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The Many Looks of Porcelain Tile

Hardwood and natural stone flooring provides an elegant and traditional look to a home or office, but they can be both expensive and hard to maintain. You can get the look of stone or wood in your home for a fraction of the price by choosing porcelain tile. Porcelain tile is crafted of clay baked at high temperatures that make it dense and incredibly durable. The strength of the material makes it a great choice for high-traffic areas of the home.

Looks You Can Achieve with Porcelain Tile

Because it is man-made, porcelain tile comes in a wide range of colors, looks, and textures from which to choose. Browse the entire collection to discover natural stone and wood-inspired looks that will elevate any interior décor.

Slate Look

Kaska Italian Porcelain Tile – Slate Series / Multicolor

Rich texture and interesting color variations make slate a sought-after flooring in both residential and commercial spaces. Porcelain tile designed to look like various types of slate provide the same look and texture at a fraction of the price. River slate, Italian slate, and Torino slate are just a few of variations available when you order porcelain tile.

Travertine Look

Salerno Coastal Travertine Collection – Porcelain Tile / Gray

Travertine floors have grown in popularity because of their natural, rustic elegance. The same lovely color variations that make them a sought-after flooring can be achieved with travertine-look porcelain tile as well. These tiles are often large in scale, much like a true travertine would be, enhancing the authentic look of the tile.

Marble Look

Torino Italian Porcelain Tile – Latitude Marble / SKU: 15191976

Marble has long been synonymous with luxury, but it comes at a price. Natural marble is expensive, and it can be difficult to find multiple slabs that offer similar color variations. The rich color variations make marble-look tile an elegant way to dress up the floors or walls of both wet and dry spaces. Add it to mud rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and all the places that hard floors are ideal. With so many different variations of marble-style porcelain tile available, it is easy to find one that enhances the existing look of the space.

Stone Look

Cabot Porcelain Tile – Dimensions Series / SKU: 10089152

Stone brings a natural sophistication to a space while offering minimal color variation. Natural stone can make a major dent in a redecorating budget, but porcelain tile designed to look like stone provides the same appearance at a fraction of the price. Stone-look porcelain tile comes in a wide variety of color options to choose from, making it easy to find a hue that pairs perfectly with the existing interior décor. The variations within this collection range from smooth to rough in texture, mimicking the many surfaces of natural stone.

Wood Look

Cabot Porcelain Tile – Redwood Series / SKU: 10083319

Achieve the look of rich mahogany, coastal driftwood, classic oak, and every wood in between by choosing porcelain tile designed to look like these hard-to-care-for and expensive hardwood options. Unlike natural hardwood, wood-look tiles can be featured in any room of the home, including wet areas. It ranges from richly textured to perfectly smooth, depending upon your personal preference.

Benefits of Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tile, no matter what the style, provides a durable and water-resistant surface that makes it an ideal choice for use in any room of the home. Run it from the front door, through the living areas and kitchen. It can even be used in the bathroom. The versatile and durable design of porcelain tile is resistant to wear and staining, making it a long-lasting choice. For the best results, porcelain tile should be professionally installed to ensure a level surface and even grout lines. Finish the installation with contrasting grout to call attention to the individual pieces of tile or keep the grout color close to the tile color for a subtle effect.

Consider the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) Ratings

Porcelain tile is a man-made material that gets assigned one of six PEI ratings. The PEI rating indicates the hardness of the material. First, consider the area in which the material is featured. Choose a porcelain tile with a hardness rating recommended for that area of the home.

  • PEI 0: Wall use only
  • PEI 1: Wall and light-traffic flooring
  • PEI 2: Light to moderate traffic flooring
  • PEI 3: Residential and light commercial flooring
  • PEI 4: Residential and light to moderate commercial flooring
  • PEI 5: High-traffic residential and commercial use

Arrange for Professional Installation

Unless you have experience installing tile flooring, professional installation is highly recommended. A level subfloor is necessary as a starting off point. Evenly laid grout secures the tiles in place. For a professional look, even spacing of the tiles, clean cuts with a wet saw, and precise application of grout is necessary. Consider the cost of professional installation when selecting a tile that fits within the design budget. Simply changing up the direction of the tile installation can alter the look of the space. Consider installing the tile in a diagonal pattern for a modern twist.

How to Maintain Porcelain Tile

The natural stone and wood-look porcelain tiles chosen are easy to keep looking like new. Sweep or vacuum the floors with a hard floor vacuum to remove any debris once or twice a week. For a deeper clean, mop the floors with warm water and a quarter cup of white vinegar to remove caked-on dirt and restore shine to the flooring. For tiles installed on walls, use the same cleaning solution along with a simple sponge to wipe the tiles clean. Although resistant to staining, there are some easy tips for removing any stains you might find over time.

With so many different sizes, color variations, textures, and styles to choose from, it is easy to find porcelain tile that offers contemporary, country, southwestern, traditional, or glamorous appeal. No matter what the style of home, there’s a version of porcelain tile designed to provide durable elegance for many years to come. Consider completing the look by adding area rugs and welcome mats in the highest-traffic areas of the home.

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