Tile Flooring FAQs

Here are some tile flooring FAQs. If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask using the contact form and your question will be answered.

What is the difference between wall tile and floor tiles?

Every ceramic or porcelain tile has a certain COF rating. Floor tiles must have a minimum level of friction to make it safe to walk on.  This is called Coefficient of Friction or COF, with higher numbers representing more friction. Wall tiles can be as slick as glass (often it literally is glass) because friction doesn’t matter.  As long as the tile has a COF of 0.50 or greater, the tile can be used on interior floors. Exterior paver tile goes even higher, up to COF 0.60.

The Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) issues five classes of PEI ratings that tile companies can use if they wish. Ratings range from Class 1 (No foot traffic, walls only) to Class 5 (Heavy-duty foot traffic, as found in commercial settings).

In short, never use wall tile on floors.

 

Where can I install tile floors?

Tile floors can be installed in any room of the house. It is typically installed in kitchens and bathrooms. In some regions, it is installed in bedrooms and family areas.

 

What makes porcelain tiles different than ceramic tiles?

Porcelain tile is harder than ceramic and offers greater design flexibility. Although both are made from clay and other naturally occurring materials fired in a kiln, the clay used to make porcelain tile is more refined and purified. As a result porcelain tile is more expensive than ceramic.

 

What maintenance should I do on tile floors?

Basic maintenance involves regular sweeping and mopping. When mopping, you can use a mild detergent designed for tile floors. Avoid any chemicals that have bleach, ammonia, or wax. Place mats or rugs in high traffic areas. Put felt bottoms on chairs or any other furniture that moves regularly to avoid scratches and scuffs.

 

How long will ceramic tiles last?

Ceramic tiles are designed to last a very long time. According to the Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components, which was prepared in 2007 by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the average life expectancy of a ceramic tile floor is 75 to 100 years, while natural stone such as marble and granite can last more than 100 years.

 

What can I do if a floor tile is broken?

If a floor tile is damage, be relieved that it can be removed and replaced. The first step is to remove the grout around the damaged tile while being careful not to affect undamaged tiles. Next, use a chisel to remove the damaged tile. Once cleaned out, apply adhesive/grout in the location, and install the new tile. Allow at least 24 hours for the tile to set.

 

Can I installed tile over vinyl flooring?

Tile can be installed over vinyl although it is recommended to remove it. If you decide to install over vinyl flooring, clean the vinyl flooring to remove grease and oils. From there, the mortar and tile can be laid on top.

 

How can I clean grout?

There are natural ways to clean grout. First, wipe the grout with hot water. Then mix 50-50 vinegar and water and put the mixture on the grout. After five minutes use a soft brush to clean the dirt. Mop the entire floor with a damp mop.

 

How can I make my tile floors less slippery?

One proven method is to mop the floor with a mixture of white vinegar and warm water (one cup of vinegar for every gallon of water). This should make the floor less slippery.