Porcelain tile flooring is made from clay baked at very high temperatures for long periods of time to remove almost all the water. The result is one of most beautiful and durable tiles anywhere. Porcelain tile is available in a variety of styles (from wood look to stone look) and shapes (rectangles, planks, mosaics, and chevrons). Porcelain tile comes in white, black, grey, blue, red, and almost any finish or pattern you can imagine.
You can also choose from different textures. For use on a mudroom or entryway floor you might try a porcelain tile with a non-slip texture.
If you have a question about a specific type or color of porcelain tile, or need professional design help from our experts, call or visit Tile For Less Utah at either our Salt Lake City store or Layton store.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: How to clean porcelain tile?
Congrats, you’ve got one of the most durable flooring materials ever.
First, how to clean porcelain tile starts knowing that you really can’t hurt it. It’s as simple as using a Swiffer Wet Jet or a bucket with a cleaner such as Pine Sol or even soap and water.
Be careful using steam cleaners as it can wear through cementitious grout over time. Be cautious about using vinegar as it’s a mild acid and acids are good for cleaning hard water, rust and minerals.
Vinegar isn’t the best thing to use for dirt and grease…I don’t know about you, but dirt and grease is what messes up my kitchen floor!
If your tile surface has divots that collect dirt, you will need to use a heavy scrub brush to loosen those dirt deposits.
A speciality cleaning solution such as our Omni Tech Heavy Duty Tile and Grout cleaner (a high PH cleaner) will make that task a whole lot easier. Simply mix it to the strongest dilution, slosh out onto the porcelain or ceramic tile floor and let it dwell there for 10 minutes.
Now you won’t have to scrub so much. If a heavy duty tile stripper is used, we recommend re-sealing your cement base grout after a deep cleaning like this.
Why is porcelain tile so easy to clean? The glaze on top acts as a sort of sealant to keep liquids and spills from sinking in and creating stains.
It’s also fired at incredibly high temperatures which make it dense and often impervious.
Q: How to cut porcelain tile?
Use a wet saw. There are scoring-type cutters that might work for ceramic wall tile but porcelain is dense and thick and needs a wet saw with a diamond blade. You can use a plunge saw for small to medium tiles and a rail saw for large format or plank tiles.
Tile For Less rents wet saws equipped with high quality diamond blades to make your job easier. If your tile is very large, such as a 24” x 48”, it will be difficult to cut and you’ll have to get creative.
An angle grinder with a small 4.5” high quality diamond blade can be used in some cases, just make sure to have a sponge on hand to wet the tile down as you cut.
Q: How to remove grout haze from a tile?
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of a cure so when you’re installing your grout be sure to work clean.
Wiping the grout up and having fresh sponges and more than one bucket of wash water will go a long way to prevent grout from leaving a film.
You can also apply Omni Tech Grout Release to the tile and let that dry before you start filling in the joints. This will eliminate grout haze from happening in the first place.
If somehow you do end up with a grout haze, our Omni Tech Grout haze remover is available for BOTH cement grout haze AND epoxy grout haze.
Q: How to lay porcelain tile?
Make sure you have all the tools before you start. You will need extra tiles for cuts and waste, a modified mortar that is the correct formulation for your tile size, a trowel with the correct size and shape of notches for your tile size, spacers/wedges, a tile saw, grout along with a grout float, fresh sponges and buckets of water.
Tile For Less will help you determine which mortar, grout and trowel are right for your project. We’ll supply the tools and you supply the labor!
Floor and wall installations each require a different set of instructions to install properly, so we have team members who can explain how to get started with your specific project as well as instructional videos which can be found on our website.
We won’t leave you hanging, we’ve got your back!
Q: How to tell the difference between ceramic and porcelain tile?
Ceramic and porcelain tile start from basically the same raw materials.
The difference is that porcelain is made from a more refined clay and fired at a much hotter temperature.
This creates a tile that is made from clay of a lighter color and is much harder/denser.
There are a few ways to spot the difference while you’re out shopping.
- Color: if the clay is red it’s almost always a ceramic. If it is a red body porcelain, it’s almost always stamped on the back as porcelain.
- Application: if a tile is rated only for wall use, it’s probably a ceramic.
- Do the water test: Splash or sponge water on to the back of the tile. A porcelain tile will not absorb the water. It will have to evaporate away. A ceramic tile will slowly absorb the water.
These guidelines don’t always apply so when in doubt, ask a Team Member and we’ll let you know what type it is.
And remember, a ceramic is more than durable enough for a wall application.
Porcelain is great for kitchen floors or outdoor applications in a freeze thaw climate.