There are many options available for Flooring tiles, they can range from Wood flooring, Laminate tiles, Vinyl tiles, Porcelain tiles, Ceramic tiles, and natural stone tiles like Granite tiles, Marble tiles, Limestone tiles, Travertine tiles, Basalt Tiles, Sandstone tiles and more.
The most popular choice for a durable tile is either porcelain tiles or natural stone tiles. Natural stone tiles also come in many different types and are suitable for various applications.
Let's look into the cost of the material, the look and feel, the availability of colors and the care and maintenance. Based on this information you can make an informed decision to select the right tile for your project.
Natural stone tiles are typically more expensive than porcelain tiles, some marble tiles that are hard to find are high price tiles, as natural stone tiles cannot be manufactured and quarried only from specific parts of the world. The cost of the natural stone tile are based on various factors like availability, the rarity and the origin of the stone.
Porcelain tiles are manufactured and the raw material is not very expensive and can be made in many various patterns, design, and colors. Compared to natural stone tiles, porcelain tiles are affordable and reasonable price.
Aesthetic look & feel
Natural stone is product of nature and will have its own character, every tile is unique, beautiful and has natural variations. Porcelain tiles manufacturing technology has become advanced in the recent years that high end porcelain tiles look and feel just like natural stone tiles, the colors and the textures of the natural stone tiles can be imitated to the minutest details. But still, one is a natural tile product and the other manufactured tile product.
The colors of natural stone tiles are limited, we get what nature has to offer, there is a lot of variation in the pattern and the design within the same tile lot of natural stones. If you love the natural beauty of the stone tiles, then nothing can match these tiles. If you are more interested in the colors of your choice, design and pattern then porcelain tiles can offer a wide array of colors and patterns that look very close to the natural stone tiles.
Characteristics of the Tiles
The inherent characteristics of the Natural Stone tiles is that they are porous and moisture sensitive, depending on the type of natural stone and the structure of the stone it varies because of the tiny fissures, pores, filled holes, and other weak areas. This makes the tiles vulnerable to scratching, staining, etching. Because of this natural stone tiles require periodic sealing and maintenance.
Porcelain tiles are hard and is virtually impervious to moisture. Unlike natural stone, porcelain tile have no pores to collect moisture that infiltrate. Depending on the finish, for example gloss, matte of semi- gloss porcelain tiles are stain resistant, but care has to be taken to avoid exposure to permanent dyes and inks.
Maintenance of the tiles
There are many different types of Natural Stones tile that vary in the hardness and chemical structure of formation. Granite Tiles are durable and harder and need less maintenance and does not stain as the marble tiles. Calcium carbonate and calcite based stones like marble tiles and limestone tiles require a lot of care and maintenance. No matter which natural stone you use, periodical sealing is required.
Everyday routine cleaning is important for both porcelain and natural stone tiles.
Porcelain tiles are very durable, dense and very resilient, requires less maintenance, the most important part of the porcelain tile installation is the grout maintenance.
If you are trying to achieve only a stone look with very minimal maintenance then porcelain is the way to go. But if you are looking for an eternal, ecological, aesthetic material with unique characteristics then nothing compares natural stone tiles.