Tile tends to pop up in moisture-prone areas of the home–kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, places like that–but despite being an elegant, durable, and waterproof flooring material whose longevity is rivaled only by hardwood, you rarely see it in living rooms or other recreational spaces. For homeowners looking for a stylish high-end flooring upgrade rich with decorative possibilities, tile is the ticket. Thanks to modern manufacturing processes, today’s ceramic tiles are just as likely to resemble the finest imported hardwoods as much as the old glazed tile-and-grout grids found in antique construction.
Compared to real hardwood floors, tile material costs are less expensive though installation costs vary, as ceramic is among the more labor-intensive flooring materials, which can be frustrating for inexperienced DIY installers. Depending on the size of your room and the complexity of your tile pattern, the question of DIY-vs.-Professional installation can make or break your flooring budget. The long-lasting benefits of a new tile floor, however, make it an exciting option that could pay for itself over time once you figure in the maintenance and eventual replacement costs of less durable materials. Keep reading to learn our favorite benefits of tile flooring in your living room.
Hardwood Look, Ceramic Seal
If you need a premium waterproof floor with convincing hardwood cosmetics, look no further than tile. Tile’s glazing process guarantees an impenetrable seal against water, and tile floors can last for as long as 75–100 years with regular maintenance.
Tile Can Take It
Tile is tough. It can take it. With kiln-fired hardness, heavy density, and a slick glazed exterior, dirt and dust slides right off. Even in areas of high foot traffic tile can withstand decades of everyday use with minimal maintenance. Regular mopping with a damp mop and soap plus periodic sealing of the grout is all it takes to keep tiles floors feeling fresh.
The Floor Is the Design
Tile comes in an enormous assortment of shapes and sizes to inspire an endless supply of creative installations. Whether you’re updating a space with Southwestern-inspired design or experimenting with hexagonal and octagonal shapes to create new patterns, tile makes anything possible. Play around with borders, accent tiles, and mosaics to illuminate your space with design elements borrowed from Art Deco apartment buildings or mix and match tiles of different sizes to mimic realistic reclaimed hardwood. As a rule, try to stick with tiles sized proportionally to your room to avoid overdoing it with a pattern that’s too busy for your room.
The Softer Side of Tile
One of the biggest complaints about tile is that it’s hard and cold. This is true. If you’re sold on tile’s other benefits but aren’t sure about how it feels underfoot, you have three options:
- Layer an area rug on top for softness and warmth. If you have a rug you like or are planning to buy one, this works just great, although stains become a concern.
- Install radiant heat flooring. This isn’t the most cost-effective option, but it sure is nice.
- Have you considered laminate flooring? If you’re after a waterproof hardwood (or tile) appearance but something about tile isn’t cutting it for you, laminate flooring offers many of the benefits of tile at a reduced price point. Here’s a blog post explaining the pros and cons of laminate flooring.
Do you have questions about tile, laminate, hardwood, or any other flooring material? Give us a call or click the free consultation button above to schedule your in-home shopping appointment today or visit us at any of our four northeast Ohio locations!