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Learn What Arlington Homeowners Need to Know About Tile Flooring

Are you thinking of hiring an Arlington handyman to swap out your carpet floors for tile? There are many benefits to having tile flooring, from longevity and ease of cleaning to the seemingly endless design options.

Tiles are an exceptionally versatile material that can completely change the aesthetic of your home. Not only is most tile flooring very durable and easy to clean, but tile is available in a range of colors, materials, shapes, styles, and finishes. It can almost feel overwhelming to choose what kind of tile flooring will be best for your home!

That’s why we put together this guide with everything Arlington homeowners need to know about tile flooring. Continue reading to learn more about the different kinds of tile, their pros and cons, how to best take care of each tile variety, and when to call the pros at Mr. Handyman of Arlington.

What Are the Different Types of Tile?

There are many different types of tile that Arlington homeowners can choose from when remodeling a kitchen, bathroom, or living area. Read on to discover more information about the different types of tiles our team can help you install, and how to best care for each type of tile.

Ceramic

Ceramic tile flooring can work well in any part of the house, but is typically used in the bathroom and kitchen. This tile variety is very durable and water-resistant, so it’s perfect for areas of your home that have lots of foot traffic, such as foyers, mudrooms, and bathrooms. Ceramic tiles have a hard surface that’s easy to clean because it does not attract dust, dirt, or allergens.

Regularly sweep and vacuum your tile flooring to prevent dirt and debris from becoming stuck in the grout. You can also mop your tile flooring once in a while with warm water and a gentle floor cleaner to upkeep your ceramic tiles.

Porcelain

Porcelain flooring is a kind of ceramic tile, however it’s harder, stronger, and even more water-resistant. This is because porcelain tiles are made with very fine clay that is fired at a very high temperature. Ceramic and porcelain tiles both come in a variety of sizes and colors. However, porcelain tends to be more brittle than ceramic.

Keep your porcelain tiles polished and clean by wiping with hot water and scrubbing away stains with a bristle brush. You can use white vinegar and water or a commercial tile cleaner to wash dirt, dust, and debris from your tile flooring. Be sure to dry afterwards with a clean towel.

Slate

Slate flooring is cut from an exceptionally strong and naturally beautiful stone. Tile flooring made out of slate is very strong and doesn’t break, chip, or crack easily. However, slate requires a little extra maintenance and needs to be sealed regularly to prevent stains. Installing slate tile flooring gives your home a sleek and modern look. However, since it’s quite a heavy stone, installation is best left to the professionals atMr. Handyman of Arlington.

To take care of your slate flooring, use a mop with a gentle cleaning agent; you can buy cleaning products specifically made to wash natural stone. Alternatively, you can use a gentle soap that is pH neutral. Avoid using lemon or vinegar when cleaning your slate floors. You may let the tile air dry, or use a clean towel.

Marble

Marble is sourced from quarries all around the world and is known for being a smooth and cool stone that ranges in a variety of naturally created colors. Marble also exudes an element of luxury. However, marble is quite a soft stone—which is why it’s so often used in sculptures. While good for sculpting, the drawback of marble’s malleability is that it can be chipped and scratched easily. Marble is also very porous, so if water is left on it for too long it could discolor. Marble is best used as tile flooring in areas of lower foot traffic, like a parlor.

It’s very important not to get marble tile flooring too wet. Do not mop with a traditional bucket and water. Rather, use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to gently dust and polish. If your marble floors become quite dirty—say a puppy with muddy paws runs across it—use a clean, lightly damp microfiber cloth. Follow by quickly drying the tiles with a clean cloth.

Cork

Cork flooring does not usually come to mind when you hear the word “tile,” but this material is becoming increasingly popular in American homes. Cork tiles are growing in popularity because they are a renewable resource that is inexpensive to install. Though cork flooring is less durable than porcelain, ceramic, or slate tile, it has the benefit of acting as a good insulator and provides a soft, cushioned surface. You may find this especially appealing if you have small children. Yet, cork may not be your ideal material to use if you have pets because it scratches easily.

Not all brooms work well when trying to clean cork tiling. It’s best to use a soft-bristled brush or a static duster. Otherwise, you may use a vacuum that’s suitable to clean hardwood floors. The key is to remember that cork tile flooring damages easily, so however you choose to clean it you must treat it gently. Aim to vacuum or sweep your cork tile flooring at least two to three times a week.

Laminate

While laminate flooring is not technically a kind of tile, it can look almost identical to ceramic tiles and is cost-effective and fairly scratch resistant. Laminate flooring is available in two shapes: squares that look like tile flooring or planks that look like three or four tiles stacked in a row. Laminate flooring clicks together, whereas tiles require mortar to set. Therefore, laminate is a much simpler material to install.

Laminate tile flooring can be swept and vacuumed with conventional brooms and vacuum cleaners. The best way to clean away dust, dirt, and grime is with a solution of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the water and vinegar solution on your laminate tile flooring and mop with a microfiber cloth.

Glass

Glass tile flooring is exceptionally stain-resistant—especially compared to natural stone. Although glass tiling offers a clean and minimalist aesthetic, it is not the best choice for tile flooring in areas of heavy foot-traffic like the kitchen or family room because it can chip quite easily along the edges.

Water and vinegar mixed in a spray bottle is also an effective way to clean glass tiles. Pro tip: after spraying your mixture of water and vinegar onto your glass tile flooring, let it sit for around 10-minutes. This will help breakdown any build-up on the tiles. Then, wipe up with a soft, clean towel.

Cement

Cement tiles have been used since the 19th century. However, they are recently experiencing a comeback. This material is very versatile and is available in many patterns and colors. Even though cement tiles are very porous, this feature actually enhances the pattern over time. Cement is very durable and can be sanded and resealed over time—similar to wood flooring—to help your cement tile flooring look good-as-new. However, cement tile flooring must also be resealed at least once a month to maintain the vibrancy of its patterns.

Maintain your cement tile flooring by cleaning up spills as soon as possible. Since cement is porous—like marble—if liquid is left on the floor for too long it could stain it. Cement tiles can be swept to clean up dust and debris. When washing cement tiles, be sure to use a mild pH-neutral soap and water solution. Never use an acid-based cleaning solution like vinegar or bleach because it can damage the surface of the tile.

Granite

Like marble and slate, granite tile flooring is made out of a natural stone. While granite looks similar to marble, granite is less expensive and more durable. Additionally, when properly sealed, granite tiling is very resistant to moisture. This tiling is also stain-resistant, hypoallergenic, and can last a lifetime.

The best way to clean your granite flooring is with warm water and a soft cloth. Avoid using harsh detergents. Rather, like other natural stones, use a gentle pH-neutral soap, so that you do not damage the stone.

Limestone

Limestone is another natural stone tile available in a range of neutral tones including: soft grays, creams, beige, yellows, and browns. It’s also available in a variety of finish options like honed, glossy, and leather. Limestone tile is durable but soft, making it easy to cut in a variety of shapes and sizes. Since it’s also porous—like marble—it’s advised to seal limestone tile flooring to get the most wear out of this material. However, since limestone is quite strong it is an excellent choice for areas of high foot-traffic.

To clean limestone, avoid acidic cleaning agents like vinegar or lemon. Rather, sweep regularly to remove dust and debris and mop with a stone safe cleaner or pH-neutral soap.

Quarry Tile

Unlike the name would suggest, quarry tile flooring is not found in a quarry. It’s actually made with ground materials—such as feldspar, clay, and shale—baked at over 2,000-degrees in a process similar to brick. Quarry tile flooring is naturally dense, nonporous, and water-resistant. Available in a glazed or natural finish, this material does not need to be sealed.

Soap and water are typically sufficient to keep quarry tile clean—just avoid cleaning agents that are too acidic. Additionally, quarry tile flooring can be swept with a broom to keep it free from dust and debris.

What are the Different Types of Grout?

Each variety has its own pros and cons and should be used for specific materials and projects. Continue reading to discover the basic differences between each kind of grout:

  • Unsanded grout: Sand-free and very smooth, this grout is best used when applied to vertical surfaces. It should be used in joints that are less than 1/8” wide.

  • Finely sanded grout: Containing sand, this grout is thicker and more durable than unsanded grout. For that reason, it can’t be used on fine joints. Sanded grout is best used when applied to floor tiles where the joints are 1/8” to 3/8” wide.

  • Quarry-type grout: Quarry-type grout incorporates a coarser grade of sand than finely sanded grout. It’s best used for joints that are 3/8” to 1/2” wide.

  • Epoxy grout: Epoxy grout is made out of an epoxy resin and hardener and is highly resistant to stains and chemicals. Epoxy grout is very strong, making it ideal for areas that are stained easily.

Mr. Handyman of Arlington Tile Flooring Services

At Mr. Handyman of Arlington, our qualified and skillful team is very experienced at installing a variety of tile flooring. Whether you are looking to spruce-up your space or are renovating a fixer-upper, we can help install your ideal tile flooring.

Tile installation can be a tricky process if you’re not well practiced at completing home renovation projects on your own. Preparing the subfloor is a very important step since correct preparation prevents water damage and ensures your tile flooring will last a long time. Preparing the subfloor is often overlooked by DIYers, but our expert team always ensures that we have the necessary materials to prepare your subfloor the right way.

We will also be sure to bring all the tools needed to layout your tiles, keeping your tile flooring even and straight. If you want a heavy tile like slate, we will also make sure your floor has the necessary reinforcements for proper installation.

Once we have carefully laid your tile, we will also fill the grout lines. After the grout has fully cured in a few weeks, we will come back to your home and apply the grout sealant to finish the job.

Hire a Mr. Handyman of Arlington Technician Today!

Are you ready to spruce-up your home with brand-new tile flooring? We invite you to give our friendly and courteous staff a call at 817-567-2433 or visit our Arlington handyman service page to get started today. We look forward to making your acquaintance and learning more about your tile flooring project.