The Pros and Cons of Various Types of Floor Tiles

20 June 2017
 Categories: Home & Garden, Blog


When you're ready for new flooring for your home, tile is the best option in kitchens and bathrooms, where carpeting would otherwise develop mould and mildew from the humidity in those rooms. Tile can also be a good choice for all the rooms in your home, as it's more hygienic than carpeting, and may mean less maintenance and cleaning over the years. There are many types of floor tiles you can purchase today; note a few of those here along with some of their pros and cons, so you know which is the best choice for your home.

Ceramic and porcelain

Ceramic and porcelain tile are created in a factory, but they still have a very natural look to them. These tiles are lighter than actual stone, so they may be easier for a homeowner to install on their own, and may not need bracing of the subfloor to hold up their weight.

If choosing porcelain or ceramic, you need to check what is called the Porcelain Enamel Institute or PEI rating of a tile; the lower the rating, the less resistant the surface will be to scratches and abrasions. A lower rating may mean a more affordable tile, but one that will quickly get scratched and scuffed and might then hold more dirt and grime. Choose a higher PEI rating for floors, and especially for high traffic areas like kitchens and hallways.


Stone is a natural material so it offers a very natural look for your home's flooring; it's also very heavy, so it's durable and isn't likely to scratch and scuff or chip and crack. However, that weight means you will need professionals to install it. Stone might also hold heat and cold, so it may make the home less comfortable during extreme seasons.

Timber look tiles

Hardwood flooring slats require a professional to install and may not be very durable, whereas timber look tiles may simply snap to each other and float over the subfloor, allowing a homeowner to install them on their own. There is also typically a thin foam that is installed under timber look tiles, in order to protect both the tile and the subfloor, and this foam makes the tile softer underfoot. Linoleum timber look tiles are good for bathrooms and kitchens, as they won't absorb moisture and then expand and shrink, and they're very easy to clean. For the look of real wood but without the cost of installation, and for something more durable and comfortable than hardwood, opt for timber look tiles.