Published at Wednesday, July 26th 2017. by Solaina in Flooring.
Ceramic tile is probably the most durable types of flooring and is typically installed in entry areas, where sand scuffing and water accumulations are the norm. Bathrooms and kitchens often get this type of floor treatment as well, but due to the high cost of installation, homeowners tend to not include these areas. Ceramic tile are typically a square tile, although interlocking units are on the market, in standard square measurements of 4", 6",8" or 12". They are installed by one of two primary methods, either set into a thin mortar bed (called "thinset adhesive"), which also acts like glue, or a heavyset bed of 1-1/2" normal mortar base. For all ceramic tile installations, the floor must be built up to ensure the strength required to prevent tile or joint cracking. Often, installers put down a material called "cement board", which is much like drywall, but is made of glass fibers and cement. In any case, ensure that your installer will offer you a guarantee against future cracking or uplift of tiles. Ceramic tiles require little maintenance, but beware, water on glossy floor tiles can be very slippery, and many a time, a homeowner has resented the installation of a high gloss tile, over a bathroom floor area.
We personally do not care for prefinished flooring due to installation problems associated with it, so our product requires site applied finish. This means that your floor finish if site applied will be easier to sand and refinish than a prefinished floor. Also you do not have to deal with that micro bevel groove between each board that tends to fill up with dust and crumbs. Most prefinished hardwood floors really can`t be refinished easily. To sand it off means that the wear layer has to be thicker than the height of the nails and have room to sand off the micro bevel between boards; that amounts to a lot of sanding. You also will not be able to spot sand or touch up parts of the floor.
Of all the wood flooring, the most often installed is the parquet tile. They consist of square interlocking wood strips, held together with glues and/or metal wires. Often they come as single 6"x6", or multiple 12"x12" square tiles, about 1/4" thick. They are glued directly to the sub-flooring, and are strong enough to span small deviations in it. The wood is often prefinished, and requires little maintenance. Parquet floors are a cheaper alternative to strip flooring, providing the same warm, durable surface.
If your price-point is not even in the same zip code, maybe it is in a different state, start shopping other options. For example if you are in the $1-2/sf range look at the deep discounters or laminate options. The FSC certified 12mm exterior birch plywood that we use to manufacturer the engineered flooring costs us that much alone, not counting all the other labor and materials.
Installing interlocking floor tiles is a much easier and user friendly process. They are designed to clip together, eliminating the need for measuring spaces and also leaving room for the tiles to settle. Each tile is surrounded with divots that lock to the other interlocking floor tiles. They clip together easily, much like a jigsaw puzzle, and allow a perfect seamless finish. If a mistake is made while installing the interlocking tiles, it is easy to fix. Simply pull them apart and start over. As no adhesive is generally used, they do not need to be pried up, risking damage to the floor.
Dust, grit and moisture are gifts of nature and we all have to deal with them. Grit which stems from sand or dirt being tracked from the outdoors on the surface works like sandpaper on the floor finish. Dust mites, balls and the like are merely pulverized bits of dirt which in essence acts in the same way as grit over the long haul on your floors. Once your floor finish gets damaged grit and dust left on the surface tend to discolor the hardwood while being ground into the surface pores with each step made on top of it like a hammer pounding stroke after stroke.