Kitchen Tile Pros and Cons: Porcelain, Ceramic, and Natural Stone
If you’ve ever seen Nicole selecting tile, you know she is in her happy place. She knows how to hone in and find her vision, and before you know it, she’s laid out 5-6 incredible tile slabs for us to choose from. The hard part? Narrowing it down to just one.
“I love telling a story through tile – it becomes a creative outlet. Try to concentrate on it being more of a focal point and less a surface,” Nicole shares.
While Nicole gets excited at the thought of choosing tile, others are overwhelmed at the sheer number of options. Alonso Pena, of Artisan Tile at Whitfield Design, suggests waiting until the end of your kitchen design to choose tiles, so you know the exact colors and style you want to match.
“Sometimes people get excited and start selecting a tile before the countertops or the cabinets are selected. We recommend they wait until they have the whole design of the kitchen,” Alonso said.
If you know the type of tile you want in your kitchen – porcelain, ceramic, or natural stone – you can narrow down your options. For the kitchen floor, it’s important to have something durable and spill-proof. We go through three of the most popular tile choices for kitchen flooring.
Porcelain and ceramic have many similarities, including color and size options. Because sand is added to the clay mixture before being heated, porcelain is harder and less porous than ceramic tiles. With high-traffic and the use of liquids for cooking and cleaning, the durability of porcelain makes it a great option for the kitchen floor.
Since it is a harder material, porcelain can be more challenging to cut. With the right person installing the tile, this should not cause much on an issue, but it is something to consider if you are going the DIY route.
Ceramic tile is softer and more porous than porcelain tile, making it easier to cut for installation. A glazing process helps to harden the surface. This also protects the tile from spills, making it easy to clean. Some ceramic tile is made for wall use only, so check with the manufacturer before selecting ceramic tile for your kitchen flooring.
Like porcelain, ceramic tiles are available in numerous colors, designs, and textures. This is where Alonso’s tip of choosing your style and color of the rest of the kitchen will help you narrow down your options.
Natural stone tiles are just that – tiles made of stone. The most popular stone options for tile include slate, granite, limestone, travertine, and marble. These tiles often come in larger sizes and must be re-sealed every two to three years.
Natural stone tiles can be polished or honed. Polished stone tile has a beautiful shine, but can be slippery. Honed tines have a rougher texture and duller colors.
Trending in 2019
One of the biggest trends Claudia Santangelo, owner and decorator of Artisan Tile at Whitfield Design, is seeing this year is tile that mimics the appearance of wood. Wood flooring throughout main living areas continues to be popular, but not everyone likes real wood in the kitchen because it needs a surface finish to seal the wood and protect it from water.
“People are going for the wood-look tile, mostly in gray shades,” Santangelo said. Wood-look tile is either ceramic or porcelain, often coming in planks like real wood.