Ceramic tiles are one of the most common types of tile used in residential applications. The glossy, colorful tiles are created from clay and mineral powders, and are formed under pressure and fired at high temperatures. Glazed ceramic tiles are traditionally used for wall surfaces and countertops in kitchens and bathrooms. Matte ceramic tile (quarry tile) is appropriate for interior and exterior flooring. Before beginning any ceramic tile project, be aware of the pros and cons associated with this popular surfacing material.


1.    Ceramic tile is rated on a scale from zero to five based on hardness. A rating of zero through two is appropriate for wall tile, three is rated for residential flooring, and ratings of four and five are suitable for commercial applications. Ceramic tile stands up to years of high traffic and daily abuse. The strength and durability of ceramic tile is also a negative. Ceramic tile is unforgiving when delicate objects encounter this hard surface.

Chips and Cracks

2.    Ceramic tile's hardness makes it prone to chipping, scratching and cracking. Chips in glazed ceramic tile will expose the white tile layer beneath the top glaze coating. Damaged ceramic tile cannot be repaired. It is recommended to remove and replace broken tile. When buying your tile, purchase an additional box from the same color and size lot to use as replacement tiles.


Ease of Installation

3.    The ease of installing ceramic tile depends on your particular experience level. Ceramic tile, as with any tile, is challenging for the novice installer. It is imperative you have a completely smooth and rigid substrate for flooring and waterproof backer board for bath and backsplash applications.

Cold Surface

4.    Ceramic tile can impart a cold and cavernous feel to a room. Compared to other flooring surfaces, ceramic tile is actually cold underfoot. Use of ceramic tile is very common in warm, desert climates, but can be a disadvantage in colder regions. When using ceramic tile flooring in an expansive space, consider using are rugs to minimize the literal and perceived chill.


Low Maintenance

5.    Ceramic tile is an easy care surface for any home. It is moisture and stain resistant, making it a breeze to clean with nothing more than a damp mop, sponge and basic cleaning products. Ceramic tile is non-porous and resists mold and mildew---which is good news for allergy sufferers.


6.    Ceramic tile is one of the most affordable surfacing materials available. Luckily, the relative low cost of ceramic tile is not a direct reflection of the quality of this product. The combination of durability, ease of maintenance and low price per square foot makes ceramic tile a cost effective choice for residential kitchens, baths and flooring.


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