Ceramic tile is a smart flooring choice for just about any room in your house. It is tough, durable and water-resistant. And today the choice of floor and wall tiles is so varied, that any look you are going for can be achieved with tile. It is even giving hardwood flooring a run for the money, with wood-look ceramic tiles.
A quality tile surface will last the life of your house if properly maintained, so the initial expense will pay off over the years.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering ceramic tile:
- Ceramic tiles can be glazed or unglazed. Glazed tiles have a durable coating that is more water-resistant, fire-resistant, durable and easier to clean than non-glazed tiles.
- If the coldness of tile is a concern, tile can be installed over radiant heating for a wonderful warmth in bathrooms.
- Tile can be slippery when wet. For this reason, they come with a COF (Coefficient of Friction) rating between 0 and 1.0 – the higher the rating, the more slip-resistant the surface. A test rating of about .6 is recommended for bathrooms.
- It is not always possible to get a perfect match after a tile is broken. Keep some spare tiles from the original installation.
- When choosing tile for high-traffic areas, such as hallways or entranceways, remember that ceramic tiles that are pale in colour with no minor grain or pattern can look dirty quickly.
Care and Maintenance Tips
- Clean with mild soap and water or vinegar and water.
- Avoid using harsh abrasives that can damage the glaze on the tiles.
- Replace old caulking and damaged grout.
Ceramic tile has another advantage over other flooring choices, such as carpeting – it is hypo-allergenic and a good surface choice for homeowners with allergies.
Rich cornices, wide baseboards, detailed crown moulding, sculpted door frames are all within the reach of the average homeowner. In fact, few improvements have as dramatic an impact as adding rich architectural detail to your rooms with moulding. Here are some ways you can work “moulding magic” in your home:
• Spruce up plain slab doors with new interior doors available in colonial, classic and conventry styles, to name just a few.
• If your existing doors are good quality but plain, add interest with thin moulding designs to create a classic look. Many building centres sell prefabricated cutouts that can be simply glued to your existing door and painted or stained to match.
• To unify the look, consider replacing all the trim in your home with new baseboards, window and door frames. The selection of traditional mouldings run the gamut from elaborate to simple, to suit every décor. Keep the trim in the same pattern and finish throughout to make the rooms flow and provide continuity from room to room.
• Transform a plain entrance door and add drama with pilasters and top shelves with pediments.
• Add a touch of class to a plain drywall ceiling with the elegance of crown moulding.
• Add crown moulding to dress up the tops of cabinets and shelves.
• Run mouldings down the corners and face of cabinets to soften the squareness and add the illusion of depth.• Dress up the exposed side of cabinets by adding panel mouldings.
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