Monday, July 15, 2013

Finding and Choosing Tiles for Flooring

Well the contractor we hired called me today and we have establish the start of the work for Tuesday, second week of August. There's a number of things that I need to take care of before he comes.

One of the the tasks is to choose and purchase the new tile for the floor. The size of the room is about My brother and I visited two flooring distributors on Terminal Ave to get an idea of what the cost and selection is like.

First place we went to was a place my brother always noticed when he drove by. The store is called Fontile.We saw some on sale that would keep the purchase of the tiling to around just $1000 w/ tax which I felt was reasonable for our budget. However, when we spoke to the sales lady, apparently we were looking at natural stone which would require a yearly treatment to maintain its quality. She showed us and range of porcelain tiles in a different section of the store and I was feeling a little overwhelmed at the prices I would have to pay, wondering if the floor was worth doing after all. When we found a colour we liked on sale, we thought hey, this could work. $4.49 per sq ft means we would only be spending around $700 for the tiling.

Next place we visited I had found on the internet, called Tiles For Less. This place is not a showroom. It simply looks like a warehouse of tiles, with various piles of boxes with tiles in them spread on the floor in rows so you could walk among them and browse. To our delight, the prices were substantially lower. $2.99 per sq ft and even $1.99 per sq ft. Again, since we are simply updating a secondary kitchen, we decided this is the place to go! We chose two potential candidates and went home.

When my brother was browsing through the sale flyers in our newspaper that afternoon, he came across this:

I was positive it must be just cheap stuff. But at 79 cents we had to check it out. When we found the item at Home Depot, we noticed that we couldn't find a name-brand on the box, as if it were shipped directly from china or wherever they are made.

I had researched a little bit into different tiles for flooring in residential homes before I went, and I knew that porcelain was the better option over ceramic though there's some debate about it. There are a variety of features that these tiles come with that help determine which is the best for a residential kitchen floor:

I found was extremely helpful to us because it was simple and to the point and allowed me to make a checklist and compare them to the features of the tile I was considering. I won't go through what each stand for since you can read it in the link above (and it's an interesting read!). This is simply a summary to find out if this tile works for us.

Grade one, two, or three to determine quality of the stone. One is the best, and three is suitable only for walls, not floors.

Porcelain and Enamel Institute's wear rating. Comes in grade I, II, III, IV, or V. PEI of I only good enough for walls. PEI III is recommended for residential areas, PEI IV for heavy traffic areas in residential or some light commercial uses. PEI V for heavy commercial use.

Five levels of grading:
  • Nonvitreous: absorbs 7% of its weight in water.
  • Semi-vitreous: 3% - 7% (dry indoor areas only)
  • Vitreous: 0.5% - 3% (for outdoors or areas where moisture is present like a spa)
  • Impervious: less than 0.5% (porcelain tile must be this grade to be called porcelain)
Coefficient Of Friction to determine its natural resistance to slipping. COF 0.5 considered sufficient for residential. COF 0.6 required by commercial flooring. Higher the number, less chance of slippage.

This is what the sale tile box reads:

So everything checks out for a residential kitchen. So we bought it!

Final price was $254 + tax. Another substantial savings! I am happy! And this includes 15% additional sq ft for wastage, and one extra box because we knew this being a sale, we probably couldn't run over to get more if we run out. After all these are fragile. 

Tomorrow, my brother takes me to a door manufacturing warehouse where we found a huge savings on a exterior door with glass.

P.S.  Day Four and still no folder to be found. I'm starting to get worried.

1 comment:

  1. OK so interestingly enough, I think the price is reduced because of the odd size. They are 13" rather than the usual 12".