How Long Will a Tile Floor Last?

Your tile floor will last decades provided you choose the right tile and take care of it.

Tile FloorBefore installing any kind of flooring in your home, naturally you want to know how long it will last. If you’re going for a trendy look that will probably have to be updated soon anyway, you might be okay with a material that has a shorter lifespan, like carpet. But if you are going for a classic look that you want to enjoy for decades, tile is definitely the right choice. Most kinds of glazed porcelain, glazed ceramic, and terra cotta floor tile can last 50 years or more. However, if you want your tile floor to last you do need to take the following considerations into account.

Not All Tiles Can Handle Heavy Traffic

It’s important to choose the right tile for your application if you want that tile to perform well over time. Fortunately, you can rely on the following ratings to help.

  • Tile Grade. This is a quality rating that tells you how strong the tile is. Grade 1 is best, and Grade 3 should never be used on a floor.
  • PEI. The Porcelain Enamel Institute rating which measures resistance to abrasion. For residential floor tile, a PEI of 3 is sufficient. For commercial use, look for PEI of 4 or 5.

Also, don’t neglect to make sure you choose a tile that is water-resistant and slip-proof, especially if you’re looking for bathroom floor tile.

Some Tiles Need to Be Sealed

If you are not getting a glazed tile, it will absorb liquids. This isn’t just a problem when you’re talking about plain old water, but coffee, juice, wine, etc. can easily stain unglazed, porous tile bodies. To protect your tile, you will need to seal it. For example, terra cotta tile is commonly sealed when used indoors to protect it. If you want your terra cotta floor to last, you’ll need to reseal it about every 3 years.

Stock Up on Replacement Tiles Now

One reason a tile floor can last so long is it is easy to fix small problems. If a tile becomes broken or chipped, you can simply replace that tile rather than replacing the whole floor. The only catch is you need to have extra tiles on hand from the original batch if you want your replacement tiles to match. It is a good idea to get about 10 percent more tile than you actually need in your initial order to make sure you always have extras on hand.

Keep Your Tile Floors Clean

Tile does stand up amazingly well to everyday use including pet claws but over time abrasion can take its toll on tile. To protect your tile, you need to keep it free of sand, grit, and dirt. This is easy to do with a simply dry and wet mopping regimen.