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Tile Flooring Prices
Available in a multitude of materials and colors, tile is one of the most versatile flooring options. From basic ceramic tile to more upscale porcelain tile to elegant stone tile, there's a variety that suits the taste and budget of any homeowner. In this buying guide from Cost Owl the different types of tile flooring, along with their costs, are broken down.
Types of Flooring Tile
- Ceramic: Ceramic tile is made from clay and baked at high temperatures to create a hard and durable final product. Unglazed ceramic, which contains only clay and minerals, is earth-toned and typically has a matte finish. More popular are glazed ceramic tiles. These titles have a baked on coating that adds durability, color, and a variety of finishes. Glazed tiles are harder and have better stain and scratch resistance than unglazed tiles. Both are suitable for indoor and outdoor use and recommended for light to moderate traffic.
- Porcelain: Porcelain tile is also made from clay, although it's much denser and harder than regular ceramic tile. As a result, porcelain is much better at resisting water, wear, staining, and damage than non-porcelain. It is suitable for high-traffic areas and even frost and freeze prone outdoor areas.
- Terracotta: Terracotta has been used as a building and decorative material for centuries (think of the famous Terracotta Army sculptures from ancient China). Terracotta tiles are usually reddish brown in color and have a handcrafted, rustic appearance. They're relatively fragile and porous, however, and a sealant should be applied to improve durability. One well-known variety of terracotta tile is Saltillo, named after the Mexican city from which it hails. In warm climates such as Florida and the Southwest, terracotta and Saltillo tiles are used outdoors.
- Glass: Glass flooring tile, contrary to what you might think, is actually extremely durable. In addition to being water and frost proof, the material strongly resists heat, flames, and ultraviolet light and it is also easy to clean. Glass tiles are sold in a wide variety of colors and sizes and can be used indoors as well as outdoors. Common places for installation include bathrooms and around pools.
- Mosaic: Tiles measuring less than six inches are considered to be mosaic. The most common mosaic materials are glass and porcelain, although stone and other materials may be used. Mosaic tiles are sold in numerous shapes and patterns and come mounted on a backing material. It's also possible to create a custom mosaic using individual tiles.
- Terrazzo: Traditional terrazzo flooring consists of marble chips that are embedded in concrete and polished to a smooth finish. Terrazzo tile offers the same elegant and colorful look as terrazzo installed onsite, although it is significantly less expensive.
- Natural Stone: Stones commonly used to make flooring tiles are granite, marble, and slate. Sandstone, limestone, quartz, and travertine tiles are also suitable for floors. Color and surface finish will depend on the type of stone selected, as will hardness, durability, and porosity. Some natural stone floors will require regular applications of sealant for maximum performance.
Tile Flooring Costs
- Unglazed ceramic tiles cost $1 to $3 per square foot, while glazed ceramic might cost anywhere from $4 to $20 per square foot.
- Porcelain tile starts at $3 to $5 per square foot and can cost up to $30 per square foot.
- Terracotta tile is one of the cheapest tile flooring options at $1 to $3 per square foot.
- Glass blend tiles cost as little as $2.50 to $3.50 per square foot; real glass, including recycled glass, can cost as much as $20 or more per square foot.
- Mosaic tile starts at $2.50 to $12.50. Creating custom designs, which requires extensive labor, could push costs up to $50 per square foot.
- Terrazzo tile costs $7 to $12 per square foot.
- You might be able to purchase natural stone tile for as little as $3 to $5 per square foot, although a more realistic price is $5.00 to $15.00 per square foot.
- Tile installation costs depend on a number of factors, including the type of flooring, the condition of the subfloor, and local labor rates. Expect to pay anywhere from $2.50 to $10.00 per square foot.