Like anything else, there are pros and cons to consider when installing new tile floors. Many years of experience tile cleaning in Sacramento has made me aware of almost every type of tile that is used on a floor. Here are a few things to think about before purchasing new tile.
- Smooth tile is easier to keep clean but it will be a little more slippery. Rough tile will give more traction but can be much harder for a homeowner to keep clean
- Darker colors will not typically show dirt as much as lighter colors. Exceptions would be a very dark shiny tile which will show almost anything
- Flat tile without pitting will be much easier to maintain than a tile with “holes” or “pits”. Smooth edges on the tile will also make it easier to keep clean
- Nothing can match the natural beauty of marble, travertine, or limestone floors, however, these natural stones are very soft on the surface and scratch very easily. Also, these three are acid sensitive stones and are susceptible to acid etching (dulling) if an acid comes in contact even one time. All three usually require application of a sealer to the stone to prevent staining
- Porcelain or Ceramic tile are not acid sensitive and generally are hard to scratch
- Most granite is not acid sensitive and does not scratch easily. The drawback with granite is the price…..it will be substantially more than most other choices
If you are looking for a low maintenance floor tile I would recommend a smooth surface porcelain or ceramic tile without pitting and smooth edges. Both are typically very dense and not very susceptible to staining. Neither is acid sensitive (unless a very strong acid is used) so you do not have to worry about surface etching.
If you have indoor cats or dogs I would not recommend using a travertine, marble, or limestone for your floor. Their claws will scratch these surfaces very easily. “Accidents” or vomit will leave etch marks on your floor that will most likely have to be removed by a professional. Neutral pH cleaners MUST be used to clean these surfaces to prevent damage to the stone AND the sealer. Almost every cleaner purchased from the supermarket cleaning aisle is way too harsh for the sealer and many will damage your natural stone
Granite is a great option if cost is not a factor. Many granites require a sealer to be applied to prevent staining, but because they do not scratch easily and are not acid sensitive, they can be a great floor choice