I often get to work in our showroom with designers and their clients, and in the process I learn about more of the project than just the tile part. On occasion, I’ll hear a client talk about using vinyl in the project. You never hear anyone say, “Oh it looks so good!” or “I love the way plastic feels under my feet!” or even, “The fake grout joints are so much easier to clean.” Instead, the sole reason anyone ever chooses vinyl? It’s cheap.
Here are five reasons why the additional investment in ceramic tile is a better choice than the lower upfront costs of vinyl:
- Ceramic Tile is time-tested. The durability of tile as a flooring material is unparalleled. Thousand year old installations of ceramic tile can be found in churches and residences around Europe. And the look of ceramic tile endures, as well.
- Ceramic Tile does not offgas. In other words, there are no harmful fumes that diminish indoor air quality. At a time when we are just learning about some of the dangers of petroleum based products, having a clean, safe product in your home provides peace of mind.
- Ceramic Tile costs less over time. Although ceramic tile may be a bit more expensive to install, the savings over the lifetime of the floor are significant. In fact, one study compared the costs of carpet, tile, hardwood, vinyl and other installations over the average lifespan of the product and found that ceramic tile was the least expensive per square foot. Just think: you never have to strip down and reseal ceramic tile, you don’t have to tear up and replace ceramic tile every 6-10 years, and cleaning only requires warm water and a mild detergent.
- Ceramic Tile improves the value of your home. Why is it that real estate listings never say, “Vinyl floors!”? Well, because everyone knows that vinyl is what the builders put into their cheapest homes. Ceramic tile is the upgrade–and when you sell your home, you will get that investment back, whether it’s two years or ten years since you installed the tile.
- Ceramic Tile looks better. I feel bad even mentioning this, because it’s the most obvious point. I attend trade shows all the time where I see these products installed side by side. No matter how fancy the screenprinting on the vinyl tile, it just never looks like the real thing.
So, with those tips in mind, go ahead and leave the vinyl to the hospitals and the fast food restaurant bathrooms. For your home, go with ceramic tile.