Don't just look at pictures of tile. Stop by our showroom in Somersworth and you can not only see and touch a huge variety of ceramic tile but you can also walk on many tile selections. The floor of our tile display area includes samples of many different tile products that you can actually walk on and see how they feel.
We are authorized dealers of Florida Tile, Earthen Treasures, American Olean, Marazzi, Interceramic and New England Collection. If you are a builder, ask about our "American Olean Builders Program" for special builder incentives and benefits.
Porcelain tile is composed of quartz, clay, and feldspar that is fired at temperatures ranging from 1200-1400 degrees C. It is more impervious to water than cermic tile. As for durability, Porcelain Tile typically has a PEI rating around 5 (heavy residential and commercial traffic). Porcelain tile is also the same material and color through its entire body. If a tile becomes chipped or worn, you will still see the same color throughout. Chip a Ceramic Tile and you will see a different color beneath the top glaze. In terms of durability for heavy traffic areas, Porcelain Tile is typically a better choice than Ceramic Tile.
For areas with little or no traffic, Ceramic Tile costs less than Porcelain Tile. It is slightly less impervious to water absorption but the difference is very small. Due to its lower density, Ceramic Tile is less brittle than Porcelain and is easier to cut, especially for the DIY homeowner. PEI ratings for Ceramic Tile range anywhere from PEI 0 (no foot traffic) up to PEI 5, but with most ratings in the lower end of the scale.
Vinyl tile is a cost-effective solution where budget is a concern. Their resilient, bendable material comes in various sizes with 12" x 12" being one of the most common sizes. Vinyl tile is available in virtually any pattern or color. Luxury Vinyl Tile or Planks are more affordable than ceramic, stone or porcelain. Vinly tile can be installed over other materials which means less demolition is required to prepare for installation. Vinyl tiles are also easier to replace when the time comes.
Vinyl tile is resilient and is sometimes the only solution for a floor with excessive movement or cracks because any other hard tile would break. It should also be noted that vinyl or resilient tiles should never be used in a wet environment like showers and tubs. You should also avoid using vinyl in exterior applications which require hard tile.
The Porcelain Enamel Institute, headquartered in Norcross, GA, is "dedicated to advancing the common interests of porcelain enameling plants and suppliers of porcelain enameling materials and equipment," according to its website. The PEI has been representing the interests of porcelain enamellers since 1930.
We highly recommend that you take samples home. It is important to see the products in your own lighting rather than only in the showroom lit with flourescent lights. We suggest you also look at them in the daylight as well as evening. It's amazing how different each sample might look from one setting to another.
We have samples of all our flooring. If you would like a larger sample, often times we can order one for you. We have many times matched up what customers have seen somewhere else. There is NO charge to take samples home and no problem taking multiple samples to compare and contrast.