Tile Options That Make Sense for Builder Projects

01592c478cd5070932d083d6be071fd248f749d1c5 With so many options on the market today for tile products and applications, builders and construction professionals look to a flooring supplier to help make the right selections for their projects. Whether it’s a waterfront custom home, a multi-family building, or a commercial property, more likely than not there will be tile products installed. Here is our take on tile options that make sense for builder projects.

The most commonly used tile product, Ceramic tile, is molded from quarried clay materials.   These materials can be molded in different ways to form either porcelain, or a non-porcelain type of ceramic tile.   Traditional ceramic tile is non-porcelain and made from white, red, and/or brown clay and other minerals. The difference between this and porcelain tile, is that the porcelain includes 50% white dust or sand called Feldspar, a type of crystal found in rock that acts as a “flux” during the kiln-drying process. The Feldspar melts into a glass-like material and bonds all the molded ingredients together. Manufacturers of ceramic tile can modify the drying process to create a large variety of appearance and characteristics of the tiles.

Ceramic tiles can be either unglazed or glazed which can affect the tiles’ stain resistance, scratch resistance, traction and water absorption. Non-porcelain tiles tend to be much more economical than porcelain, which can also be hard to work with for inexperienced installers. We offer many choices in ceramic tiles and our installation team is highly experienced with installation techniques for a perfect finish flooring in every project.

Natural stone tiles, which include the very popular Granite, Marble, Limestone, Travertine and Slate tiles, are derived from sources found in nature and are quarried for use in residential and commercial facilities. Once the stone is extracted from the earth, it is slabbed, finished, and cut to size for use.

Granite is a type of rock that is very dense and hard. Due to speckled minerals in the rock it has a very distinctive appearance with unique veining and nearly thousands of available colors. Each piece is different – there are no two alike. Once polished, it resists scratching and is stronger than most “natural quarry stones”. It is commonly used for high traffic floors in kitchens and are commonly used for countertops.

Marble is a rock that has rich veining, and like granite, a variety of colors. It is a porous material and not recommended for flooring unless it is honed and sealed on a regular basis. Many builders choose marble for rich, luxurious projects such as high-end homes and lavish commercial properties like hotels or offices.

Limestone is a sedimentary rock offering an earthy appearance with light and dark shades. It can be used as a textured surface, or polished for a smooth look. It is less dense than granite or marble and can be easily stained or scratched. Limestone is recommended for areas without high traffic.

tiling and flooring provider for new construction

Travertine is a type of Limestone with an unusual crystalized appearance and earthy tone. It is a soft, porous stone with a naturally pitted surface, but once honed and polished it can lend a soft, luxurious feel to any room. We do not recommend using Travertine for kitchen floors; however, it is a popular option for bath or shower walls, requiring special care and regular maintenance.

Slate is a great option for floors and high traffic areas because it is extremely dense and very durable. It provides darker, earthy tones and is naturally textured, unless purposely honed and finished smooth. Slate has many outdoor, as well as indoor applications.

Glass tiles have risen in popularity over the years and can give a beautiful look to any kitchen or bath. With a vast array of sizes, colors, and styles, glass tiles offer unique options for patterns and designs. They also can be made from recycled glass and require roughly half the energy to produce that traditional ceramic tiles of similar size. Installation on glass tile is key and is not recommended for Do It Yourself or general contractors with little or no glass tile installation experience.

No matter what type, style, or design you may choose for tile in your home, office, or commercial property, Design Floors is there to help. From design coordination, to competitive pricing, and expert installation, we have the knowledgeable staff and the experience to make your tile project a complete success. Contact Design Floors today for a consultation, bid, or more information on our products and services.