One thing we hear a lot in our showroom is that someone is remodeling their kitchen and they are looking to add value. Value is an interesting word; it likely has different meanings for different people. For our purposes we will use this definition: value equals benefit minus cost.
By all means, plug that equation into any flooring material. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Try it out for wood, natural stone, vinyl, linoleum, ceramic, and carpet. Now let’s look at porcelain. It’s the clear winner, every time.
Let’s first examine the cost of porcelain. As technology continues to improve, the price for higher-end porcelain tile continues to fall. What would have cost you ten or eleven dollars a square foot a couple of years ago, will now cost you under seven dollars. And we’re not talking off colors with weird sizes, when it comes to porcelain tile, it is has never been more affordable to gain the “wow factor.”
With cost in place, it’s time to examine the benefits. First, maintenance. Porcelain is easy. You heard us, easy. It’s virtually maintenance free! No fancy cleaners required, a little occasional love with a wet jet and your porcelain will look as good as the day it was installed! You will spend minimal time and energy maintaining your porcelain. The same cannot be said about other flooring materials.
Now, durability. Porcelain tiles are made from refined white clay that is fired at a very high temperature for nearly twice as long as other ceramic tiles. This makes porcelain tiles extremely dense, very water-resistant, frost proof, and incredibly durable. Porcelain is tough! It’s resistant to break and wear, is slip resistant, and most porcelain is durable enough to endure heavy commercial traffic. But talk is cheap; you want to see the numbers to back these claims up.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) classifies all tile types. These tests methods address wear, abrasion, slip resistance, stain resistance, and breaking strength. Also, because porcelain is so incredibly dense, it is resistant to combustion and bacteria. In addition to the ANSI tests, American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards are also conducted on each tile. ASTM standards include standards that address installation, coefficient of friction, and breaking strength. Also, Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) wear ratings categorize tiles by expected use.
Besides peace of mind, these tests help ensure the use of the proper tile for the job/environment, reducing any possible mistakes. They ensure your investment, and do not give room for the unexpected.
Lastly, let’s examine aesthetics. No matter what look you are after, be it something simple or neutral or snazzy and dynamic, there is a porcelain style for you. If you desire the look and feel of natural stone, there are porcelain options. How about poured concrete, oxidizing metal, stained wood, or striated organic patterns? There are porcelain options.
In summary, with porcelain tile, you can achieve any look you desire, with minimal maintenance and increased durability at a low cost. That my friend is value!
If you’re still having doubts, I encourage you to visit our showroom. If you think the tile looks good on your computer screen, wait until you see it in person!
And ask for me, Hayley.