How to shop for tile flooring

When you walk into the Floor Depot tile flooring showroom you’ll see an almost unlimited number of colors, patterns, designs, shapes, and sizes. While that is pleasantly overwhelming, choosing the right tile is more than just basing your selection on appearance. Understand the various kinds of ceramics and how they behave in various installations.

What does the word "ceramic" really mean?

A ceramic is any tile that is composed of clay, even if combined with some other material. Porcelain is a type of ceramic, as well as mosaics, terracottas, and subway bricks. Know your installation needs. Keep in mind that tile floors are thicker than wall tiles. Also think about levels of foot traffic, room moisture, use, and grip (slipperiness.) Each category is graded.

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Breaking down the types

  • Porcelain’s composition is clay, sand, and glass. It’s also fired at higher temperatures than most others, resulting in a heavier, more dense ceramic. This is best suited for floors in high traffic and busy rooms, such as the kitchen. Porcelain is waterproof, frost-resistant, and suitable for outdoor use. It comes in a wide variety of colors and designs and can look like anything, including wood or stone.
  • The 4 X 4 squares. These are thinner but tough and come either glazed or unglazed. They must be glazed, however, to be waterproof and are mainly recommended for indoor use. They are best for light to medium foot-trafficked floors.
  • Mosaics. These are the small pieces (sometimes ½ X ½) that are highly decorated, usually with an image or mural. They are durable and mold-mildew resistant. Mosaics are often used as a floor decoration, such as in a medallion, border, or accent. The many grout lines may make them a good choice if you have major grip concerns.
  • Terracotta. These are the bricks with the wonderful reddish-brown color, terrific for rustic decors. They are so durable that some say they define the word! They are porous, but sealing (not glazing) will eliminate that challenge.
  • Subway tiles. These are the iconic white 3 X 6 rectangles, but they now come in a large assortment of colors, shapes, and sizes. They can also be made from glass or stone. The glass finish makes them stain-resistant, but they are thin so use them in floors in very low traffic areas or keep them only for the wall or backsplash.

We’ll help you choose the right tile floors. Come into the Floor Depot showroom in Dunedin, FL if you’re a homeowner in Dunedin, FL, Clearwater, FL, Palm Harbor, FL, Oldsmar, FL, Tarpon Springs, FL, Largo, FL, Seminole, FL, St Petersburg, FL, Tampa, FL, or New Port Richey, FL. We also provide free quotes!