Should you use natural stone tiles or a porcelain look alike in your kitchen?
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Should you use natural stone tiles or a porcelain look alike in your kitchen?

Choosing the style you want for you kitchen is the fun part. Weighing up practicality, cost, maintenance and resale value of your kitchen tile can feel like entering into the research component for a PhD. If you’re tossing up between natural stone tiles or a porcelain look alike, here’s your quick guide to the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Cost, resale value and overall look

Every reno or home build has a budget. You might be thinking “yes, let’s splurge on the kitchen!” While others are mindful of ensuring each room gets equal love.

Natural stone tiles will be more expensive, but it’s worth thinking of them as an investment. If you’re working on a flipping project or are likely going to move within the next few years, a natural stone floor tile will ensure solid resale value, especially if it’s in the kitchen.

That said, natural stone tiles do need a little more maintenance. Along with the cost of materials and installation, stone tiles are recommended to be sealed. We’ve got a guide to finishes for natural stone tile if you’d like to learn more!

Porcelain tiles that look like stone is ideal for someone who wants the look but is keen to stick to a budget and lower ongoing maintenance costs. While it might not add the same value, it’s still a stunning option and with tile technology at its peak, it’s hard to tell the difference when a porcelain tile is mimicking natural stone.

Maintenance and durability of your tile

Porcelain tile is an extremely hard ceramic tile. Technically speaking, porcelain tiles are less porous, meaning they absorb less and are resistant to major stains.

For busy families with kids, pets and messy cooks (you know who you are!) a porcelain tile makes sense. If time is not on your side, porcelain is a great tile for those who want to do no more than a quick mop with a tile cleaner to keep them sparkly and fresh.

Natural stone does equal more care. If you’re set on a stone tile, that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, granite is a great option.

It’s the hardest and densest construction-grade stone material on the market. It looks best when polished smooth or honed, which highlights the natural crystal in the stone. It is resistant to stains and water however if not cared for regularly can loose its original lustre.  That being said, natural stone like Granite can be re-polished or honed after many years of use.

Many people opt to seal the granite after installation to help protect the tiles and grout lines between them.  Sealing natural stone will just make cleaning that much easier.

The process of sealing is easier and quicker than you’d think. After a good clean, sealing your stone tiles should only take an hour. If you don’t think you are that confident, there are many tilers and tradesmen that will include sealing as a part of their installation, just ask them.

When in doubt, opt for a tile that’s smart, strong and an easy-care option for your lifestyle. Especially when compared to vinyl or laminate, porcelain OR natural stone is a great choice. Talk to Stone and Tile Studio today to find out more.

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