Brick, Ceramic, Laminate and Quarry Tile Flooring

July 27, 2015

How-to guide for buying brick, ceramic, laminate and quarry tile flooring

The choices seem endless when it comes to flooring, but each type is suitable for different environments. The following tips will help you differentiate between flooring types and choose the best one for your home.

Brick, Ceramic, Laminate and Quarry Tile Flooring

These semi and nonporous materials offer a wide range of colours, textures and patterns. They can last indefinitely, but their weight demands appropriate subflooring and installation.

1. Brick

In addition to being a durable, nonslip, waterproof material, brick has interesting colour and texture. Glazed brick is as easy to maintain as tile. Unglazed brick can be enhanced with a sealer, but it needs an occasional waxing. In choosing brick, or any other nonresilient material, it's important to make sure that it is recommended for use on floors. If you're adding a brick floor, unless you use half-brick tiles, it is very likely your subfloor will need to be reinforced.

2. Ceramic tile

Made of clay and fired at high temperatures, ceramic tiles may be made by hand or by machine, with glazed shiny, matte or textured finishes, or an unglazed finish with reddish earth tones throughout. Ceramic tile sizes and thicknesses vary. Although squares are the most common shape offered, rectangles and hexagons are also available.

Tiles can be laid on any smooth and stable subfloor, using tile cement to hold them firmly, and coloured grout as decorative space fillers between. Ceramic tile is tough, waterproof and impervious to most household liquids, but it can be cold, hard and noisy underfoot.

3. Quarry tile

This broad category of nonresilient flooring includes marble, limestone, granite, sandstone, slate and travertine. These materials are very durable and also beautiful, but they are typically very expensive to buy and require professional installation. Smooth-surfaced materials have a tendency to become dangerously slippery under wet feet. And the more porous varieties, like limestone and sandstone, will absorb stains unless sealed.

4. Laminate flooring

The same technology used to produce laminate countertop material is also used for flooring. The surface, which can be made to resemble almost any kind of natural material — from marble to wood to verdigris copper — is bonded to a fibreboard core. It installs with tongue-and-groove fit to "float" on the subfloor. Generally easy to care for, it will eventually show abrasion marks if grit is allowed to grind in.

These tips will help you make an informed choice when choosing the best flooring for your home.

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