Riverside Realtor Blog - Alma Dizon

Alma shares her experiences and observations as a Realtor in Riverside California.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Pros and Cons of Porcelain Tiles

Tile flooring has become quite popular of late, and porcelain tile surpasses ceramic tiles for beauty and durability. With a lot of houses on the market these days, the ones that stand out often have attractive, updated tile floors. With our hot weather in the Inland Empire, tile underfoot helps to create a cool, tranquil oasis. It's also easy to clean and much better than carpets for people who have allergies. However, think it over before you race out and have your entire house tiled.

Porcelain tiles are expensive, which is why most rehabbers prefer to carpet. (You should be tiling for yourself unless the home will truly benefit from increased marketability.) There's plenty of cheap tiles out there, but ugly tiles are a real turn off, and if you plan to sell the home ever, remember that buyers will run at the sight of them. Also, remember that cheap tiles can still be expensive to rip out, so if you offer a flooring allowance to the few remaining buyers, you're probably going to end up losing on both a reduced price and a huge allowance. So tile well and judiciously in the first place.

Keep in mind that porcelain tile is used in airports--meaning that it won't get scratched up or broken during your or your great-grandchildren's lifetimes. We chose it because our many dogs had scratched up our old Pergo flooring (and scratches in Pergo gather dirt that you'll never get out). However, this durability means that anything dropped on the tile floor will break first, and you'll have to be a bit more careful. (A TV remote was the first casualty at our house. My cell phone slipped out of my hand, but the forward momentum kept it skidding, so it didn't shatter, and I was able to put it back together.)

Think of how the flooring will affect both the feel of the house as well as your physical well-being. If you have a small home, it's a good idea to stay with the same flooring as much as possible, so that the house or condo won't feel chopped up into tiny spaces. (Think twice, however, before tiling the entire house. Those hard porcelain tiles can be tough on your joints, and if you already have back trouble, they could aggravate it, forcing you to wear thick rubber soles at home.) A large house can have different flooring materials in different rooms, but avoid wild changes in color that attract too much attention.

Depending on your preferences, you could put porcelain tiles in high-traffic area and /or where there's water (entryway, kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, living/family rooms) while using carpet or hardwood flooring in the bedrooms and hallways leading to them. If you do use hardwood anywhere, however, I'd recommend putting it in the formal living room rather than tile for a more sophisticated look.

Lastly, we did wait until our little girl had learned to walk (and run) quite well before tiling our family room. Carpet and vinyl are more forgiving to little knees.

For FAQs and to read up on the difference between ceramic (or clay, saltillo) and porcelain tiles, go to: Build Direct


  • At 6/15/2009 4:11 AM, Anonymous Ceramic wall tiles said…

    The problem most people in the UK face with tiles is keeping them warm in the winter. In the summer they are great. Like you said, they are easy to clean and can look great, but in the winter, owwh...so cold.

    Unless you get underfloor heating. Winner all round. :)


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