Floor Tiles 101

Learn about seven popular varieties, and find the right fit for your flooring needs.

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Porcelain

Actually a subtype of ceramic tile, porcelain bears a perception of high quality, but for residential applications its particular toughness is unnecessary. It’s nonetheless popular in the residential market because the manufacturing process makes for unlimited design potential.

The problem is that do-it-yourselfers typically install it with setting material designed for ordinary ceramic tiles, but porcelain’s low porosity means it requires a special compound for setting. Ask the manufacturer—not a salesperson—how to install it.

Install Yourself? Yes
Best Uses: All-purpose; also commercial installations
Pros: Toughness, variety of design
Cons: Requires modified setting material to anchor it to substrate

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