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Choosing the Right Floor Tiles: Porcelain vs. Natural Stone

Are you looking to renovate your home? Chances are, you want to get your flooring project off on the right foot. Choosing the right floor tiles is all about pairing your design style with your lifestyle. Here are some key differences between porcelain tiles and natural stone tiles that you should consider before making the investment.

Porcelain Floor Tiles

Porcelain is a reliable and hard-wearing material that can be used on floors and walls. Because it has a low water absorption rate, porcelain floors are virtually impervious to moisture. This also means they are naturally stain resistant, as staining agents can’t readily penetrate the surface.

If you love the look of natural stone or hardwood but not the maintenance, porcelain tiles can be designed to capture the look of high-end, natural materials. Porcelain is relatively low maintenance; the occasional sweeping and mopping is all that is needed on glazed surfaces. However, some polished porcelains do need to be sealed. And with the proper selection of grout, even that is now easy to clean.

What’s great about porcelain is that most can be used in both interior and exterior settings. Certain grades of porcelain tiles are durable enough to withstand the elements, which means you can create a beautiful, organic look in any outdoor space. It’s also a great indoor option if you have an active household, as it can stand up against high traffic areas and those occasional spills that happen.

Natural Stone Tiles

The distinctive beauty of natural stone allows for limitless design possibilities. Among the most popular types of natural stone are slate, marble, travertine, limestone, and granite.

What makes natural stone so appealing is their unique variations in color, veining and texture. Every tile is beautiful, timeless and unique. You can use them to add warm tones to interior and exterior living spaces, or connect the two for a seamless indoor-outdoor flow. Plus, these tiles are colored through, so chips are less noticeable.

When selecting natural stone keep in mind that the stone you receive can look different from the initial sample you fell in love with. If possible, ask to see current stock of the stone. Also, it is important to see several pieces of the stone as the patterning in the tile can change from one piece to the next.

Natural stone typically requires regular sealing and polishing to protect the porous surface from stains. Although regular maintenance is required, the beauty of natural stone is undeniable.

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