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Tile flooring questions and answers

Tile floors are the most versatile in installation possibilities and budget, looking just as terrific in the living room as in the kitchen or bath. When you walk into our tile store in Kent, WA, you’ll be overwhelmed by the wide variety of colors, patterns, shapes, and sizes. Not all tile is the same; however, so be sure you get the right one for your project. Here are our responses to two questions repeatedly in our showroom.

You cannot use a wall tile on the floor

Floor tiles are thicker, denser, and more meant to stand up to foot traffic weight. Wall tiles are thinner and even have a somewhat easier installation without as much heavy sawing. While you can use a floor tile on the wall or tub/shower surround, it's not recommended for the other way around. Boxes will be marked as Grade 1, Grade 2, or Grade 3. One and two are for floors with moderate to heavy foot traffic, respectively. Grade 3 is for wall installation only.

If the tiles are glazed, you’ll also see a PEI Rating. PEI III or PEI IV indicate tiles appropriate for residential floors. Also, look for the words "impervious" or "vitreous," which show little or non-existent water absorption and "COF" (coefficient of friction, i.e., grip). This rating should be .50 or higher. As always, we recommend that our customers speak to a flooring pro to explain precisely how they plan to use the tile.

What is the difference between porcelain and ceramic?

Porcelain is ceramic because it is composed of clay. The composition also includes sand and glass, so it's heavier and more robust, making it ideal for heavily trafficked floors. Porcelain is waterproof, appropriate for outdoor use, and can be made to look like anything, from wood to stone, fabric, and leather.

The 4X4 square is thinner, but when glazed, has a hard outer shell, and is waterproof, sufficient for medium traffic floors. Other ceramics include mosaics or terra cottas; both are exceptionally durable, and it's not uncommon to see mosaic shower floors or terracotta bricks on a rustic-style kitchen floor. Subway tiles are usually used on backsplashes but can be on low-traffic floors.

Tile flooring needs a professional installation, and our in-house team will help you sort it out and give you a quality installation. For more information, visit the Wholesale Flooring Services showroom for tile in Kent, WA. We work with homeowners in [cms:city1]], Des Moines, WA, Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Bellevue, WA, Auburn, WA, Kirkland, WA, Renton, WA, Bonney Lake, WA && Puyallup, WA. Be sure to ask about your free tile flooring estimate.