Five ways Italian tile can improve the value and safety of your home | by Caroline Bush
If you’ve been working from home for the past several months, it’s likely that you’ve spent more than one lunch break and countless weekends daydreaming about (or even planning) a home renovation. If that is true, you’re not alone! COVID-19 and the ensuing global health crisis has led to a fundamental shift in how many people are thinking about their homes. Whether you’re on a quest to create a more hygienic home environment, longing to design your dream kitchen, or eager to build your own outdoor entertainment space, Italian ceramic tile may be the champion of all your design projects.
By its very nature, ceramic is a healthy and hygienic material. It’s also extremely durable, water-resistant, and easy to clean, offering a low-maintenance solution for every room in the home. Italian tile in particular comes in an impressive array of colors, patterns, shapes, and sizes, so you’ll never have to compromise beauty for peace of mind. Here are five examples of how Italian ceramic tile can help improve the value and safety of your home (watch the video “Ceramic. A safe choice“).
Improve Indoor Air Quality
Ceramic tile is one of the most healthy and hygienic surfacing materials on the market. It is made with natural ingredients including clay and sand and fired at a high temperature to create a hard-wearing, inert surface that’s free of toxic chemicals and VOCs. Because many types of ceramic (including porcelain) are non-porous, they are hypoallergenic. They do not trap dirt, dust mites, or allergens and are naturally inhospitable to bacteria, mold, and mildew. Some Italian manufacturers even go a step further by offering antimicrobial tiles that actively target and eliminate up to 99.9% of bacteria. Either way, using Italian ceramic tile is a smart choice to reduce bacterial spread, and ultimately, improve the indoor air quality of your home.
Create Your Dream Kitchen
The kitchen is undoubtedly one of the most utilized rooms in the home. Because of this, it also holds the greatest potential for improving your home’s market value. Ceramic – and porcelain stoneware in particular – is incredibly durable and resistant to staining, scratching, water, and extreme heat, making it a practical solution for a busy kitchen. There are thousands of eye-catching designs and innovative formats to choose from for the floor and wall as well as countertops! Italian manufacturers pioneered large-format porcelain slabs that measure up to 5.25’ x 10.5’. They come in a variety of styles – from incredibly realistic material effects to solid colors and patterns. Available in 6, 12 and 20mm thicknesses, the tiles can be installed in one piece, just like a slab of marble or stone, or cut and drilled to fashion tabletops and other custom furniture. Because these slabs have been around for years, most fabricators are comfortable working with the material. Most Italian tile collections also offer decorative pieces, such as mosaics and listels, which are helpful in creating a coordinated backsplash and completing the look of your dream kitchen. With Italian ceramic tile, you can achieve the look of expensive marble without having the headache of maintenance associated with it.
Renovate Over Existing Floors
Italian companies are pioneers in the tile industry and offer many creative products to make renovating easier. One solution is gauged porcelain tile that can be installed directly over pre-existing surfaces. Because the tiles are just ⅛-¼” thick, they can be installed directly on top of old floors without adding much height to the overall installation. Other examples include floating tile floors that come with a soundproofing mat and special filler, raised pedestals for installing tile over wiring or uneven surfaces, and interlocking tile systems that you can install yourself, further cutting down renovation costs.
Create an Instant Outdoor Space
The pandemic has caused everyone to rethink the way we live, work, and gather. A recent study conducted by Realtor.com revealed that one of the top “must-have” items for prospective homebuyers at the moment is an outdoor living space. As we all spend more time outdoors, it’s important to create an atmosphere that is not only functional, but also stylish and inviting. Italian tile makes it easy to create an instant outdoor living room with thick porcelain tiles that can be used as pavers. The tiles are ¾” thick and can be dry-laid over grass, gravel, and sand for easy installation. They are also non-porous, slip-resistant, and UV- & weather-resistant, ensuring they will still look good for years to come.
Reduce Your Energy Bill
Ceramic has been used as a heat conductor since ancient times. It’s thermal mass reduces peak heating and cooling, acting as a natural insulator and creating a more stable and comfortable indoor environment. It’s also one of the best options for radiant floor heating since it retains heat for longer, helping to reduce your energy consumption and energy bills!