Both porcelain and ceramic tile floorings are made from clay. Their difference lies in the fact that porcelain flooring is manipulated more extensively. It is packed more densely and fired in extremely hot kilns. Porcelain flooring is a denser product.
The many benefits of porcelain flooring
- Porcelain tile flooring can be lovely in many rooms, but it is in the kitchen that it is really put to the test. Its density keeps liquid on the surface so it won’t stain, and it resists scratches.
- Despite what we know about the fragility of porcelain, it is a practical choice for your floors, as well as being cost-effective. A porcelain floor is easy to clean and it’s hygienic. It is also more chip-resistant than ceramic floor due to the higher density.
- A special plus of porcelain flooring is that it can mimic other beautiful options. Wood, glass, metal, marble, slate and granite all can be visually recreated with porcelain at a lower cost, which will keep you within your budget.
- There are a wide variety of porcelain floorings available. It comes in many colors, sizes, patterns and finishes. Out of all of the visual options, a porcelain floor can probably be close or just the exact same as you wanted your floor to be.
- Porcelain floor is great if you own pets.
Limitations of porcelain flooring
- Again, all that density and hardness can be tough on your feet and legs if you stand and cook a lot in your kitchen. That does not mean that porcelain flooring is not a good choice, but you might want to cushion yourself with a variety of rugs placed strategically in high traffic areas.
Porcelain flooring price
As a rule, porcelain floor is a bit more expensive than ceramic floor. You can expect it to be about $3.00/square foot plus installation costs. Different brands of porcelain are superior to others. Look for high quality strength and a reliable manufacturer with the size and design that’s appropriate for your home.
Buying tips for porcelain flooring
1. A rule of thumb with any floor covering is to buy extra. You never know when you might have an accident that needs repairing. Having porcelain tiles from the same batch will assure you get an identical color and texture.
2. The PEI rating of porcelain tile flooring is important to note. This refers to the tile’s hardness and durability. In general, PEI III and PEI IV are good for kitchen floors.
3. You probably are clear about what you want in most aspects of your life. For something unique and very attractive, you could buy different colors and shapes of porcelain tiles. Lighter porcelain tiles will make the kitchen look bigger too.
4. If your countertops or backsplashes are made of porcelain, you could choose porcelain floor tiles of the same color and pattern. This will bring in a uniform look.
5. Porcelain flooring also comes in various finishes. Polished porcelain is easier to clean and it looks clean longer than a matte finish. It can, however, be a bit more slippery.
6. Big porcelain tiles mean that you will need less grout. Grout also comes in a variety of colors and you can choose one that matches your porcelain floor. To keep your grout looking clean and nice, it would be best to buy a darker color.
Porcelain flooring installation
Laying porcelain flooring is really a job for the professional. It is not for a do-it-yourselfer. It’s heavy and awkward, and wrong handling may cause breakage before installation or even after installation. The professional worker will make the surface smooth, flat and packed. He will lay the tiles down, leaving a small, even space between the tiles for the grout. Once each tile is where it ought to be, it is leveled and the spaces are filled with grout. He then will likely apply sealant. It takes a great deal of practice to get those grout lines even.
Arranging the porcelain tiles also takes a professional. By laying the tiles down, he can see how different patterns will look and can then decide where the best place to begin laying the tiles will be.
Porcelain flooring maintenance
Read the literature that you get with your porcelain flooring. It will give you the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations. And make sure that you follow these instructions to the tee.
With regards to unglazed porcelain tiles, resealing remains a part of the job. It helps in keeping things beautiful and free of detrimental liquids that may get through and damage your porcelain floor.
The same goes for grout. It too needs protection occasionally.
The rest of the time, you just need your broom and mop for when it’s necessary and that’s it. No fancy wax or other products, and especially NO abrasives.
Try hard not to drop heavy items on the porcelain floor. It can lead to cracking, which would be very upsetting.
How to get the best price on a porcelain flooring
BuildDirect appears to be one of the best places to buy the porcelain flooring from. Besides the best prices, their customer friendly policies make buying from them a pleasure.