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.
Working in the flooring industry we often have customers calling us because they are interested in a solid oak floor. More often than not we end up suggesting they go down the engineered route and then being asked the same thing, `why choose an engineered wood floor over a solid oak floor and does it really feel and look as beautiful?` We are writing this article to briefly outline the main advantages of our engineered wood flooring and why now so many people are choosing the engineered over the traditional solid oak flooring. Throughout this article I will write in reference to a top quality engineered oak flooring with multiple layers of ply wood under core and a thick, long lasting wear layer. I can not speak on behalf of all engineered wood floors as they differ massively in quality and price. In all cases you need to check thoroughly the specifications of the product on offer.
When it comes to price, interlocking floor tiles are significantly less expensive than standard tiles. The need for additional flooring or plywood, adhesive, tools and man hours can make standard floor tiles thousands of dollars more expensive than interlocking floor tiles. Interlocking floor tiles require very few tools and in most cases, can be placed directly on the floor and hammered in with a rubber mallet. They are also much easier to install without the assistance of a professional. This eliminates the need to hire expensive contractors to do the work. People who choose interlocking floor tiles can expect to save anywhere from $500 to $5000 depending on the area being tiled and the expense of the tile chosen. For a percentage of the traditional tile cost, those who choose interlocking tiles receive the same quality floor or better.
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