Nynette Flooring July 15th, 2017 - 18:40:36
Some think of interlocking tiles and immediately think of ugly, heavy, rubber flooring used in the industrial sector. This could not be further from the truth. While interlocking tiles were initially created to serve the industrial sector, they have come a long way since that time. Interlocking floor tiles are now available in an array of finishes and material types. They can be purchased in rubber, plastic, vinyl and porcelain, among many other high quality materials. Virtually any tile material that can be used in a traditional installation can also be used in interlocking floor tiles.
Another good flooring for wet areas is the vinyl tile. Typically it is manufactured in much the same way as sheet vinyl, but is much more rigid and comes as 12"x12" square units. They are installed in the much the same way, but require skilled tradesmen, familiar with proper installation. A good installer will start from the middle of the room to ensure that all cut tiles are equal in width at opposing walls. One advantage to this type of flooring, over sheet vinyl, is that it is can be installed, without danger of joint separation, over large areas. For this reason, it is often used in commercial buildings where large rooms are the norm. Vinyl tile can also be easily installed directly to concrete floors. Like vinyl sheets, it too is resistant to water, and tends to be installed in the areas of a building, prone to water accumulations. Tile, can be easily cleaned, is relatively maintenance free, and one of the cheaper finished floors to install.
Of all the wood flooring, the most often installed is the parquet tile. They consist of square interlocking wood strips, held together with glues and/or metal wires. Often they come as single 6"x6", or multiple 12"x12" square tiles, about 1/4" thick. They are glued directly to the sub-flooring, and are strong enough to span small deviations in it. The wood is often prefinished, and requires little maintenance. Parquet floors are a cheaper alternative to strip flooring, providing the same warm, durable surface.
Ceramic tile is probably the most durable types of flooring and is typically installed in entry areas, where sand scuffing and water accumulations are the norm. Bathrooms and kitchens often get this type of floor treatment as well, but due to the high cost of installation, homeowners tend to not include these areas. Ceramic tile are typically a square tile, although interlocking units are on the market, in standard square measurements of 4", 6",8" or 12". They are installed by one of two primary methods, either set into a thin mortar bed (called "thinset adhesive"), which also acts like glue, or a heavyset bed of 1-1/2" normal mortar base. For all ceramic tile installations, the floor must be built up to ensure the strength required to prevent tile or joint cracking. Often, installers put down a material called "cement board", which is much like drywall, but is made of glass fibers and cement. In any case, ensure that your installer will offer you a guarantee against future cracking or uplift of tiles. Ceramic tiles require little maintenance, but beware, water on glossy floor tiles can be very slippery, and many a time, a homeowner has resented the installation of a high gloss tile, over a bathroom floor area.