Tiles vs Flexible Stone Veneers – What you need to consider

Tiles vs Flexible Stone Veneers – What you need to consider

Tiles are among the most popular products which are used in the construction industry across the world. In fact, it’s become quite impossible to think of buildings a home without tiles. From flooring to walls, from kitchen to bathroom, tiles have been used extensively in the building process. There are many a reason why tiles are popular for home construction, but it’s important to understand whether there are better alternatives out there, especially that overcome whatever disadvantages that are present in tiles.

Why tiles are popular?

There are many reasons why tiles are so popular for home construction. Let’s take a deeper look at these reasons, shall we?

• Variety in colour, texture, design & sizes

Tiles are available in a great range of designs, textures, colours, styles & sizes to cater to every possible taste & need. As an example, tiles are available in different styles such as geometric, classical, rustic & contemporary tiles.

• Easy to clean & maintain

Tile floors & walls are generally easier to clean & maintain, traditionally with a damp mop or sponge & a mild detergent. Tiled floors can be vacuum-cleaned with almost any vacuum without the bristles from the brushes getting caught in the grout lines.

• Water resistance

Tiled floors are water-proof. Without grout, water can easily be drained from your floor & away from the structural integrity of your home. In order to prevent water from passing through, ceramic tiles have an outer shield over the materials. They are also excellent to use in damp locations such as a kitchen or bathroom, since they are resistant to high humidity.

• Scratch resistant

Ceramic, porcelain & ceramic tiles have an extremely hard surface, which is resistant to day-to-day scratches & scuffs. Ceramic tiles can become even more resistant to staining if you use a high-quality floor sealer.

• Relative affordability

Ceramic, porcelain & ceramic tile flooring are less expensive than other types of cladding, including wood & stone. It can also add to the resale value of your home.

• Fire resistance

Ceramic, porcelain & ceramic tiles are fire resistant, able to withstand extreme temperatures. When compared with other types of cladding, tiles become cooler a lot faster after being exposed to heat.

What to be wary of when deciding to go ahead with tiles?

While tiles have all these advantages, there are a few things you need to consider when deciding to use tiles in your home, especially since there are other alternatives out there. So, what do you need to be aware of?

• Difficulty in installation

Let’s be honest – there’s a reason why tilers have a job & it’s because installing tiles requires a certain set of skills & experience.
Since ceramic tiles need to be cut precisely in order for them to fit together properly as well as to avoid cracks or other problems when the tiles age, they are considered difficult to install.
Ceramic tiles are also heavy & difficult to manoeuvre, especially if they are large format tiles. Installation requires a range of equipment, mortars & grouts. While it can also be installed by a novice, it can be a tedious & time-consuming job, & any installation error can lead to a high repair cost in the near future.

• High labour cost

Cost of labour can rage from $ 4 USD & $ 32 USD per square foot, while some pros charge by the hour. You can expect between $ 30 USD to $ 120 USD per hour, depending on the size & the complexity of the tiling project. The overall cost of the tile installation will depend on the square footage & the type of tile used, but generally, if you need a good job done, you’ll have to spend generously for labour.

• Short life span

No matter how professional the installation is & how durable the tiles are, at the end of the day, ceramic, porcelain & ceramic tiles are prone to crack over time with day-to-day wear & tear. The cracking is easy to notice since the tile becomes dull in colour & loses their shine as a result of this damage. Even though ceramic tiles are less expensive than other types of cladding including wood & stone, they may need to be replaced after only a few years.

• Ceramic tiles are very heavy

Ceramic tiles are rather heavy, & some can only support the weight of a few pounds before they break. In fact, if you have your children or pets, & you’re insistent on using tiles, you should probably consider vinyl or linoleum which are extremely light-weight. The weight of ceramic tiles also makes it rather unsuitable for upper-story installations.

• Difficulty to repair

Ceramic, porcelain & ceramic tiles are relatively fragile, & can chip easily. If a tile is chipped or broken, the entire tile should be replaced instead of trying to repair it. An attempt at repairing a damaged tile is not only labour-intensive, but it’s also less effective than replacing it.

Flexible stone veneers as an alternative to tiles

Since we’ve understood both the pros & cons of tiles, let’s look at an alternative, namely flexible stone veneers. But what are flexible stone veneers, & why use flexible stone veneers instead of tiles?
Flexible stone veneers are extracted from 100% natural metamorphic rock, resulting in a thin stone sheet that is both water & heat resistant. These veneers are also flexible enough to be installed on flat, curved surfaces. Being light-weight at only around 1 kilo per standard sheet, they are also easy enough to install on your own, hence classified as a DIY product. Installation doesn’t require specialist equipment, only requiring tools, glue & sealants which are commonly available. Since the stone sheet can tolerate extreme weather conditions, both hot & cold, it’s ideal to install not only indoors, but outdoors as well. The natural stone surface is extremely durable, & will not chip or fade with time. In fact, with the proper sealants & after care, the natural stone surface can last a life time, & is extremely resistant to staining & day-to-day wear & tear.

Why use flexible stone veneers instead of tiles?

Let’s see what makes flexible stone veneers the choice to go ahead with as opposed to tiles, shall we?

• Availability in large format sheets

The standard flexible stone veneer sheet size is 1,220 mm x 610 mm, while the larger sheet format is 2,440 mm x 1,220 mm. There are no tiles that are this large for the simple reason that it’s going to be too heavy to use in practicality. If a tile was this large, it will also be too costly.

• High level of durability

While ceramic or porcelain tiles are prone to crack or chip, the natural stone surfaces on flexible stone veneers are naturally resistant to cracking or chipping, & can last a lifetime with the proper sealants & after care.

• Ease of installation

When compared with the tedious task of installing a tile, installation of flexible stone veneers is so simple that a novice could do it. The equipment & other products which are required are readily available as well.

• Less cost of labour

Since installation is relatively simple when compared with installation of tiles, if you do it on your own, it’s free, & if not, a tiler won’t charge as much for installation as tiles since it’s relatively easier with fewer requirement of tools & other products.

• Unique product & versatility of application

Let’s be honest – while tiles have been around for ages & are extremely popular as a building material, it’s no conversation starter. On the contrary, the unique stone surface of flexible stone veneers is bound to appeal to the majority of people, & will definitely be a glamorous addition to your home. Unlike tiles, which have a specific use, flexible stone veneers are extremely versatile in terms of application, going on top of any kind of substrate including glass, cement, wood, tiles, brick & render. Flexible stone veneers also present unlimited applications including splashbacks, fireplaces, bedrooms, bathrooms, feature walls & even furniture.
So, now you know the pluses & the minuses of using tiles in your residential or commercial project, & why you should probably consider flexible stone veneers as an excellent & better substitute to tiles.
After all, you do deserve the best!

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