Tile Installation Experts
When it comes to laying tile flooring, the quality of your tile installer is the difference between lasting a lifetime or lasting a few months. Atlanta Tile Experts, LLC offers a wide variety of design styles, material types, and grout colors. Since 1996 we have installed hundreds of tile floors in the Alpharetta, Atlanta, Marietta, and Roswell, GA area. We have been involved in every kind of new and remodel home scenario you could imagine and are highly experienced at laying tile flooring.
Commonly Used Tile Flooring Materials
You can choose from tile flooring types, ranging from Natural stone tiles to Manmade tiles with many colors, hues, styles and textures from light to dark and smooth to rough. Tile flooring materials are manufactured from a variety or raw materials such as stone, clay, metal, quartz and terrazzo, each having their own characteristics, defining them. Commonly the two favorites for floor tile are natural stone (such as Travertine) and ceramic. Below are a few tile flooring material types to help you choose.
Ceramic Tile Flooring
Ceramic tile can be characterized into two categories: porcelain and non-porcelain. We recommend using porcelain over non-porcelain ceramic tiles for flooring due to the fact the finish goes completely through the tile. Porcelain tile is also made up of 50% of a pulverized substance called Feldspar, a type of crystal found in rock, which causes a binding reaction during the heating process. It melts into a glass-like substance and binds all of the materials together. The appearance and texture are controlled by the type and heat of the kiln.
Both types of these tile, porcelain and non-porcelain, can have a glaze applied during the process of manufacturing which ranges from high gloss down to matte finishes. Both porcelain and non-porcelain ceramic tile are highly resistant to staining, scratching, and water absorption.
Natural Stone Tile Flooring
Natural stone is cut, quarried, slabbed, finished, and cut to size for the applicable tile surface. The style, texture, and color depend on where and when these were taken from around the world. And there are thousands of locations where these raw materials are quarried. Natural stone is an eco-friendly or green product, and due to its chemical makeup, harsh abrasive chemicals do not need to be used to clean it— making it an even more eco-friendly product. It does, however, need to be sealed because of its porosity. Sealing helps keep it from staining. The other great perk of natural stone is that it hardly shows soap scum or water spots, a huge plus for anyone that hates the appearance of water spots.
Stone tile flooring types commonly used include travertine, marble, and granite. Limestone and slate may also make an appearance.
Travertine Tile Flooring
Travertine is limestone that has been changed by hot springs pressing upward and depositing it in layers. It typically has a two-to three-color variation. It comes in a wide variety of colors, most of which are neutral; this affords great design advantages, as it can be paired with any paint, accent tile, or texture. Travertine isn’t a solid color, but typically has a two- to-three color variation in each slab. If that doesn’t make sense, think of adding chocolate syrup to vanilla ice cream and stirring. As you are stirring, the color variation changes as it’s becoming more and more brown. The same thing applies with travertine; it has the slight color variation happening that gives the tile movement.
Marble Tile Flooring
Marble is one of the most elegant flooring materials that you can choose for your foyer, kitchen or bathroom. All natural, it is harvested from the belly of a mountain in great slabs of stone, which are then sliced down and refined into the individual tiles, slabs, and mosaics that are used in standard construction processes. Marble tiles are available in a wide variety of colors. There are also multicolored marble materials that are available, which feature a variety of hues arranged in the surface of each piece.
Granite Tile Flooring
Granite is a rock that is very dense in structure with hardness almost unmatched, perfect for high traffic areas such as kitchens. Granite has a unique veining and distinctive appearance due to minerals speckled throughout the rock which create many colors and hues. Being almost impervious once it is polished, granite is a great tile flooring material choice!
Limestone Tile Flooring
Limestone offers earthy tones in a variety of shades from light to dark. Limestone has been used in buildings for centuries because of its durability. Ancient Rome was filled with limestone tile examples that survive to this day.
Surface Finishing Options for Natural Stone Tile Flooring
Natural stone tile floor finishes are commonly available in two types; honed, or polished. You must consider where you want to use the tile and its desired appearance before choosing the flooring finish.
Honed Finish Floor Tile
Honed tile lacks the shininess and reflective qualities that polished tile flooring has. Instead, it has a more satin-feel, smooth and velvety to the touch. A Honed finish is very scratch resistant because it lacks the glossy surface of a polished floor. The lack of gloss finish and sealing makes a honed tile flooring surface very porous, and spilled liquids soak in immediately. It is best for foyers and areas that are not likely to have liquid contact.
Polished Finish Floor Tile
A polished finish gives the smooth surface a shiny, much glossier look. The polish that coats the stone floor surface also acts as a type of protection, therefore allowing it to withstand stains better. However, the reflective characteristic of the finish makes it more prone to scratches. Unlike honed stone floor surfaces, polished natural stone does not require as much re-sealing. As is with honed marble, you must immediately wipe off any stains because certain substances will etch the surface, like toothpaste, for example. Use water, mild bleach solution, and a small brush to clean your polished natural stone flooring. Brushing too roughly or using a detergent with too much ammonia can damage the finish.
Tile is set on subflooring, known as substrate. Substrate is what your tile will be set on. Your kitchen and bathroom substrate is typically timber constructed, consisting of floor joists and plywood flooring. We would install a backer board, hardie board, or concrete board in order for the tile to have maximum adhesion. It is important to be mindful when placing tile where tile has never been, such as in a remodel, that adding new cabinets, granite and larger appliances, could cause stress on the floor in these areas. We will examine the flooring and install extra support under the floor to handle the increased weight if it is needed.
Typically, a basement floor is made of concrete and many times a sunroom floor is also concrete. In this case there will be no need for concrete board, backer board, and so forth. The concrete would need to be cleaned thoroughly, free of all grease and paint before tile installation begins. Give us a call for a free estimate!