[ecis2016.org] If you are planning to redo the flooring in your house, tiles can be an ideal choice for Indian households. We list the factors you must consider, before opting for tile flooring
As the flooring used in a home plays a big role in the overall décor of the house, it is important to take a well-thought out decision. In this context, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of tile flooring, a category that has gained a lot of popularity among Indian households.
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Tile flooring: The advantages
Variety: Tile flooring is available in a large variety of sizes, colours, textures, designs and styles. It is also available in different materials, including mosaic tiles, glass tiles, leather tiles, metal tiles, glazed tiles, stone tiles, terracotta tiles, etc.
Maintenance: No matter how exposed your house is to the elements, tile flooring is relatively easy to clean. This is not true of most other flooring options. In some cases, you will have to buy a vacuum cleaner to do the cleaning. For tile floorings, a simple dust pan, broom and mop would do the trick, to make your house clean. As the surface does not absorb anything, there is no need to use any hard chemicals while cleaning it.
Water resistance: In India, where the tendency of wet-cleaning is common, because of the dust and dirt that enter our homes, tiles make for a good choice. Wet cleaning is not possible with wooden flooring or carpet flooring. However, ensure that you use only the best quality, water-resistant tiles for your floor.
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Affordable: When compared to other options, tile flooring is comparatively affordable. It is available in a wide price range, as well, ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 200 per sq ft.
Wall tiles are more affordable than the floor tiles, because of the difference in thicknesses between the two. While wall tiles are typically six to seven millimetres thick, floor tiles are thicker at 10 mm.
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Easy installation: Compared to other popular flooring options like marble, pebble, wood, stone or carpet flooring, tile flooring is easier to install. The installation job for a 2,000 sq ft space could be done within days. Consequently, the installation costs are also much lower for tile flooring than other types of flooring. Charges may vary between Rs 20 and Rs 50, depending on the city and the type of contractor.
All purpose-product: Long gone are the days when tiles were chosen as a flooring option in bathrooms alone. It is now used everywhere, especially in Indian households, because of its affordability, variety and low maintenance costs. Unlike most other flooring options, tiles can also be used on walls. For the kitchen, you can choose glossy tiles that make it easy to spot and clean every spatter. For bathrooms, you have non-slippery water and stain-resistant tiles, again making the process of usage and cleaning quite seamless. Tiles can also make your small living room appear bigger, because of its sheen and luxury. You also have tiles in the market that are perfect for outdoor spaces.
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Eco-friendly choice: Tiles are a comparatively eco-friendly flooring option, as these are primarily made by baking clay at extremely high temperatures. Since no trees were felled (the case with wooden flooring) and no natural resources were exploited (the case with marble flooring), you can also live in the satisfaction that you have done your bit in saving the environment. You also do not need to use any chemicals for cleaning it, thereby preventing exposure to materials that would be harmful to your health.
Convenient replacement: Tiles also help you to replicate any sort of flooring. As marble is costly and its installation is messy, you could get tiles that look exactly like marble flooring. Tiles resembling wood, stone, or glass finish, etc., are also available.
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Tile flooring: The disadvantages
Not durable: Unfortunately, this is not a flooring option that is going to last for decades. A tile floor would be irreparably damaged, if a heavy object were to fall on it. Chances of breakage further increase in families with children for whom the house is the playground. If the object that accidently falls on the floor is not heavy enough, the tile may not break but develop cracks or chip away.
Not easy to change: Suppose one tile in your living room has developed a crack. Now to fix it, you would require a similar piece. Unless you have kept some of the same tiles in stock, it could be really hard for you to find the exact tile in the market. This is primarily because of the huge demand for tiles and the continuous changes in designs and patterns. In case you are unable to find a replacement, you may eventually have to get the entire flooring changed.
Weather effects: Even though the tendency is not as pronounced in tile flooring, as it is in marble and stone floorings, tiles also have a tendency of getting warm during the summers and cold during the winter.
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Grout lines: Grout lines are an inherent part of the installation process and are not as easy to maintain as the tile flooring itself. They would sustain stains and are prone to mildew build-up over time.
Slip-prone: Unless you have invested in the right quality, tiles could be slippery surfaces, especially when it comes in contact with water. Even the best tiles are not entirely slip-proof, if it is wet.
Hard surface: These are as hard as they are brittle. The former tendency makes them harmful for your feet, legs and knees. Experts are of the opinion that surfaces like ceramic tile and marble, can be harmful for joints. However, the risk is much higher in case of marble flooring. Changes in weather conditions could also impact your health, as the tiles would also become hot or cold, depending on the season.
Not ideal for high-traffic areas: Owing to its brittle nature, tiles are not an ideal choice for high traffic areas.
Aesthetic appeal: Although stylish, tiles are not as elegant as marble, wooden or carpet flooring. They would also not seem as grand in the outdoor areas as stone flooring would.
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Know your tiles
Types: Tiles could broadly be divided into three varieties, including porcelain, vitrified and ceramic. This difference is based on their capacity to absorb water. While vitrified tiles are most ideal for flooring, ceramic and porcelain tiles work well on the walls.
Sizes: You would typically find tiles of size 250×300 mm, 300×600 mm, 600×600 mm, 610×610 mm, 800×800 mm, etc. Pick a size depending on the room type. The trick is to keep it proportionate. Large tiles in extremely small spaces, for instance, would make the space look smaller.
Colour: Tiles are available in almost every shade. However, in order to make the home seem bright, one should always opt for lighter shades when it comes to flooring. You can experiment with tile colours for outdoor spaces.
Finish: The exteriors of the tile would make a great difference. If it is not a flat finish, dust particles will get stuck on the tile. Select tiles with glossy finish for this reason.
What is the average price for tile flooring in India?
Depending on the quality of the tile, buyers may have to spend between Rs 50 and Rs 200 per sq ft, for tile floors in India.
Are tile floors durable?
Tile flooring is not as durable as mosaic, marble or stone flooring. Buyers may have to change tile floorings within 5-7 years.
Is tile flooring a good option for the kitchen?
Tile flooring is a good option for the kitchen, considering that it does not attract stains that kitchens are prone to sustain and are easy to clean.
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