Buying Guide: Shop for Tile
Tile is an elegant flooring option that’s also hard enough to withstand the crashes and spills of the liveliest households. And with today’s wood-look designs, tiles can now add the rich, cozy atmosphere once thought achievable only with hardwood. Whether you’re looking for porcelain or ceramic tiles, LL Flooring offers a variety of designs that combine performance and distinctive style.
Durability Of Tile
Porcelain and ceramic tiles are made primarily of clay but can include other ingredients, such as sand, talc, and feldspar. This mixture is packed tightly together, glazed, and baked—transforming it into a fused and hard-wearing material to use for flooring or walls. Denser clays, higher pressure, and higher firing temperatures make porcelain denser and impervious. Both options, however, will give you a floor that can withstand the tossed toys, toppled lamps, or whatever else your active household can throw at it.
The process that makes porcelain tile so dense also makes it waterproof when installed correctly. Use it for the wettest areas, like your bathroom, and spaces that are prone to splashes, like the kitchen or laundry room. You can even use it outdoors. Even though ceramic is best for indoor use and more porous than porcelain, it too is a great flooring solution for bathrooms and kitchens. DIYers will be happy to know that ceramic's slightly softer nature also means it's easier to cut. So, whether you want a floor for wet areas or just find yourself constantly cleaning up spilled juice or pet messes, tile may be just the flooring solution you need. Cementitious grouts need to be sealed, or we recommend NeverSeal grout that requires no additional sealers. You can also use it to extend the look to your walls—for instance, to create a coordinating backsplash in your kitchen.
Wood and Stone Looks
For some homeowners, warm and cozy don’t immediately come to mind when they think of tile. But with wood-look tile, you can enjoy the rich colors, grain patterns, and textures found in wood flooring. In fact, some of the wood look tile designs in our collection will let you create any atmosphere you choose—from rustic lodge to urban industrial loft. Use tiles with a gray, weathered appearance for a beachy feel, or bring a striking statement to your living room or den with tiles that have an exotic hardwood-like finish. Add coziness to a large bathroom or enjoy the look of wood in your kitchen without having to worry about damage from liquids. We have stone looks as well, which bring their own particular beauty. Choose from marble, slate, and other natural stone looks for classical beauty and elegance. Or go with charming coppery tones or brick patterns for a warmer feel.
Making Your Decision
In addition to wood and stone designs, we offer a variety of tile sizes to choose from. Narrow, wood-look tiles lend a more traditional flair while wider varieties have a more open, contemporary feel. Upload a photo of your room into our floor visualizer to get an idea of how your tile design will look. You can also view virtual samples and order free samples from your home. We even offer a calculator to help you determine how much tile you’ll need for your project. When it comes to cost, ceramic tiles offer a more affordable alternative to porcelain.
Tile can be installed on every level of the home, as long as you have a stable and even subfloor. Tile is durable but also rigid, meaning any unevenness or shifts in the subfloor could cause cracking. If you're installing over plywood, a cement backerboard can provide the stability you need. All tile, including wood-look and stone-look, requires grout and mortar for installation. The only difference is the way you'd lay them. Use narrower seams and stagger your wood-look tiles to achieve the look of hardwood planks. This requires the tile edges to be rectified using a lippage tool. Grout that matches your flooring will also make the seams less visible, and NeverSeal grout simplifies the project as it doesn't require additional sealer while protecting your floors.
Don’t forget the details that will give your tile floors a complete and professional look. We have aluminum edging in a variety of beautiful finishes to neatly frame your tiles while protecting their borders. We also have T-molding to use between your tile floor and adjoining floor of the same height. If you’re inexperienced in laying tile, it’s best to have a professional complete the job for you. Contact LL Flooring for a free project assessment and installation estimate.
The glazing on porcelain and ceramic tiles makes them resistant to dirt and oil build-up, allowing for easy cleaning. Simply sweep or vacuum your tile flooring as needed. When it’s time to wash the floor, remove any loose dirt first. Then damp mop with a mild detergent or tile cleaner and rinse. Dry your tile with a clean cloth to add shine and to prevent spots and streaks. Avoid waxes and oil-based cleaners and harsh materials such as steel wool, which can leave surface scratches.
Shop LL Flooring for an array of quality tiles that will fill your home with long-lasting beauty. You’ll also find the accessories you need to install your new tiles properly—from underlayment, grout, and mortar to tools like tile nippers, trowels, and tile leveling systems. And while you’re here, pick up the cleaning products that will help keep your tiles looking fresh and gorgeous.