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Your home: ceramic on walls, porcelain on floors

Question: Why is ceramic and porcelain tile installed on floors and walls so often in bathrooms?

Answer: Because it’s waterproof and the bathroom is the wettest room in the house.

For 65 years, Watertown Floor Covering LLC has been servicing the Greater Boston area, including Waltham, Burlington, Woburn, Boston and Watertown. We carry a large inventory of flooring, so feel free to call or visit our Waltham showroom for any information that you may need.

Tile 101:

First, there are two basic types of tile. People tend to use the word “tile” as though it’s all the same thing, but they really are made a little differently and that might affect your installation.

Ceramic is thinner, less dense and slightly less impervious to water. For that reason, ceramic is used frequently on walls. It does, however, have a hard, protective glaze that makes it fine for floors that have lighter foot traffic, such as bathrooms and bedrooms, where people are usually shoe-less anyway.

Porcelain is more dense and durable, as well as more impervious to water, It can stand up to heavy foot traffic and, for that reason, it’s installed on the floor. (Note: Since porcelain is heavy, it may not be best to install on floors where the structure isn’t solid. If that’s the case, go with ceramic.)
Ceramic tile flooring in Woburn, MA from Watertown Floor Covering, LLC

Other benefits include:

1. Durability: They are both difficult to crack and, if you do, it’s not a problem, because you can replace just the broken tile,and not the whole floor.

2. Cleanability: Everything sits on the surface, so spills and dirt are easily wiped up or mopped. If anyone in your family has allergies, damp mop regularly to keep the floor particle-free.

3. Ability to create your own style: With such a large assortment of colors, patterns and designs, you can mix and match to fashion your own design. If budget’s an issue, use a less expensive tile on large spaces, peppered in with some highly-designed ones as accent pieces. And don’t forget to get creative with the grout!

It should be noted that beautiful as tile is, there are few things you should understand about both ceramic and porcelain:

  • The very thing that makes them so resistant to cracks means that the hardness can be tough to stand on for any length of time. That can be offset by using mats or area rugs.
  • Tile doesn’t have much traction, so if you have running kids or pets, they can slip and hurt themselves.
  • Hard falls can be a consideration if you have kids or elderly residents.
  • Tile can get pretty slippery when wet, so when you wash the floor, be sure it’s thoroughly dry before people try to walk on it.Still have questions? Our flooring pros will be happy to talk to you.

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