ASK THE CRAFTSMAN
1. What kinds of tiles are best suited for heavy traffic areas like kitchens and mudrooms?
All tile and stone are beautiful and durable. However, porcelain tile is considered virtually indestructible, and it comes in an astonishing variety of styles and colors. Many people mistakenly believe porcelain and ceramic tiles are the same. They are not. Porcelain is extremely hard, dense, non-porous, and unlike ceramic, is completely waterproof. It can be made to look just like slate or other natural stone but doesn’t require sealers, enhancers or special upkeep. Still, don't limit your choices to porcelain. Quarry tile, ceramic, terracotta, and slate can also be excellent choices for moderate-to-heavy traffic areas. For mudrooms and basements, consider selecting a darker tile with color variations, darker grout colors, and tighter grout joints to help hide dirt. Also, remember that a smooth-surfaced tile (honed slate instead of cleft-surface slate, for instance) will help keep dirt from getting trapped in crevices.
2. What common mistakes can doom a tile job to failure?
The most common error we see is inadequate or improper preparation of the floor or wall surface that is to receive the ceramic, stone or glass tile. Always remember that tile is a hard, rigid material. Without perfectly even support beneath its entire surface, any tile will eventually crack.
The key to a flawless and long-lived installation is both proper evaluation and adequate preparation of existing substrate conditions. This involves three basic considerations:
- Is the existing surface smooth and flat? All bumps, bows or humps must be eliminated—tile does not bend!
- Is the existing surface sound and rigid? Eliminating vertical or lateral movement in the substrate is critical.
- Is the floor level and are the walls plumb? If not, plan for remedial action.
We'd be happy to answer your questions about choosing and using tile and stone for any interior project.
Just contact us at: (914) 944 4470 or by email.