Both porcelain and ceramic tile floors are made from clay. Their difference lies in the fact that the porcelain floor is manipulated more extensively. It is packed more densely and fired in extremely hot ovens. Porcelain floor is a denser product.
The many benefits of porcelain flooring
- Porcelain tile flooring can be beautiful in many rooms, but it is in the kitchen that it is really put to the test. Its density keeps liquid on the surface and therefore will not stain, and resists scratches.
- Despite what we know about the fragility of porcelain, it is a practical choice for your floor, as well as being cost effective. Porcelain floor is easy to clean and hygienic. It is also more chip resistant than ceramic flooring due to the higher density.
- A special plus of porcelain floor is that it they can imitate other beautiful options. Wood, glass, metal, marble, slate and granite can all be visually recreated with porcelain at a lower cost, keeping you within your budget.
- There is a wide variety of porcelain floors available. It comes in many colors, sizes, patterns and finishes. Of all the visual options, a porcelain floor can probably be close to or exactly the 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 stiffness can be hard on your feet and legs if you sit and cook a lot in the kitchen. That’s not to say that porcelain flooring isn’t a good choice, but you may want to ease yourself into a variety of strategically placed rugs in high-traffic areas.
Price of porcelain floor
As a rule, porcelain flooring is a bit more expensive than ceramic flooring. You can expect it to be around $3.00/square foot plus installation costs. Different brands of porcelain are superior to others. Look for high quality power and a reliable manufacturer with the size and design that is appropriate for your home.
Buying advice for porcelain flooring
1. A general rule with any floor covering is to buy extra. You never know when you might have an accident that requires repair. Having porcelain tiles from the same lot ensures you get identical color and texture.
2. The PEI rating of porcelain tile flooring is important to note. This refers to the hardness and durability of the tiles. Generally, PEI III and PEI IV are suitable for kitchen floors.
3. You are probably clear about what you want in most aspects of your life. For something unique and very attractive, you can 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 can choose porcelain floor tiles of the same color and pattern. This brings a uniform appearance.
5. Porcelain flooring also comes in various finishes. Polished porcelain is easier to clean and looks clean longer than a matte finish. It can, however, be a bit more slippery.
6. Large porcelain tiles mean 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 is better to buy a darker color.
Installation of a porcelain floor
Laying a porcelain floor is really a job for the professional. It is not for the do-it-yourselfer. It is heavy and uncomfortable, and the wrong handling can cause breakage before installation or even after installation. The professional worker will make the surface smooth, flat and packed. He will lay the tiles, leaving a small, even space between the tiles for the grout. Once each tile is where it is supposed to be, it is leveled and the spaces are filled with grout. Then he will probably apply the sealant. It takes a lot of practice to get those grout lines even.
The arrangement of porcelain tiles also takes a professional. By laying the tiles, he can see how different patterns will look and then he can decide where will be the best place to start laying the tiles.
Porcelain floor maintenance
Read the literature you get with your porcelain floor. This will give you the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations. And be sure to follow these instructions to the tee.
As for unglazed porcelain tiles, resealing remains part of the job. It helps keep things nice and free of harmful liquids that can seep through and damage your porcelain floor.
The same goes for grout. She also needs protection sometimes.
The rest of the time, you only need your broom and mop for when it’s needed and that’s it. No fancy wax or other products, and especially NO abrasives.
Try hard not to drop heavy objects on the porcelain floor. It can lead to a split, which is very upsetting.
How to get the best price on a porcelain floor
BuildDirect seems to be one of the best places to buy porcelain flooring from. Besides the best prices, their customer-friendly policies make shopping from them a pleasure.