Choosing tile for your home

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Tile adds a cosmetic touch to your home, but there are practical considerations to keep...

Tile adds a cosmetic touch to your home, but there are practical considerations to keep in mind when choosing tile. The differences between ceramic and porcelain tile affect the way you must care for it as well as how well it will stand up to the rigors of use. Here's what you need to know.

  1. Care: The finish of both ceramic and porcelain tiles make them easy to clean. For a low-traffic area of flooring or for bathtubs or showers, consider glazed ceramic because it is very easy to keep clean.
  2. Porousness: The different ways that ceramic and porcelain tiles are manufactured - also referred to as their finishing process - affect their installation. Ceramic is more porous and easier to cut and install, as opposed to porcelain's dense, glass-like quality. If you are looking to save on labor, consider ceramic over porcelain.
  3. Strength: The durability of the two types of tile play an important role in the way you use them. As a general rule, avoid using ceramic tile in high-traffic areas or areas where you expect to be moving heavy objects that might fall and break the tiles.
  4. Temperature: Porcelain is slightly more weather- and moisture-resistant because it is less porous. Therefore, if you are installing the tile in an area likely to experience extreme temperature changes where moisture can expand and contract within the tile, such as a foyer or entryway, consider porcelain over ceramic tile.
  5. Budget: Porcelain tile tends to cost more than ceramic tile, but some diligence and creative shopping can help you sleuth out discounts when choosing tile. You can also select less expensive grout if you're working on a tight budget, but if you plan to stay in your home on a long-term basis, it is worth investing in the best-quality grout you can afford because it helps inhibit mold growth in your home by keeping moisture away from porous boards behind the tile.

When picking the right tile for your home, it's a good idea to discuss traffic patterns and tile care concerns with your Atlanta-area remodeler. And to get the most from your remodeling investment, invest in high-quality grout as well.

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