have floor tiles installed?
The cost to have floor tiles installed typically ranges $1,350-$4,500 per medium-sized room. You must figure in the cost of the flooring tile itself, the cost of other supplies, the price of labor (figure about 15 hours for one contractor), and any equipment that needs to be rented. While the cost of labor is pretty consistent--about $60 per hour--the job cost can vary widely according to what type of tile you use, and the square footage of the room you wish to tile.
How much does floor tile cost?
Depending on the type of floor tile, the grading of that tile, and the brand, tile can cost anywhere from $0.45 to $10 per square foot. The lowest cost type of tile is ceramic, and it typically costs around $2.50 per square foot, though it can cost less than $1.00 per square foot. Natural stone tile and porcelain tile generally fall within a similar range of each other: $5-$7 is the average per square foot. However, Grade One or artisan brand stone tile can cost far above the average or even the high-end ($10 per square foot). Imported Italian stone, for example, might cost more than $20-25 per square foot.
Types of tile for floors are ceramic, porcelain, paver (pressed clay), quarry tile, glass tile and natural stone. Note that ceramic and porcelain both technically fall under the umbrella of ceramic, but the industry divides porcelain into its own category based on its certified water-resistant quality. There is also “wood look” tile made of vinyl.
Cork flooring is manufactured from the bark of trees (usually oak), and usually made in squares that can be glued to the ground, or left unglued. Cost-wise it averages about $5 a square foot and is generally pretty inexpensive to install. Cork is naturally water resistant, but to ensure total water resistance, cork floors should be finished and sealed to prevent leaking into cracks, as well as scuffing or wear and tear. It’s not going to be as nice or stylish as hardwoods or tile, but is great in outdoor areas and work spaces. It is comfortable to walk on and a great sound insulator.
As you might suspect, bamboo flooring is made from actual bamboo and is usually manufactured in bamboo plants. It is ecologically friendly and very water resistant. It is also considered one of the sturdiest types of ‘wood’ flooring (even though it’s really a grass). In fact, on the Janka scale (an industry standard system that ranks the hardness of different woods), it is ranked in the top three strongest available wood floorings). Its price point is near wood flooring at roughly $3-$10 a square foot. While generally easy to maintain, bamboo can be susceptible to scratching or scuffing, which can be a problem in high traffic areas. Although it is very water resistant, it is not 100 percent, and humidity can affect it so it’s not ideal for bathrooms or humid environments. Overall bamboo is a viable option for flooring in most areas of the house and is affordable and durable.
Where you live and the type of room you are covering, not to mention your budget and aesthetic preferences, are all factors in finding the right flooring to fit your needs. Vinyl, vinyl plank, laminate, hardwood, bamboo, tile (ceramic and porcelain), stone, marble, cork, and carpeting are the most popular types of flooring available. There are more than a dozen options just for wood alone. If you want a pure industrial look you can always go with straight cement floors.
What is the best type of flooring for a kitchen?
When considering kitchen flooring, think durability and water resistance first, and style second. Quality vinyl (don’t go cheap, get a quality product – there are differences between brands) is durable, fashionable, and completely water resistant--making it a top choice. Wood is visually appealing, but not 100 percent water resistant. Tile (porcelain tile, not ceramic) is a great choice for style and durability and is completely water resistant. Laminate is a great option - especially on a budget (ceramic tiles and wood are cost more). It is durable and easy to clean, but not 100% water resistant. As with all man-made products, be sure to skip the low quality products and shoot for at least a mid-range product.
What is the cheapest type of flooring?
The most inexpensive flooring options are going to be laminate, vinyl plank, and bamboo flooring. Each of these options will give you durability and variety, and can even be found for less than $2 a square foot if you shop around.