CERAMIC TILE VS NATURAL STONE: WHAT’S BEST FOR YOUR FLOOR

INTRODUCTION

Choosing your flooring presents a whole lot of challenges which includes narrowing down the options to the best choice, without having to feel that you have shortchanged yourself. Beyond the aesthetics, many homeowners will want to understand what benefits are accruable to them for choosing ceramic tiles against natural stone or vice versa. Ceramic tiles and natural Stone are wonderful options in their own rights, having their fair share of benefits and drawbacks, but there’s only one choice to be made and it depends on your circumstance.

COMPOSITION

Ceramic tiles are made from clay and sediments which are baked hard in a kiln. They made come in glazed or unglazed forms and according to the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) are rated from Class 1-3, depending on their temperature of kilning and ability to withstand traffic.

Natural stones are sourced from rocks, be it igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic. They can come in form of marble, slate and limestone after passing through high temperature and pressure treatment.

AESTHETICS

If your eye is set on the aesthetic value your flooring will impart on your home, both natural stone and ceramic tiles will give you a nice result. However, ceramic tiles come in varieties of designs and patterns that give them an edge over their natural stone counterparts. Also worthy of note, is that ceramic tiles may lose their appealing candour over the years but natural stones gives room for re-living antiquity ,re-polishing and retaining the forever new appearance.

DURABILITY

No one wants to keep overhauling the flooring often than necessary, hence the need to look out for durable flooring options. The ceramic tiles although passed through the kilns are inferior to natural stones, when their abilities to withstand traffic is compared. They are also less weather and water resistant, giving the natural stones an edge for exterior, bathroom surfaces.

EASE OF MAINTAINANCE

Ceramic tiles gives you the easiest cleaning alternatives given that you can possibly use any cleaning agent to clean it’s surfaces as long as it doesn’t degrade the grout lines. For natural stone, this is a different story. There is need for meticulousness in cleaning as any inappropriate cleaning agent may cause reactions with the stone and leave a permanent stain. Also in natural stones, there is need for sealing the surfaces to cover hiiden faults.

EASE OF INSTALLATION

Ceramic tiles are unambiguous and have proven to be easier to install , given their abundance in the market. Natural stones given their complexity are harder to install and is not a “do it yourself” project. The differences in ease of installation may reflect in their installation costs.

CONCLUSION

Stone flooring or ceramic tiling both have their pros and cons. It may be hard to choose just one of the duo but for durable, antique looking floors, stone flooring carries the day with it’s abrasive and wear resistant surfaces. If carefully noticed, the talk about cost was not brought up because the quality of ceramic tiles or the cost of maintanace of stone flooring over the years will determine which flooring is more cost effective.