Ceramic tile is a kiln-dried clay tile flooring that’s popular due to its appearance, durability, and relatively high resistance to dirt and dust. However, it also has some downsides, when compared against other types of floors. A hard and cold surface, heavy tiles, and relatively high costs are just but a few of these cons.
Here’s a complete overview of ceramic tile flooring.
What are the Pros and Cons of Ceramic Tile Flooring?
Most people love ceramic tile flooring due to its durability, natural beauty, and ease of maintenance. However, this type of floor also has its shortcomings. These include weight and maintenance concerns, as well as a cold and hard underfoot feel.
Here’s a more detailed look at the merits and demerits of ceramic tile floors.
Advantages of Ceramic Tile
Here are the pros of having ceramic tile flooring;
Ceramic floors boast excellent durability and have a long lifespan. The hardy surface construction gives it great resistance to dust, dirt, and various allergens. The hard, surface glazing of ceramic tile also gives it great microbial resistance. You won’t have to worry about disease-causing germs hiding out inside your flooring.
Ceramic is not only hardy but also has great abrasion resistance. In fact, flooring professionals often recommend the installation of ceramic flooring with very high PEI ratings in commercial areas that experience very high foot traffic.
2. Beautiful Aesthetics
Ceramic tile flooring is also known for its beauty. Installing this type of floor is an easy way to instantly improve your home’s décor. Modern ceramic tile manufacturers leverage advanced technology to print or emboss intricate patterns on the flooring tiles.
The print designs on ceramic flooring may also resemble various natural hardwood or stone flooring. From ceramic tiles that resemble the look of travertine to plank-shaped tiles that mimic the natural beauty of oak or hickory, the design options are limitless.
Read more: What is travertine tiles?
3. Low Maintenance Requirements
Among the various types of natural stone flooring, ceramic is amongst the easier ones to keep clean and maintain. The hardy ceramic surface makes it difficult for dust, dirt, and liquid stains to seep through into the flooring material.
You can easily clean off any surface dirt on your ceramic tiles by wiping them using a mop bucket and a wet mop. Alternatively, you can use a vacuum cleaner to suck off such surface dirt and debris.
4. Excellent Moisture Resistance
The protective surface layer of ceramic flooring means that water and liquid stains can’t penetrate through its structure easily. For this reason, ceramic tiles are recommended for use in wet spaces such as bathrooms and kitchens.
5. Easy to Install
Ceramic tiling is relatively easy to install. Unlike other types of flooring that may require you to call in the experts, you can undertake ceramic tile floor installation as a DIY project. You simply have to glue down the tiles to the subfloor using a thin-set adhesive. For a proper DIY ceramic floor installation job, though, make sure to follow the proper tile installation procedure.
6. Color Permanence
Ceramic flooring tiles have great resistance to fading caused by the sun’s rays. Various reactive, multi-purpose commercial cleaning chemicals also won’t affect its shade. Unlike other types of floors that tend to discolor to an unsightly hue when exposed to the sun, ceramic will maintain its original color for years. That’s why it’s also recommended for installation on decks.
Disadvantages of Ceramic Tile
The cons of ceramic flooring include:
Ceramic floors have poor heat retention. And since the material itself is dense, it requires more time to heat up. This results in a particularly cold underfoot feel, which is especially true for those living in colder regions. If you must install this type of floor in your bedroom or living room, we recommend installing a carpet or cozy area rug above it for added warmth.
2. Extremely Hard Surface
The same trick doesn’t work for ceramic flooring, unlike laminate or vinyl plank flooring that can be softened using underlayment padding. It, therefore, has a hard underfoot feel that can be rather uncomfortable if you stand in one spot for too long. What’s more, if you accidentally drop heavy items on the hard, non-flexible ceramic surface, your tiles are highly likely to crack.
3. Maintenance Issues
While it’s true that ceramic flooring is easy to clean and maintain, you’ll still find yourself faced with a few maintenance-related issues. For starters, you may experience mold and mildew growth due to water penetration at the seams where the ceramic flooring meets other structural surfaces. As such, it’s important to keep these transitional seams sealed up using caulk.
Another maintenance problem is the grout lines. While the ceramic tile surface is in itself splashproof, the grout isn’t and has to be sealed. Poorly sealed ceramic grout lines are, therefore, prone to water damage, staining, and mold/mildew growth.
Read more: How to seal the grout.
4. Heavy Material
Despite being easy to install, ceramic tiles are rather heavy. It’s, for this reason, that flooring pros sometimes advise against installing ceramic on upper floors. The added weight stress can compromise the structural integrity of the upper floor joists. And if you’re doing a DIY installation, it’ll take some elbow grease lifting and positioning the tiles on the subfloor.
5. Costly Flooring
Compared to other popular types of flooring, ceramic tile floors are relatively expensive. You’ll have to part with about $5-$10 to purchase a square foot’s worth of ceramic tiling. By comparison, laminate and vinyl flooring go for $2-$8 per square foot. There’s a silver lining, though, as the ease of installation translates into relatively low installation costs.
Is Ceramic Tile Good for Flooring?
Ceramic tile, just like natural stone tile, is a great flooring option due to its aesthetics and durability. While ceramic flooring tiles can be made to mimic the look of natural stone surfaces, they aren’t nearly as expensive. As such, ceramic flooring offers great value for money.
Natural stone floors, like marble and granite, are considered more valuable than ceramic due to their uniqueness. However, since natural stones are hardened by natural processes, color and textural inconsistencies abound. Ceramic tiles, by comparison, are man-made by kiln-drying processes. This lessens the possibility of color, pattern, and textural variegation.
Most ceramic tile brands make tiles with glazed surfaces for optimal moisture and stain resistance. By comparison, natural stone surfaces are porous and will absorb moisture and liquid stains more readily than ceramic. That’s why ceramic tile flooring is the better option for wet spaces such as kitchens and bathrooms.
And even if you choose to go for unglazed ceramic to fit in with your home’s rustic interior design aesthetic, you can still prevent staining and moisture damage by sealing. High-quality ceramic tile sealants will keep the surface splash-proof.
Are ceramic floors good?
Being as ceramic flooring tiles are both beautiful and durable, they’re definitely a good choice for your home’s flooring. Such flooring options that offer both functional and aesthetic benefits tend to improve your home’s market value. This is especially true if the waterproof ceramic tiling is installed in wet areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
Nevertheless, ceramic tile flooring isn’t considered as valuable as natural stone flooring, as it isn’t rare and can be mass-produced. Therefore, it will not improve your property’s value as much as a natural stone would.