Difference in Floor Tile Thickness

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Multiple types of floor tile exist, consisting of a number of materials. Each material comes in a variety of thicknesses to serve various purposes in the home from flooring to wall tiles. When shopping for floor tile, it's important to choose a material that is suitable for flooring. You want a tile that is functional and able to withstand foot traffic.

Floor Tile Thickness

  • Most floor tiles have a thickness of about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch and are generally thicker than wall tiles. A tile's thickness usually depends on the material. Some tile materials can be thicker or thinner than the standard. For example, mosaic floor tiles tend to be thinner, whereas natural stone can be thicker.

Slate

  • Slate floor tiles are made of metamorphic rock that is a combination of quartz, mica, calcite and chlorite. It's a natural material that develops when sediment is fused together from the heat of the earth's crust. It's a hard stone that is ideal for residential and commercial flooring. Variations in slate thickness depend on the size and type of the tile. Chinese and Indian slate 12-inch by 12-inch tiles can range in thickness from 3/8 and 7/16 inch. Chinese slate tiles of 16-inch by 16-inch can have a thickness of 1/2 to 9/16 inch, whereas Indian slate tiles of the same size can vary between 7/16 and 1/2 inch in thickness. Since the product is installed with medium-bed mortar, adjustments can be made to accommodate for different tile thicknesses to ensure the floor is level.

Ceramic

  • Homeowners frequently choose ceramic tile for flooring in their homes because it's hard-wearing and easy to maintain. It can be installed in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms, as it's water-resistant. Ceramic tiles come in a variety of styles and textures to accommodate multiple functions and diverse personal tastes. It also comes in different thicknesses ranging from 1/4 to 3/4 inch. In general, the thicker the tile the more resilient it is and the less likely to break.

Porcelain

  • Porcelain tile looks similar to ceramic tile only it's denser. It's highly tolerant to stains, scratches and moisture, which make it a good choice for residential and commercial flooring, particularly in high-traffic areas. It's available in smooth or raised textures and an array of colors. Select a thick porcelain tile with a thickness of 5/16 inch thick or thicker for flooring.

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  • Photo Credit Tile tiled image by olegusk from Fotolia.com

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