Kitchen Tiles


Typically, one main floor tile is used throughout a house from Living Area to Kitchens to passageways etc, however, depending on one’s taste, anything can be done. In cases where different tiles are used in different areas, a decorative border of some type is suggested on the door thresholds separating these areas.

Recommended PEI rating: 3 or above

 

 

 

Floor Tile Finish

When selecting a kitchen floor tile, a matt finish with some level of non-skid quality should be looked at. Gloss or semi-gloss finish tiles should be avoided due to the likelihood of liquid spilling on the floor, or even oil splatter from cooking etc. In any case, spilt liquids in a kitchen should be cleaned up as soon as possible to avoid any potential accidents.

Tile Size

Tile size is not really a functional issue on a kitchen floor, it is more of a design issue. If for design purposes a different tile is used in the kitchen than the rest of the home, then there would be two(2) things to consider: (1) If the kitchen tile size is different to the adjacent tile, then laying the tile on the diagonal may be useful to avoid the grout lines not lining up. (2) Ensure that the thickness of the tile is not bigger than the adjacent tile to avoid any sort of ‘lip’ or uneven surface that may pose a risk of tripping (if this cannot be avoided, there are transition strips that can be used to accommodate different levels of floors)..

Countertops

There are several options when it comes to a kitchen countertop but the main ones are Granite, Tile (Ceramic or Porcelain), Acrylic Solid Surface or Post-Form (plywood and laminate). Without going into too much detail, here are some things to consider:

  • Granite: Granite is a beautiful natural stone with a variety of colours and patterns. Although it is a durable substance, nearly all Granite needs to be sealed correctly and maintained with periodic re-sealing. Some granites are not as durable as others and will require more maintenance. Fabrication and installation quality of granite is just as, or more important than, the Granite itself; be mindful of which contractors you choose. It is also the most expensive option.
  • Tile (Ceramic or Porcelain): Both ceramic and porcelain tile can be used on countertops and backsplashes. They are both durable enough to take hot pots and dishes without any problem and offer a wider array of colors and finishes. It is recommended that a semi-gloss or high-gloss finish is used to facilitate easy cleaning. The most common concern when using tile on a countertop is the grout lines and the difficulty to keep them clean, however, with new stain resistant grouts and epoxy grouts this problem can be easily addressed. Porcelain tile is a natural stone and is used more often mainly because of the high-gloss polished finishes as well as the larger formats available. Porcelain tile is available in large formats such as 24″x48″, which then eliminates any horizontal grout lines (since most countertops are 24″ deep) and would only have a few, very thin, vertical grout lines. For a seamless look, porcelain tile can be used on both the countertop and backsplash, or a combination of the two can be used where porcelain tile is used on the countertop and ceramic tile used on the backsplash to create a more decorative look using inserts and/or borders. Ceramic and Porcelain tile are also the most inexpensive options.
  • Acrylic Solid Surface: Solid surfaces offer a completely seamless countertop and can also be moulded into the sink areas. They are available in different colours but not too many styles. The main drawback with solid surface countertops is that they cannot take hot pots and dishes and may ‘burn’ or ‘scar’ if a hot pot is placed on them. They are also susceptible to scuffs and scratches. However, solid surfaces are relatively ‘re-finishable’, in that most scratches and damages can be sanded and re-polished to remove the damage. They are significantly more costly than ceramic or porcelain tile, but less expensive than granite (though some colours may be the same price as granite). Like granite, fabrication and installation quality is a concern as well.

Mats or Rugs

If a kitchen has an entrance directly from the outside or garage, it is recommended to ensure that you have a good mat or rug at the entrance way. This will trap a lot of the dirt and any small debris that may be carried inside. As simple as this may seem, it can add many years to the life of your floor.

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