Choosing Cement Tiles for Any Room
Currently, there is a trend of using 8”x 8” cement tiles. Particularly, cement tiles are thicker than ceramic tile. Because the tile is made out of cement, it must be thicker than a normal ceramic tile in order to be structurally sound. Cement tiles are usually about 5/8” thick, while most ceramic tiles are about 1/4” thinner or 3/8” thick. This is significant because the thicker tile needs to transition smoothly into the other floors in your home. For example, if you tile the kitchen, it needs to meet up evenly with the hardwood in the hallway. Thus, the thicker tile creates issues for the transition between the two surfaces. This problem can be overcome by using a wood transition strip or using a transition strip made of metal by Schluter Systems, or by another comparable company.
What are the Pros and Cons?
One pro is that the tile is attractive and adds an authentic, vintage look to any room. Additionally, cement tiles have a plethora of unique colors and patterns. However, one downside is that the tiles can easily stain and discolor. So, it is necessary to seal the tile BEFORE grouting. Also, we have witnessed issues with grouting. Many cement tiles have limitations with grout colors (light colored grout only). This is to prevent the grout pigment in darker colors from permanently staining the tile. Even with a good sealer, the tile will discolor with time and use.
Because cement tiles have become popular, a few tile manufacturers have designed tiles that similarly represent cement. The tiles are average thickness, about 3/8”, and they will not stain. Therefore, you can use them with any grout color, and you can also use them in high traffic areas without any issues.
Should I Use Cement Tiles?
Although I have 26 years of tile experience in the Annapolis and Severna Park area, it is up to you to choose cement or one of the ceramic tiles that look like cement. Here at Atlas Marble & Tile, we install 8×8 Arkadia cement tile in a lovely grey pattern called Versailles. We also have tons of choices in cement tiles and their counterparts, the ceramic look alike. Feel free to take a look and make your own decision for tiling your bathroom or kitchen.
Cheers to All,