If you have been interested in redoing your floors or walls, you might have noticed that the two most popular materials that people go for are ceramic tiles and natural stones. Both of these materials are a hard-surface option and they are very durable as well as water-resistant. What makes them even better is that they are more environmentally friendly options. So, if you are interested in having natural stone or ceramic tiles in your home, here are some pros and cons of both.
Natural Stone Tile
When it comes to natural stone floors, not a lot of people know that they are actually queried materials that are cut into tiles. But you don’t have to have them only as floors, they can also be used for backsplashes as well as full walls. Some of the most popular natural stone tiles are slate, marble, granite, limestone as well as travertine. If you are looking to add some luxury and opulence to your home, natural stone tiles are the way to go.
Something that you have to keep in mind is that because natural stone tiles are completely natural, their colours will vary from piece to piece. Natural stone tiles can also be used on the outside of your house as well as on the inside.
One of the most popular options when it comes to natural stone tiles is granite. It is mainly because granite is one of the hardest and densest constitution grade materials that you can choose for your home. The granite can be posted to be smooth, left natural as well as honed to be flat. Even though it is resistant to water and very durable, it can be easily stained if it is not sealed properly. They are one of the most popular countertop options.
Slate is as hard as granite. It is a hard-paced stone that is compressed by the weight of the earth to turn into one solid piece. With that being said it will give the material a strong structure which makes it resistant to breaks and cracks. But it is possible to chip the tile edges if not careful. They also need to be chemically sealed to prevent stains and breakage.
Limestone is a natural stone that has moderate density and straining, just like others it must be chemically sealed before use.
Sandstone is a very porous material that needs to have multiple treatments in order to become safe for use. Even though it is pretty, sandstone is not really recommended for spaces that are wet such as bathrooms.
Types of Ceramic Floor Tile
Ceramic tiles will come in two forms, glazed and unglazed. As the ceramic tiles are made out of clay or earth, having it unglazed will come with a lot of drawbacks that just make no sense to do.
- Glazed Ceramic
The majority of ceramic tiles are produced with glaze and that means that they are creating a barrier over the surface. Because it is a natural clay material that crumbles. The glaze will make the tiles waterproof and stain-resistant. One of the most popular options when it comes to glazed ceramic tiles is mosaic tiles.
- Unglazed Ceramic
A lot of people don’t know how ceramic tiles are made. They are made from clay and different sediments that are all baked in a kiln to become hard. When it is in its natural state it is really porous and it will instantly absorb any liquid that touches it. That is why it needs to be sealed with a chemical sealer. They are usually chosen when someone wants to have more rustic beauty in their home. But they are not the best options for flooring and wet or humid places.
- Terra Cotta
Another really popular ceramic tile option is terracotta. It is a specific type of unglazed ceramic and it is made out of red clay that is found in Europe and Mexico. Just like unglazed ceramic terra cotta is porous and must be sealed to prevent moisture absorption.
As we have mentioned multiple times, unglazed ceramics are really porous and need to be treated to be put in a house. On the other hand, all-natural stone materials also need to be sealed in order to become harder and durable, but they are more durable as well as stain-resistant. But no matter which ones that you choose, you will need to seal the grout to prevent any discolouration and staining in the long run.
When it comes to cleaning, natural stones will be easily damaged with acids. Because of that, you have to ensure that you are not using any acidic cleaners as well as avoiding acidic fruits or anything high in acidity levels as it will cause a permanent stain. On the other hand, you will have glazed ceramic that can withstand any cleaner you put on them. But what you need to be careful about when cleaning ceramic tiles is the grout lines. With both of these, the best thing that you can do is follow the instructions that came from the manufacturer.
The structural strength of your ceramic tiles comes from the high temperatures of the kiln when the ceramic is baked. Higher temperatures make the tiles more durable materials. When it comes to all glazed tiles, the glazing is there to prevent scratches and reduce wear and tear. Depending on the natural stone that you are choosing they depend on their type. If you are looking for something super durable, granite and slate are the most durable things that you can get. While limestone and marble are much softer. Keep in mind that when you are purchasing either of those, you have to choose higher quality materials because low-grade ones break more easily no matter what they are.
Generally speaking, when it comes to glazed ceramic, they are the right choice if you want a low-maintenance, stain-resistant, hassle-free option. On the other hand, ceramic is not a natural product, and even though it can mimic the look of stone, it is not able to reproduce its full potential. Because of this people will just choose to go for the natural option.