Tile is the workhorse of flooring. It is durable in even the heaviest traffic, virtually stain proof, and beautiful---all at the same time. It is tough and resilient, even though it looks delicate. And treated right, it will support you through anything.
Tile has been around for thousands of years. There is a great deal of it still intact in the remains of ancient construction, the earliest known from the 2nd Century- that's a super tough floor!
Tile is inhospitable to mites, mold, germs, and bacteria, and keeps its good looks through anything that bad little kids and their dirty dogs can drag through the house. Tile floors are simply the most pet friendly floors possible, as well as being hypo allergenic. They are more expensive to purchase and install, but the most cost effective over time, as they last indefinitely. Broken down in a time study, tile costs four times less, over twenty-five years, than carpet and half as much as wood!
There is a difference between ceramic and porcelain, but to most homeowners, the difference should not steer their decision about which to buy. Ceramic is less expensive, and suitable for almost all our residential uses here in Georgia. The only exception is outdoor use. Because porcelain is made from a more refined clay, it is denser than ceramic, and fired at higher temperatures. It can thus be used outside, where it will be more exposed to the elements, and possibly freeze. Ceramic cannot be used outside, because it would absorb water and crack.
Tile is easier to clean and maintain than any other flooring. It is impervious to water, so is especially well suited to use in areas that tend to get wet- kitchens, mudrooms, bathrooms, and foyers. It is more expensive to install, as it demands a more perfect subfloor than other flooring, and must be installed exactly flat and level.
If environmental issues are a priority for you, tile is great. Most tile producing factories are now "closed loop" meaning they reuse their water and scrap materials, so there is minimal effect on the environment. Tile is stain proof, almost impossible to scratch, and super-easy to clean. We recommend one of the new single component grouts, specifically we use Fusion Pro grout, because they do not mold or mildew, do not stain or absorb odors, and do not have to be sealed.
Tile can be laid in a myriad of different patterns. Google tile patterns and you will see dozens and dozens. There is regular grid, brick, diagonal, herringbone, Versailles, and variations on all of these. You can choose a more subtle tile, and then install in a more complex pattern to add visual interest.
Of course, there are negatives to tile. It is more expensive to install. It feels colder on bare feet, but can also be installed with a radiant heat system. It can be harder to stand on for extended periods (there are anti-fatigue mats that will help.) And if you are planning to put it on the bathroom floor, you will need to look for one with a higher slip coefficient.
Tile now comes in so many beautiful looks. Lately we have been installing a lot that looks like wood, and we have lots of wood look tiles to choose from. There is also a strong trend towards Carrara marble looks- we have plenty of those too. Really large format tiles (24" x 24", 30" x 30") are gaining in popularity- more tile, less grout! Come in and let us show you some of the beautiful new styles, shapes and colors of tile available.
There's a reason tile is often the material of choice in the bathroom: it reflects light, it's durable, it's easy to clean and makes the space look polished. Keep in mind that the grout between tiles can become grimy if it's not cleaned properly, and regular maintenance is important in preserving an aesthetic that looks fresh and not grungy.
More clients are installing tile on their bathroom walls, not just in the shower. Floor-to-ceiling installations on at least one wall are trending, in lieu of painting. If that is too big a commitment to tile for you, consider using tile to create pseudo-wainscoting and paint the top half of the wall the color of your choice.
It's good to think about resale value when updating your bathroom. You want your tile selection to be timeless and clean, and to not turn off potential buyers. White, off white, and grey are the most popular tile colors for bathrooms year after year. Add pops of color with paint, towels, and accessories. That said, your powder room is a space that all of your guests will likely see at some point; so, if you want to make a statement, this is the place to do it.
How Much Does It Cost?
We recently installed tile on the floor of a guest bath for $1200. This includes removing the existing ceramic tile, 44 square feet of new tile installed with Fusion stain resistant grout, removing and reseating the toilet, and new baseboards and shoemold.
I Was FLOORED By Enhance
Tom in Marietta writes that Enhance recently replaced the tile in his master bath and the guest bath. He adds that we "ripped out the old shower in the master bathroom and installed a new tile shower with all new hardware and glass surrounding it on two sides because it's in the corner. And then they put tile on one wall and that was all master bath, and then guest bath tile flooring and then tile up above the shower and tub. I like that the owner of the company comes out to do the estimate himself, and he's just a really nice, easy guy to deal with-Don Stubbs." We really enjoyed working with Tom and his wife and know that they are loving their new bathrooms!