Pros and cons of textured ceramic floor tile vs smooth.

megaulFebruary 5, 2008

I'm still looking for that dog friendly kitchen floor for my re-model.

One ceramic tile I especially like for coloring, has a fair amount of "pitting" for lack of a better word.

Would I find myself down on hands and knees with a scrub brush getting dirt out of these indentations? Or, would a simple mop job be enough to keep it clean?

Other pros and cons for textured vs smooth?

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I think that the most amount of work that you will do will be on the grout, and if you can get a rectified tile you can have tiny grout lines and that will help. When you wash the floor don't use a lot of water. A swifer on the tile but not the grout will make for the least amount of water. The dirty water falling into the grout line makes a mess.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 8:23PM
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I have porcelein tile that looks like slate. It shows nothing BUT when I know that there is something it is hard to clean.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 10:57PM
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Yep, ditto here, we have porcelain tile that looks like slate. Regular vacuuming and spot cleaning keeps the floors nice looking for months at a time. But, all those dipples and crevices do need the help of a scrub brush one or two times a year. It's not hard work but it does take more time than slopping a mop. Even though our floors are almost ten years old, this routine keeps the tiles and grout looking brand new.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 12:15AM
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I actually think wide grout lines are easier to clean than narrow ones :) But then my kitchen (it's going) came with painted grout and the color is coming off and it's really ugly :) So's the tile. But there's a bumpy/pitty texture and it's fabulous! It doesn't have the irregularity of the slate style. It's just a symmetrical pattern. But I never slip on spills. And it's really easy to clean. The pits aren't deep enough to gather crud. If there's something sticky I'll use a paper towel on it first. After that just vacuum and mop. I use a thin string mop. I don't know if that makes a difference. I don't know if a heavy string or sponge or swiffer wouldn't get into it as well. But texture is good :) Your dog will appreciate not slipping too!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 3:10AM
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LOVE LOVE LOVE my natural multi colored slate floors. They are awesome to look at and a breeze to keep clean. We ripped out water damaged hardwood in our kitchen and powder room to put them in and don't regret it for a second. My hardwoods (rest of the first floor) are torn up from my dog's nails but if you get a scratch on the slate (rarely) it just buffs out with a mop.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 8:30AM
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We did our entire family room/kitchen/mudroom (a very large area) with "slate-look" porcelain tile. We had a springer spaniel at the time and now have a golden retriever puppy who LIVES in that space (since the rest of the house has lots of fringed oriental rugs (aka "doggie dental floss") so until she's a WEE bit older (Freudian use of "wee" there...) she's restricted to the porcelain tile.

I am embarrassed to say that it was a full year after we installed it before I did anything more than vacuum it. I never even damp mopped it because it didn't look at all dirty. However, we chose a light tile and with enough time and enough foot traffic (or muddy paws), it does collect dirt in the "pits"and valleys of the surface -- and in my experience, the best solution is to get down with a scrub brush. We have a floor scrubbing/polishing machine but because of the variations in texture, it leaves a lot of the crevice/pit dirt behind. But I have honestly only done it twice in 2 years, and then only in the high traffic areas. EVERYTHING comes up off this floor, and it's impossible to scratch even if you try! I love everything about it and even with the need to scrub occasionally, it's the easiest maintenance floor I've ever had.

But it can be COLD on bare feet in the winter (delightfully cool in summer, though, so that's the tradeoff). I would also strongly recommend paying more for stain-resistant acrylic (?) grout -- we were talked out of it by our installer and went with traditional grout which we tried sealing ourselves, but I regret that. The sealing was a royal pain (so we only did the high traffic areas in the end) but even with it, in those areas the grout is definitely darker than in the lighter traffic areas. I wish I'd gone with a darker grout, but that wasn't the effect I was after... though it's the effect I may end up with in the end! ;)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 10:58AM
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i avoided the "pits"/texture, too, worrying about this, as well as how it might feel on bare feet. my tile is not at all glossy, but it is smoooth. i just cleaned up yesterday all of the sawdust from the cabinet install and it was very easy. of course, my pattern is so mottled, i kept thinking there was something to pick up -- but it was just the pattern. :)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 11:23AM
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I have perfectly smooth tile. I wanted a light colored floor since my cabinets are very dark and I knew it would show everything rather than hiding dirt like my old dark wood floor. So I didn't want much in the way of a texture that would be harder to get clean. Plus I originally was going with a honed/filled limestone - also smooth. So when I decided to switch to porcelain I was looking for something similar. Smooth goes better with the style of my house and kitchen - and it is SO easy to keep clean. The grout is relatively narrow and I guess it must be relatively smooth too because it isn't hard to clean either. People say smooth tile is slippery but I haven't had a problem with that.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 6:14PM
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"Mock ups" have been suggested here freq. for potential kitchen features.

I decided to try a "mud" mock up to help evaluate my tile choices.

It was a nice rainy day here, so had no problem finding some mud to try on several tiles I am considering. I really rubbed it in and let it dry for my little experiment.

It was a very helpful exercise.

The glossy textured tiles and the smooth matte ones were a breeze to clean off. That was the good news.

The bad news, I could have broken my neck! Holy mackerel! It was like trying to walk on ice! I had heard tile could be slippery when wet but had no idea just how slippery. This is an important issue when you have a dog and two cats that splash around in their water bowls and leave a trail of water dripping from their mouths as they walk away from getting a drink.

That eliminated a whole bunch of choices right there.

Finally, I tried the cleaning/slippery test on the tile I liked most in the first place. It was the one with all the grooves and indentations that I thought might be a pain to keep clean.

My first try at cleaning with a damp sponge didn't seem to do a very good job. But, then I tried one of my miracle cloths (Micro fibers) and it took every bit of dirt off with minimal effort! Also, the tile passed the 'don't break your neck test'. It seemed to have a fair amount of traction for walking even when wet.

I think I've FINALLY found a keeper!! Yahooooo! One more decision made!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 1:27AM
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Whoohoo! How great that it's the one you liked best that passes the test!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 2:00AM
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