Ceramic tile has evolved. While tile has always been known for its durability and ease of maintenance, it is now also recognised for cost savings, functionality, health benefits, and sustainability. Thanks to advances in digital imaging and printing, tile is now the ultimate modern flooring option.
In today’s fast-paced world, efficiency has become more important than ever. No one wants to spend countless hours polishing hardwood floors, spot treating carpets, or dealing with the hassle of replacing damaged vinyl. The flooring option of today needs to facilitate a dynamic lifestyle rather than hinder it.
Efficiency makes ceramic tile the ideal modern flooring option — not only does tile offer limitless designs to choose from, but it also provides the convenience that generations have relied on. Unlike other flooring options, tile has a surface that provides:
- Stain resistance: Tile can handle all of the messes that everyday life throws without being easily stained.
- Water resistance: Properly installed ceramic tile is ideal for using in wet environments, such as a bathroom, kitchen, patio, or pool.
- Scratch resistance: Tile flooring stands up to years of heavy traffic and doesn’t easily scuff, tear, dent, puncture, or gouge.
- Prevention of bacterial growth: Tile is completely inhospitable to bacteria, a critical plus for those with allergies.
- Low maintenance: Ceramic tile is easy to clean. Messes wipe up without harsh chemicals — most with just water!
- Fade resistance:Ceramic tile does not fade, so you can feel free to redecorate and move your furniture at any time.
Today, modern and sustainable are practically synonymous. Versatile, durable, low-maintenance, safe, and healthy ceramic tile flooring is the flooring of choice, especially because it is also environmentally-friendly.
The following benefits make ceramic tile one of the most eco-friendly flooring options:
- Energy efficiency: Ceramic tiles intrinsic thermal mass decreases peak heating and cooling in your home, thus limiting temperature swings, reducing the need for your HVAC system, and saving energy.
- Lowest carbon footprint: Ceramic tile is typically made with materials found within 500 miles of the manufacturer, decreasing necessary transportation and associated greenhouse gas emissions and energy. This contributes to ceramic tile having the lowest carbon footprint of all flooring options.
- Recycling:Because ceramic tile is made of naturally occurring materials, it typically meets the requirements for clean fill. Disposing of ceramic tile means you are not contributing to the growing landfill problem associated with plastics.
- Endurance:Tile’s lifetime can span generations. This durability limits the need to create new flooring materials, which would require additional resources.
Unparalleled Versatility, Unprecedented Technology
You may know that ceramic tile has traditionally offered a variety of shapes, colours, and sizes. Recent manufacturing advances with digital imaging has revolutionised tile design, creating virtually limitless design options.
Digital imaging allows a manufacturer to print a design or image directly on the tile’s surface before it is fired. This process bakes into the tile any colour, texture, or design you can imagine. With this innovative technology, it is now possible to create surface textures such as wood, granite, slate, and even fabric textures such as linen and suede.
Flooring products come in a wide range of prices and budget is always a contributing factor in a flooring decision. Consumers can choose confidently when using ceramic tile.
A study by Scharf-Godfrey, an independent cost consulting firm, analysed the life cycle costs associated with various flooring options, including tile, hardwood, laminate, carpet, vinyl, and other popular choices. After appraising initial installation costs, custodial maintenance expenses, and removal costs for each option over its entire life cycle, the study found tile to be the most affordable flooring type.
Functionality You Can Trust
Ceramic tiles slip-resistant and fire-resistant options make it the ideal flooring choice for safety.
Ceramic tile offers a variety of types and finishes to choose from for slip resistance in kitchens, bathrooms, public and outdoor areas that will experience wet conditions.
Your non-flammable ceramic tile will not melt like some vinyl flooring should there be an unfortunate accident with heat. And, if that accident erupts into a fire, ceramic tile will reduce the spread of flame and won’t smoke, burn, or emit toxic fumes. This safety advantage is especially important for maintaining a clear and safe exit path during a fire. Along with heat-resistance, many tile options are also frost resistant, which gives ideal functionality in extreme temperature conditions, for use indoors and out.
In recent years, we’ve become more conscious of our health, and that alertness can extend to all aspects of our lives. While we may know that we need to consider the quality of the food we eat, we also need to consider how flooring contributes to our wellbeing.
Many flooring options contain harmful pollutants that we can no longer overlook. On the contrary, ceramic tile creates a healthy living space, which is key to what makes ceramic tile the modern flooring choice. Ceramic tile contains none of the following contaminants:
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs): Some VOCs emitted by non-ceramic building products can contribute to a wide variety of health problems, including “sick building syndrome*” Because ceramic tile is produced (fired) at extremely high temperatures, producing what is called an “inorganic” material, it has zero VOCs.
- Allergens: Because ceramic tile is inorganic and a hard-fired surface, it won’t absorb dust mites and is inhospitable to bacteria, fungi, mould, and other irritants that contribute to allergies.
- Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is a chemical associated with various respiratory issues, including asthma. This can be a concern for some flooring material, such as wood products that use formaldehyde. Ceramic tile contains none of the formaldehyde found in some other flooring products and it is not subject to these concerns.
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC): PVC is a resin used in some vinyl flooring and is regularly a subject of concern among health experts and builders. Ceramic tile is free of PVC.
- No plastic: Ceramic tile contains no plastic and has none of the health or environmental concerns associated with plastic.
Historic Durability in Modern Form
Tile has a heritage that no other flooring option can match. For thousands of years, ceramic tile has facilitated the progress of our culture — from creative expression to commerce — and has been the defining element in our greatest architecture and historical icons.
From ancient empires to modern mansions, we’ve continued using ceramic tile because of its incredible durability and the beauty of craftsmanship that only comes with hand-laid ceramic tile. The study conducted by Scharf-Godfrey lists tile as one of the longest-lasting flooring options available. When compared to other flooring types, ceramic tile lasts two to five times longer.
The Floor of the Future
As trends change and other flooring types fall in and out of favour, ceramic tile has remained one of the most trusted flooring solutions. With the help of modern printing and manufacturing developments, ceramic tile will continue to stay in the forefront of technology to offer unmatched versatility and design.
* The sick building syndrome (SBS) is used to describe a situation in which the occupants of a building experience acute health- or comfort-related effects that seem to be linked directly to the time spent in the building. No specific illness or cause can be identified. The complainants may be localized in a particular room or zone or may be widespread throughout the building.
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