Floor Tile Installation – Granite versus
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.
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.