Granite vs porcelain - butt jointing and longevity

epiprenFebruary 20, 2009

What attracted me to granite was the fact that it can be butt-jointed. All the porcelain I've seen has visible grout, something I want to avoid.

Also, I'm looking for the least maintenance. There will be sand in the home (on the beach) so marble is out.

Any tips on what to choose? I'm leaning towards granite but don't want that 'commercial' look. Where can I find interesting patterns? Thanks for any info.

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live_wire_oak

Unless you get honed granite, it will be very slippery when wet, which if you are near a beach, would be an accident waiting to happen. NO tile, granite or otherwise, can be "butt jointed". You ALWAYS MUST have space for some form of grout. It's the grout that hold the floor together in a cohesive fashion and keeps it strong. You can have a minimal grout line, yes, but it must be there. Many granites are also porous and need to be kept sealed. There are many many beautiful granites out there, but very few of them are offered in a honed tile version. You will have more options with the porcelain that are non slip and porcelain will never need sealing. I'd save the granite for the countertops and choose porcelain tile with an epoxy grout if you are really concerned about maintainence issues. That's about as zero maintainence as you can get.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 9:49AM
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epipren

Thanks for that info live wire.

What makes epoxy grout low maintenance? My concern with a grout line is that it will turn from white to black (dirty) over time.

You really have me thinking against granite now because of what you said being slippery when wet. Can porcelain have minimal grout as well, giving the appearance of being butt-jointed?

Also, where is that term "butt jointed" from if this cannot be done with tile?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 8:53PM
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bill_vincent

If you use a rectified porcelain, you can use the same kind of thin joint as with natural stone. Additionally (I just learned this, this morning at a jobsite I was called to to take a look at for other reasons), polished rectified porcelain will also be much more slip resistant than natural stone. (I found out because I was called to look into other problems at a school theater lobby that was just built this past summer, and tiled with a high polished rectified porcelain which, according to the architect's information, met the ADA code for coefficient of friction (slip resistance).

Also, where is that term "butt jointed" from if this cannot be done with tile?

There are certain wall tiles that are made with lugs on their sides that when butted together, will give a uniform joint throughout the wall. (Coincidentally, the same size joint-- 1/16")

One other thing to say about granite. I've both had a granite front entry myself, as well as installing the one in the pic below in the home of a showroom owner I used to do alot of work for, and neither of us ever had problems with people slipping on them:

Also, if you're really worried about the slippage factor and still want granite, check into flame honed. It's more of a rustic finish, but still a beautiful floor.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 11:28PM
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epipren

After asking some homeowners, it doesn't look like slippage will be an issue with the granite. There will be plenty of opportunity to dry the shoes before walking on it.

In that picture, Bill, the grout line is pretty thin. What size is it? How narrow can you go with granite, and is this different than porcelain?

I'm leaning towards a predominantly white granite. Would I have to use white grout and hope it stays clean or go with a grey from the beginning?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 10:33AM
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bill_vincent

In that picture, Bill, the grout line is pretty thin. What size is it?

The joints are 1/16".

How narrow can you go with granite, and is this different than porcelain?

That's about as thin as I'd go with either natural stone OR rectified porcelain. For conventional porcelain, I'd go no less than 3/16" joints.

I'm leaning towards a predominantly white granite. Would I have to use white grout and hope it stays clean or go with a grey from the beginning?

I'm assuming you're talking about a granite that's white with grey and black specs? (For the life of me, I can't remember the name!) If that's the case, yes. I'd use a grey grout, and maybe even not a light grey, especially being this will be a front entry. Maybe go with a medium grey grout, like a silver grey.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 8:51PM
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epipren

These are the joints I'm looking for. Isn't this butt-jointed granite?

It's the entry-way to the elevator of an apartment building - a high traffic area.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 1:46AM
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tuba_paul

My sister and brother-in-law did their entire house in granite tile a year ago, and it looks like the above pictures, no readily visible grout with the tiles practically butted right up against each-other. They used a neutral grout color that matched the median tone of the tiles, so no dark line or light line, just a line you really have to look for to see.

The tough part (they did it themselves) was putting the reinforcement under the floor (steel I-beams under the floor and steel posts set in concrete footings in the basement to support the weight), and then putting all the concrete tile backers in evenly.

They have a polished tile (very shiny, actually makes the rooms seem larger, but it might be a honed finish) and have had absolutely no issues with people slipping, and it is very striking.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 4:43AM
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bill_vincent

These are the joints I'm looking for. Isn't this butt-jointed granite?

Those joints are pretty much the same as in my pic, but in yours they usd square edged graite, while in mine, it was chamfered.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 10:57AM
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vpakmand_yahoo_com

I am going to remodel my house but I can't choose between granite, porcelain and wood.
please help me

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 9:54PM
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