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jenny 08-28-2008 10:05 PM

What's the difference between tiles?
N00b here, searched already with too many hits. We're looking into tiling our downstairs, basically the entire floor. My question is, what is the difference with travertine, ceramic, porcelain, etc? What would be the best option for kitchen flooring? Travertine looks real nice, but just not sure what each different tile out there is best used for.

TIY. :whistling2:

Bud Cline 08-28-2008 11:05 PM

Ceramic tile is obviously a baked clay product. Porcelain is also a ceramic tile but of a slightly higher quality over standard ceramic in that the recipe differs and the product is fired at a higher temperature. Porcelain has the least absorbency of any tile but since most all ceramic floor tiles have a low absorbency this usually isn't a major benefit.

Porcelain tile is made to mimic most all other forms/designs of ceramic and stone tile.

Travertine on the other hand is a natural stone. Travertine is kin to marble and limestone and is at the opposite end of the absorbency spectrum from porcelain. Therefore in my opinion travertine wouldn't be the best choice for a kitchen floor.

Travertine tho it can be sealed would still be vulnerable to stains and acid etching over time, whereas porcelain would not.

It is also worth noting that travertine being a natural stone requires a subfloor with double the strength of that required for ceramic. Most late model homes aren't built to accept natural stone tiles without some subfloor modifications.

Typically travertine tile costs more than porcelain tile.

Travertine is beautiful but not always practical in a kitchen.

Porcelain is a product you can't go wrong with and it is available in a travertine look.

Hope this clears it up for you.:)

jenny 08-29-2008 01:06 AM

VERY helpful reply. So I guess porcelain would be the best bet.

Bud Cline 08-29-2008 06:29 AM

Yup! That's my thinkin'.:)

mike costello 08-29-2008 07:00 AM

Hey, you got Jennysnimber......................867 530 niiiyiine.

tmpyankee 08-29-2008 09:23 AM

Whenever we need new flooring in our rental properties, we always install porcelain tiles. They are very tough, non-porous and very easy to keep clean.

However, I love travertine because it's so pretty. Even so, in our own homes, we keep the travertine in the bathrooms and such--never in the kitchen. Even though bathrooms get wet, it's easy to sop up after yourself in the bath. However, in the kitchen, you're dealing with more than water--you're dripping tomato sauce and things like that, and you may not even realize you've dripped until it's been sitting on your flooring for a while. Now you have a stain on your travertine.

So, bottom line is that I agree--go with porcelain in your kitchen if you want something that's going to look fantastic for years.

jenny 08-29-2008 12:28 PM

We will be doing our mast bath as well and I was thinking travertine. :)

tmpyankee 08-29-2008 01:00 PM

Go for it! Like I said, we put travertine in our bathrooms (and laundry and a small hallway). We sealed it up with a quality sealant as soon as the grout had cured. I am a big slob in the bathroom and do not always sop up water after a shower, and we have a dog with big toenails, and . . . well, you get the picture: we're not neat freaks. But the floors still look fantastic. Guests come through and just ooh and ahh over the floors. Travertine really has a big impact. And in a small space, the cost is not really a big deal. I wish you the best on your projects!

Bud Cline 08-29-2008 04:35 PM

Don't misunderstand me. Travertine is a great looking product, no doubt about it. In a bathroom in the center of the house where shoes are not usually an issue it is great. In a kitchen it's OK but vulnerable. Kitchens generally get foot traffic direct from outside. All travertine should be sealed but that sealer will wear rapidly in an area of high foot traffic and a lot of shoe shuffling. In those areas travertine becomes a major maintenance issue.

Use faux travertine (porcelain) in the kitchen and real travertine everywhere else. Few will know the difference.:wink:

Allison1888 08-30-2008 04:50 PM

tile differences
I would stick with travertine or marble for the bathroom. Spill any red wine on it and it won't come out, so best not to use it in the kitchen.

slwgo4it 08-30-2008 06:34 PM

Tile Choices
Porcelain is your best bet for toughness, moisture, temperature etc. Travertine is great for accent on kitchen walls over counters. It is a beautiful, natural material, but not the best for wear and tear.
Porcelain is also great for exterior breeze ways etc. that do not have heat.
There is a great blade for porcelain made by Alpha, the Katana blade. It is a dry blade. Also made by Alpha for wet applications is the Porcellana blade. Long life, little if any chipping and you can redress both many times.:yes:

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