Marble Floor alternative.

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  #1  
Old 07-23-06, 12:47 AM
Ecin
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Marble Floor alternative.

I need help deciding on what type of flooring I should use. The area needed to be tiled is about 1460 sq ft. including a great room of 494 sq ft. Initially I wanted to use marble but I heard it scratches easy and it's a lot of headaches. Also an installer told me the labor is about $6/sq ft. Anyhow is there a type of tiles that is similar to marble? The way it veins and shines. I want something off white or beige that has a flat surface and reflective look like marble.

One thing I like about marble is that the tiles are very close together and you can't see the grout. I don't know what that's called. But I would like something like that. The thing is that in my old house I had a nice beige grout but after a while with everyone walking it turned black. I want to know how to prevent that if grouting will become inevitable. Someone in a store told me to go with Porcelin but I have no Idea what that looks like. Hopefully you can point me on how to have a nice shiny scratch-resistant floor with out going over $10k. Oh yeah 1 more thing. I don't like those tiles that have the graphics printed on them, they look cheap. I rather have a non-polished textured tile than have cheap graphics. And that's what I may resort to if I can't find a nice marble alternative.

Thanks.
 
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Old 07-23-06, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Ecin
I need help deciding on what type of flooring I should use. The area needed to be tiled is about 1460 sq ft. including a great room of 494 sq ft. Initially I wanted to use marble but I heard it scratches easy and it's a lot of headaches. Also an installer told me the labor is about $6/sq ft. Anyhow is there a type of tiles that is similar to marble? The way it veins and shines. I want something off white or beige that has a flat surface and reflective look like marble.
The labor charge is due to the need to get the tiles really flat next to each other when setting them with a tight grout joint like 1/16". There are tile made of porcelain that mimic the look of marble but I doubt you will find them in the discount aisle, unless it is a closeout, some cost more than the real thing. Tiles that are cut to exact sizing so they can be placed close together are called "rectified" tile, and can be a natural stone like marble or granite, or it can be a man made product like a porcelain tile. Not all porcelains are rectified but those that are unglazed and polished or honed usually are.
 
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Old 07-23-06, 12:01 PM
Ecin
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like how much should I expect to pay for any rectified tile? also does 12x12 or 24x24 tiles change the install price and by how much? Thanks
 
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Old 07-24-06, 08:31 AM
K
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Red face Marble Floor alternative

Hi Ecin -

I have been in the process of selecting a flooring material as well. I am an interior designer and have had difficulty making the same decision for my own home - if you can believe it.

Porcelain tile is a manufactured material - clay baked with a finish - similar to pottery, but very durable. Porcelain tile has many advantages over natural marble, particularly for the application you are considering.

Marlble tile will scratch and in an area will a lot of traffic, you may be disappointed in the appearnace of your floor after a while. Polished marble can be very beautiful, but slippery in certain locations. Marble tile can range in cost from $7 - 20 psf in the typical home store quality product. Matte finish marble is beautiful as well but will require a sealer - matte or gloss. I usually recommend matte.

Porcelain tile is extremely durable - it does not stain and doesn't require sealing. Cost range depends on the quality of the tile - design, size of tile and source. $.99 -$20 psf

My first choice was travertine tile for my entry, front hall and kitchen. My cost / benefit analysis lead me to a search for a porcelain tile that looks like travertine. I found an excellent look by Dal Tile for an unbeliveable price and am going with it. Finding the tile at the cost I was willing to pay took a long time.

I caution my clients and myself on the following. We often concentrate too much on individual details and not on the whole picture. In my case - it is more important to have the durability of a good looking tile floor and use the expensive finishes at eye level - granite counters. Keeping quality consistent is key and the challenge for most DIY'ers

You mention the grout lines in your post. I am using a 1/16' tile spacer - to get the look I want.

I am using a latex grount with a sealer additive to minimize discoloration of the grout. I know I will seal the grout a couple times a year. At what price.....beauty????
 
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Old 07-24-06, 10:57 PM
Ecin
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Thanks for your reply, Katie. I was at the design center today chosing the upgrades for my new home. I was suprised for how cheap they can install rectified porcelain (semi or Hi-gloss, I forgot) it doesn't say polished. It was only 11,000, but since I had to choose other upgrades and pay 50% up front I left the floor carpet. I basically only did structural upgrades since everything they have their is redicously overpriced. I'm with you, most ceramics and other tiles you can tell when you're standing up that they have a fake print and if you bend a little you see the dot matrix. But with the porcelain, it can pass for travertine. I didn't see much difference between the natural stone and porcelain. I know I'm going to do porcelain by within a year since the house is done jan 07. All I need is to find a good price and installer.

Question, can they be together without the 1/16" gap? it's not that important as 1/16" is pretty slim.
Thanks
 
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Old 07-25-06, 05:53 AM
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Since you're not in a hurry, keep an eye on the stores that have a tile you like, they don't often go on sale, but will probably go on clearance - just make sure to buy enough to account for waste and to have a few extra when you're done in case any need to be replaced down the road.
 
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Old 07-25-06, 06:24 AM
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You need to leave that 1/16" gap for grout. It isnt possible to get the tile perfectly butted one to another. Any ungrouted lines as thin as they may be will accumulate all kinds of junk and will be impossible to keep the joints clean. It becomes a breading ground for mold. Your tile setter will have an impossible time getting the tiles to butt with no thinset oozing through to get in the way. The 1/16" will look great if done right.
 
 

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