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AlmiraGulch

Travertine? Ceramic? Porcelain? Something else?

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A little bit of a long story.  Stick with me, because I need your help!

 

The downstairs of my house almost looks like one big room.  The entry hall has dark hardwood, then the living area has a light colored carpet, and then the rest of the downstairs has dark hardwood again.  I love the look of breaking it up so it doesn't look like a giant warehouse or something, but I'm done with carpet.  The end.  No more.

 

The wood on either side of the carpet looks the same from a distance, but it isn't, due to an interior flood a couple of years ago causing me to replace the wood in the back half.  Plus, I just had another flood (bad luck) and  I have to replace it yet again.  I'll keep wood in the back half, but I can't put wood in the center section (what is now carpet) because it won't match the wood it will bump against in the front of the house.

 

I'm thinking of going with tile in the living area, but I want it to transition nicely to the wood on either side, so I think I'll have either hardwood or that tile that looks like wood included in the lighter tile, like picture below.  

 

So my question.....I have not had tile other than in my bathrooms for years and years.  I don't know the practical differences in terms of wear and care between porcelain, ceramic, travertine, and any other type of tile I may choose.  What do I need to know and consider when I select the material?  Is any more durable than the other?  Easier or harder to clean?  I have two dogs, so what about scratching? 

 

What has been your experience with any of these? 

 

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if you are putting it in a living area floor - I would go with porcelain.  the color goes through the tile - and it is very durable.

 

travertine is a soft stone and just the travertine on my hearth has chips out of it.  dh also wouldn't allow me to put it in the bathroom for any reason. not even on the wall.  (think of all the chemicals in a bathroom. shampoos, cleansers, perfume, etc.)  I found some wonderful 12 x 24 porcelain and even my granite guy was impressed with how much it looked like travertine.  each tile is different like natural stone, so you don't get the mass-repeat.

 

eta: pretty sure the wood look tile is porcelain.  do be sure the wood-porcelain is the same color as your hardwood floor.  while it comes in different colors - it still doesn't have the range of real wood.  you could still do a real hardwood that matches your hardwoods as dividers.

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I have a travertine look porcelin tile downstairs...18".

 

Travertine the stone requires a special underlayment that really drives up the price significantly.

 

Porcelin v. ceramic is confusing. Traditionally porcelin has been more durable, more resistant to weather change in outside applications, and harder. It's also more expensive and has gone through a certification process in order to carry the name.  That said, I found it more helpful to look at the actual box the tile comes in--ceramic has been making huge inroads in this area.  You'll want to think about the texture of your tile, the width of your grout lines, and where the tile line will break up if  you're just laying a narrow path between wood.

 

And if you really want a mindblower, if you think by poor luck you may flood again, you may want to look at wood look tile. They have some BEAUTIFUL stuff coming into the marketplace.  If we end up near an ocean with this next move (and I hope it comes together!), then I'm going to look at woodlook tile since the humidity level will be so much harder to control and we'll hopefully be dragging home a bit of sand from the beach...less likely to scratch than wood.

 

We chose to go porcelin for the three times we've put new tile down in this house, and I haven't regretted it.

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I got porcelain in my entry way and kitchen and I LOVE it.  It is so easy to clean and so far (we've had it a year), we haven't had any scratches, chips, etc. 

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I abhor my porcelain floors. They are cold and the grout is disgusting. Is marble an option for you? It is not quite as cold, but still has grout.

 

Is putting the same hardwood floors throughout an option?

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I have porcelain tile throughout my first floor, except for a guest room.

I have a 20" tile that looks like travertine from the front door, hallway, through the kitchen. It has been down for 10 years, since the house was built and it's great, looks like the day we put it in.

In the dining and family room, we have a wood look porcelain. We've only had the wood tile for a little over a year and so far really love it.

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I have a travertine look porcelin tile downstairs...18".

 

Travertine the stone requires a special underlayment that really drives up the price significantly.

 

Porcelin v. ceramic is confusing. Traditionally porcelin has been more durable, more resistant to weather change in outside applications, and harder. It's also more expensive and has gone through a certification process in order to carry the name.  That said, I found it more helpful to look at the actual box the tile comes in--ceramic has been making huge inroads in this area.  You'll want to think about the texture of your tile, the width of your grout lines, and where the tile line will break up if  you're just laying a narrow path between wood.

 

And if you really want a mindblower, if you think by poor luck you may flood again, you may want to look at wood look tile. They have some BEAUTIFUL stuff coming into the marketplace.  If we end up near an ocean with this next move (and I hope it comes together!), then I'm going to look at woodlook tile since the humidity level will be so much harder to control and we'll hopefully be dragging home a bit of sand from the beach...less likely to scratch than wood.

 

We chose to go porcelin for the three times we've put new tile down in this house, and I haven't regretted it.

 

I'm looking at wood-look tile, but only as an accent.  Whatever I lay needs to not clash with the wood that is already in the entire front part of my house, since I'm not replacing that.

 

Thanks for the information about the porcelain!  I do love the look of travertine, but I need something durable since it will be in a main area of the house.  

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I abhor my porcelain floors. They are cold and the grout is disgusting. Is marble an option for you? It is not quite as cold, but still has grout.

 

Is putting the same hardwood floors throughout an option?

 

I don't really want that shiny of a finish, otherwise marble would be nice.  It's just too formal for my home.

 

I'm not replacing the wood in the front half of my house (insurance won't pay because it was not damaged), so no, not an option.  

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