The Pros and Cons of Choosing Ceramic Tile for Your Floors

Nick P. Cellucci
Written by Nick P. Cellucci
Updated October 19, 2021
A woman preparing coffee in the kitchen
Luis Alvarez / DigitalVision via Getty Images

When it comes to durability, put a checkmark in the pro column for ceramic tile

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When choosing a new floor for your kitchen, you need an option durable enough to withstand all that foot traffic to the refrigerator, but modern enough to give the heart of your home the upgrade it deserves. Ceramic tile floors surely fit this bill: they’re versatile, durable, and affordable. 

Deciding whether ceramic tiles are best for your new floors will ultimately come down to your style preferences and budget. Here are the key pros and cons of ceramic tile to help you make the most informed decision about your next floor update.

What Is Ceramic Tile Flooring?

Bake or fire fine clay in a kiln at an extremely high temperature and you’ll get ceramic tile. Most tiles also adorn a glass-like-colored glaze, which creates unique pieces in various tile shapes, colors, and patterns. More modern options include natural stone and wood finishes, perfect for homeowners who yearn for a custom floor design.

Tile floors are also impervious to water, thanks to the grout that’s sealed between the joints. This feature has made them popular in kitchens, bathrooms, mudrooms, and entryway foyers. In warmer climates, you’ll often find it in living areas and even bedrooms.

Pros of Ceramic Tile Floors

Tile offers many versatile features that make it a good choice for your next floor covering. Explore some of the advantages of ceramic tile floors below.

They Can Withstand Heavy Foot Traffic

The intense firing process makes ceramic tiles harder to crack than porcelain or stone tiles. They stand up well to dirt, mud, spills, splashes, and heavy foot traffic in your kitchen or bathrooms. A quality tile flooring installation, when properly maintained, should last at least 20 years, which could add long-term value to your property.

They’re Affordable on Any Budget

Tile tends to be more cost-effective than alternatives like natural hardwood. While you can find low-end ceramic tiles for as little as $0.50 per square foot and high-end tiles for as much as $15, most quality tile products cost $2 to $10 per square foot. When finalizing your budget, be sure to account for additional installation costs such as labor, tools, and supplies.

You Can Choose From A Variety of Designs

Ceramic tile comes in countless colors, patterns, and finishes, from subtle neutrals to bold mosaics. Modern printing technology has also led to styles that mimic concrete, wood, and marble. You can create a truly custom look by cutting your tile into planks or larger squares to make your space feel more open.

They’re Easy to Clean and Water-Resistant

The extremely hard, solid surface of ceramic tile makes it easy to wipe clean dirt and grime with a duster, vacuum, or mop. Sugary drinks and other liquids won’t absorb into the tile, either. This is especially important on a bathroom or kitchen floor, where spills and splashes are common. 

Water resistant flooring also withstands high-humidity, so you won’t have to worry about your floors warping during muggier seasons.

They’re Allergen-Resistant

Whether or not it ceramic tile is glazed, it’s usually sealed with a protective layer after installation. For the same reason tile is resistant to water, stains, and spills, it is also resistant to  pollen, dust, and mold. Allergen particles are easy to spot and remove, making tile a great choice for family members with allergies or asthma.

Cons of Ceramic Tile Floors

Young couple sitting in the kitchen
Willie B. Thomas / DigitalVision via Getty Images

The durability and moisture-resistant features of ceramic tile come at a price. It’s important to also be aware of the drawbacks of ceramic tile before you choose your next surface to update.

They Require Maintenance To Prevent Moisture

The grout lines between tiles close the gaps between tiles, but they are also prone to moisture. You’ll need to ensure that your tiles are properly sealed at all times to prevent water from absorbing into your tile, weakening your installation, or causing mold growth. If a spill stains your grout, you’ll need to clean your tile with a scouring powder to restore it.

They’re Not Very Comfortable To Walk On

Ceramic tile doesn’t hold heat well and tends to feel cold underfoot, which is something no homeowner wants to feel in the throws of winter. Tile’s hardness can also be uncomfortable in areas where people stand for long periods, such as in front of the sink or stovetop. Luckily, a few strategically places area rugs and cushioned mats can help absorb some of that discomfort.

The Surface is Less Forgiving

Although the durability of tile is great for ensuring your floor lasts longer, it also means that any glass or dish you drop almost guaranteed to shatter upon impact. Tile’s smooth, flat surface is also slippery when wet—something to consider in kitchens and bathrooms, where spills and heavy foot traffic often go hand in hand. 

There are pros and cons to using ceramic tile on your floors. If you still have questions about your home’s specific needs, you can consult with a flooring professional to determine whether ceramic tile is the best fit for you or if there are better alternatives you should explore.

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