7 factors to choose a tile for your flooring
Two decades ago, tile use in house flooring was unheard of. Marble, whether Italian, Makrana, or of lower quality, was the uniform choice. Previously, terrazzo flooring was a high-end option, while simple cement concrete flooring was the norm. The drawing-room, kitchen, and bathrooms all had terrazzo flooring. And the bedrooms and corridors had cement concrete flooring. Pre-cast terrazzo flooring tiles were only used in specific areas when a job needed quick completion.
The Indian market felt the presence of porcelain and vitrified tiles back then. Floors rarely used Ceramic tiles. The largest size of ceramic tiles remained limited to 12 x 12 inches or at most 16×16 inches. Porcelain and vitrified tiles were also only available in smaller sizes, with the largest size being 2 x 2 ft. The tile quality, too, had much room for improvement.
Over the last decade, tile production has undergone extensive changes. The progress has been gradual but encouraging. The word ‘vitrified,’ which once sounded strange, is now almost globally known. Users now give equal preference to vitrified tiles and marble when selecting flooring materials. Over the last ten years, the demand for vitrified tiles has generated healthy competition among manufacturers. They are the ones who have worked hard to improve the quality and finish of these tiles to gain a stronger market position.
Tile Quality Content:
In the case of marble, users have regarded Italian marble as the best choice, even though it is much porous, frail, and more expensive than other varieties of marble. There are numerous types of marble in the market. However, the user must rely heavily on the supplier’s word regarding the quality and strength of the marble lot to be chosen. However, in the case of tiles, it is simple to know which tile is superior to others. There are three types of vitrified tiles: soluble-salt vitrified tiles, double-charged vitrified tiles, and full-body vitrified tiles. Double-charged tiles are more expensive than soluble-salt tiles, and full-body tiles are more costly than double-charged tiles. So, in the case of tiles, one can decide based on specific criteria.
Tile Finish Factor:
The average user prefers the whitest marble possible, free of black, green, or grey streaks when it comes to marble. Yes, they can choose light-colored marble when selecting Italian marble. In the case of tiles, a dizzying array of finishes are now available. Flat-screen printing, Roto color printing, and digital color printing of tiles are various methods available for tile printing. Tiles come in a variety of colors. Most people prefer light colors to make their rooms appear larger and brighter. Marble and granite finishes, as well as polished and unpolished surfaces, are available in tiles. The perfect finish of vitrified tiles often makes it difficult to tell whether they are tiles, granite, or marble flooring. On the other hand, the uniformity in color and finish aids in determining that tiles, rather than natural stone, were used on the floor.
Tile Grinding and Polishing:
Marble requires many grinding and polishing operations before the floors are ready for use. Tiles do not require such grinding or polishing, and the floor is ready for use just after laying it. Grinding and polishing marble flooring is a messy job that frequently interferes with painting the walls. Using tiles saves time and money rather than grinding and polishing marble or granite floors. Polishing is expensive, and no one wants to settle for less. In the case of tiles, all finishes, such as high gloss, semi-gloss, and matt finish, are readily available, and the user can choose from them.
Marble needs repolishing after a few years. At the same time, the glazing and finish of tiles remain intact even after years of use. Vitrified tiles have high dimensional accuracy, stain & abrasion-resistant. Their Moh value is available on the charts for scratch resistance. The Moh value should be greater than 6. Vitrified tiles also have no water absorption. Because the design and color extend to the full depth of the tiles, wear and tear are not visible in full-body tiles. As a result, these tiles are ideal for high-traffic areas or commercial settings. In addition, any scratches are not visible in them.
Cost Factors to consider:
In terms of cost, vitrified tiles outperform marble. These are significantly less expensive than Italian marble and granite. Many manufacturers have launched a wide range of vitrified tiles, which created fierce competition in the tile market. This competition is advantageous to the customer. Even larger-sized tiles are now available at such low prices. Many tile producers in Morbi (also known as Morvi) in Gujarat use innovative marketing strategies to sell high-quality tiles at lower prices.
Because marble is a natural material, its behavior is unpredictable. After a few years, the lot that appears to be in good condition today may begin to show signs of pitting and discoloration. Its polish also fades after a few years. This condition pushes the user to repolish to restore its new and gleaming appearance. Before shipping to the market, tiles manufacturing occurs in controlled environments followed by stringent testing. As a result, they last for years with no discoloration or pitting issues. However, the latest generation of large-sized vitrified tiles has cast doubt on the ‘evergreen marble’.
In terms of thickness, marble outperforms tiles, typically present in thicknesses ranging from 9 mm to 10 mm. The thickness of the tiles seen now is 12 mm. Some manufacturers produce fully vitrified tiles as thick as 16 mm. Fully vitrified tiles of 16 mm thickness are more durable and expensive than tiles of lesser thickness but greater strength. Morbi tile manufacturers produce 9 mm thick tiles and sell them at a low market price. Slabs of marble are typically 15-16 mm thick. In the case of tiles, care is must to ensure that the tiles have a good base. Also, it is a must that no voids or cavities remain beneath the tiles as such voids may cause tile breakage under load.
Quick to Install:
Everyone wants to finish their house as soon as possible in today’s world. Unfortunately, the housebuilders have succumbed to a type of impatience. They prefer ready-to-use items rather than wasting time preparing things on-site. The use of tiles in flooring saves time, effort, and money. Another important consideration is avoiding the mess of grinding and polishing. Then marble’s behavior is unpredictable. As a result, the odds are in favor of tiles. There is only one disadvantage of using tiles. Extra care is a must to ensure no voids or air cavities are present beneath the tiles while laying them. So the mantra is to put in some extra effort when laying tiles, apply them properly, and save some valuable time and money.