Floor Tile Installation and The Granite or Ceramic Debate

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Floor Tile Installation – Granite versus Ceramic
 
When it comes to floor installation projects, both granite and ceramic both make durable and long-lasting, elegant choices for flooring. Neither one is inherently superior to the other, so choosing between the two is a matter of personal preference. Some subtle differences between the two include:
  • Look - Ceramic tiles come in many colours, finishes, patterns and styles. Granite can be more limited in options, since it is a natural stone and its appearance is usually marked with irregularities and colour variations. Each type of tile is available glazed or unglazed. Glazed tile appears shiny and polished; unglazed looks more rustic and natural.
  • Cost – One of the most distinguishing differences between ceramic tile and granite is cost. Granite can be considerably more expensive because it is a natural stone, more costly to install and has a higher perceived intrinsic value.
  • Installation – Unless you install the tile yourself, granite is much more expensive to install because it requires special tools to cut the stone, since it is very hard. Ceramic tile is considerably easier to work with than granite; it has great forgiveness and can be installed quite simply with the right sealants and grout.
Granite flooring will generally require more maintenance since a sealer will need to be re-applied periodically over the course of the floor's lifetime and will need to be professionally deep cleaned on a periodic basis.
 
Tile and the Environment
 
Due to the increased demand for environmentally responsible construction, granite and ceramic tiles are sustainable and have the following green benefits:
  • Life Cycle – ceramic and granite tiles are some of the longest lasting flooring products available on the market today. Unlike carpet or laminate flooring, which have to be replaced every so often, properly installed tiling has the potential to last a lifetime.
  • Indoor Air Quality – Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) contribute to a wide variety of health problems and are a significant cause of "sick building syndrome,” which happens when a combination of indoor air toxins and lack of ventilation meet the human respiratory system. Because tile is fired in kilns to extremely high temperatures, there are no VOCs in the finished product that can be released into the air of the home.
With custom tile manufacturers located in regions like Windsor and Toronto, tile and installation products are available locally, which reduces the amount of energy consumption and air emissions associated with shipping.
 
Allergy Friendly Flooring
 
For those who suffer from allergies and asthma or anyone simply wanting to improve the quality of their home environment, the floor is the perfect place to start to cut down on exposure to allergens. For example, wall-to-wall carpeting will harbour dust and other pollutants that usually cannot be fully cleaned even with the most powerful vacuum cleaners. But both ceramic and granite flooring prevent any pests from establishing a presence and ward off dust and mold from growing.
 
If you are on a tight budget, ceramic might be the better choice, but it is also hard to match the timeless beauty of a natural stone like granite. Regardless of the material chosen, a floor tile installation project that is done right can last virtually forever.