Ceramic vs Stone Floors: What’s the Difference?

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Ceramic and stone flooring are popular flooring choices for homeowners. Both materials are very durable, standing up to lots of traffic and lasting for years with proper care and maintenance. There are a few key differences between the two surfaces, however. Here are some that you may need to know if you’re considering your options for your home flooring. 

Budget concerns

Ceramic is much more affordable than natural stone. Limestone and travertine come from specific areas or quarries, making the material harder to match up if you need extra or want to replace a section of the floor, so it’s beneficial to purchase extra spares when buying stone tiles. Many homeowners keep a few extra feet of carpet or order a box or two of extra flooring for repairs. Meanwhile, Ceramic tile prices can have a wide range depending on whether you want a terracotta or a product with a full glaze. Various mosaic patterns and mimicking designs like faux wood or metal can cost more as well. The type of grout and size of the stone and ceramic affect the prices, too. 

Color choices

Natural stone like slate and granite have different veining and colors depending on the quarry. Both stones need sealing after installing to ensure they are impervious to water. Ceramic tile and plank options are endless because the flooring is easy to coat with glazes to seal the material completely. You can opt for any style, pattern, or color coating. Because ceramic is man-made, there is more consistency in the color and style when buying online, whereas stone should be purchased in person due to the natural variations that occur. Visiting a tile showroom in NJ for ceramic or stone, however, gives a much better idea of how the final product will look than when buying online.

Temperature differences

Ceramic and stone tile are both susceptible to breaking, chipping, and cracking with drastic temperature changes. Both materials are cool to the touch first thing in the morning or after little use. You can install radiant floor heating with either of these materials giving you a cozy place to put your feet straight out of the shower or after removing your shoes when entering the house. Both conduct heat in similar manners, so both ceramic and tile are equally useful for heated flooring.

Maintenance considerations

When you opt for natural tile, you should understand it needs regular sealing to keep stains and water from penetrating the surface. Sealants like Dr. Chem-Dry’s sealants soak into the pores of your tile, stone, and grout to create a barrier that minimizes the chance of dirt, or grime becoming embedded in the pores; helping you to have clean stone floors for longer. Unsealed ceramics must also get these treatments. Glazed ceramic is practically maintenance-free due to the way that glazes work like glass. The only thing you have to worry about is sealing the grout lines unless you use grout with epoxy. While natural stone is generally easy to clean as well, it is more prone to absorbing and staining than glazed ceramic.

When you want the look of real stone, but you need to stick to a tight budget, ceramic can be a fantastic alternative. Plus, glazed materials need no routine maintenance like granite and other stone unless you need to regrout the material. Both materials are durable and add a rich feeling to any room.

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