Tiles are seen by many as the perfect flooring solution for a kitchen. But they are made from a range of materials – which are best for you?
Floor coverings come in a variety of types, including carpets, linoleum and a whole range of wooden solutions. But in a kitchen environment, nothing comes close to tiles. As well as looking great, they are durable, water resistant and simple to keep clean with a mop and bucket.
Yet before you can even start looking at the wide range of colours and patterns available, you first need to decide on the right material. There are pros and cons to each, so let’s take a look.
Probably the most popular choice for a kitchen, ceramic tiles are highly versatile, come in every conceivable colour and are relatively simple to install.
They are made from a mixture of clay, minerals and water, which is fired at high temperature and then glazed to create a hard-wearing surface.
As for the cons – be aware that there can be some variation in colour from one batch to the next, so if that is a potential problem, try to make sure all the packs contain the same batch number. Also, relatively simple to install does not mean completely simple, and it takes care and attention to do a really good job.
These are a type of ceramic tile that is fired at an even higher temperature. The main differences are that porcelain is extremely hard and durable. It is therefore perfect for an area of flooring that gets serious punishment and heavy foot traffic.
On the downside, porcelain is a little more expensive that regular ceramic, and is also more difficult to install, as it needs specialist tools and a particular setting paste that works on non-porous materials. As a result, it is best left to the professionals.
Natural stone looks amazing and just oozes quality. There are plenty of types to choose from, including marble, slate, granite and limestone. This means you can always find a colour to match any style or décor.
Most types of stone are porous, so you will need to treat them with a sealant every few years.
There are two sorts of finish available. Polished tiles look stunning but can become slippery, particularly when wet. Honed stone tiles give better grip but do not have quite the same lustre.
Handmade cement tiles look fantastic, but they are not as common as other types of tile, so your installer might not be accustomed to working with them. Like stone, they are porous and can be damaged by spillages, so you need to make sure they are sealed periodically. They are typically in a similar price range to stone tiles.
Which will you choose?
There are pros and cons to every type of floor tile, but whichever you choose, you will be rewarded with a hard-wearing floor that looks classy and will last for years. Now all you have to do is go through the thousands of shapes, sizes, colours and designs that are available and choose the one that matches your kitchen décor.
Fortunately, we’re here to help you choose! Our showroom is packed full of fantastic floor tiles ready for you to look at. Not sure if they will work in your room? No problem, our Home Selection Service is a great way for you to see your tiles on-site, it’s a completely free service (well it might cost you a cuppa) and a great way to make sure you make the perfect choice. Contact us here to find out more.