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This or That Tile

Choosing a tile can be stressful and a difficult process for some homeowners. We hope that today’s blog will help answer a few lingering questions and make the design selection process easier.

Porcelain vs. Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles are made using natural red, brown, and white clay. The clay used to create ceramic tiles is typically less refined and the temperature that they are exposed to during the kiln fire stage is cooler creating a more affordable, but possibly less durable, option for homeowners. Due to their processing procedure, ceramic tiles are also relatively soft therefore having to cut the tile is made easier with just a simple tile cutter which could decrease the installation cost as well. Ceramic tiles are also more customizable with top glaze finishes on all colors and patterns. For those looking to purchase a mass square footage of product, especially those wanting to take advantage of the cooling properties of tile, ceramic tile could be the best choice for you!

Porcelain tiles are a subtype of ceramic tiles and are made with refined clay, or other natural elements, and kiln fired at a higher temperature making them more durable. Porcelain tiles have color running through the entire thickness, in lieu of a surface glaze, and the tile is more resistant to chipping. Due to its durability, porcelain tile also has a low absorption rate making it virtually waterproof and can withstand long exposure to moisture and traffic. Homeowners looking for a durable choice for high traffic or outdoor areas, can rely on the look and toughness of porcelain tile.

Rectified vs. Non-rectified Tiles

Rectified tiles can be either ceramic or porcelain tile that are cut and grounded to precise dimensions creating a near-perfect straight edge. Because of the way that they are cut they are virtually identical in length and width but, there may be slight variations in thickness however, this variation is typically not a noticeable difference from one tile to the next. Rectified tiles have a higher price tag at check out because of the longer production time and possibility of extra materials needed for installation (such as a substrate that might be needed for larger format tiles). With the extra cost of the material and installation, why buy rectified tiles? Three words, thinner grout lines. While you will still need grout lines to avoid lippage (a noticeable unevenness after installation from tiles not laying flush) you are able to use the thinner grout lines (3mm or less) creating a sleek seamless look. It is best to follow the recommended grout lines suggested by the tile manufacturer.

Non-rectified tiles will have uneven edges that create a more natural look and will require larger grout joints creating a less slippery surface for walking. With larger grout joints you can utilize decorative grout colors and customize your space! The possibility of chipping the tile when cutting smaller tile designs makes finding a rectified mosaic very difficult. Therefore, shop the non-rectified tiles to find more mosaic options for your home! If your rectified tile does not have a slight beveled edge, which some do, there is a chance of exposing your feet to the sharp 90-degree tile edge when walking, making non-rectified tile easier on your toes. Another issue you may run into with the sharp edges of rectified tile is the need to install trim to the exposed edges of your tile to avoid chipping, with non-rectified tile installing trim pieces like Schluter Jolly is decorative decision. From quicker processing and installation timelines to the budget friendly options, and the availability of more mosaic selections, non-rectified tile may be the best choice for you!

Whether you choose for porcelain, ceramic, rectified, or non-rectified tile, your choice is dependent on your desired use, design needs, and budget.

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