New types of floor tiles – a comparison

25.10.2016

Floor tiles are being increasingly used as flooring in residential and commercial spaces, in garages, and outdoors in gardens. Although there are cheaper options, customers will also learn that floor tiles are made to last and come in a variety of different colors. Several types of material can be chosen, where each is a little different from the other.

The most popular types include interlocking, concrete, rubber and plastic tiles. They all have their advantages and shortcomings; they also depend to a large extent on personal taste and preferences.

Interlocking tiles are easy to install

Everyone knows interlocking tiles. They are made from special concrete and get their name from their specific shape. The tiles are made to fit exactly into each other, something which makes installing interlocking tiles extremely easy. There is usually no need for any glue or expertise.

Advantages:

  • Considerable resistance to sunlight, rain and frost – this makes them usable outdoors,
  • Resistant to abrasion and other mechanical damage,
  • Quick to install.

Disadvantages:

  • Before installing, it’s necessary to lay a gravel bed, and if it’s poorly made, the tiles will sink under load,
  • Tiling on edges require adaptation using special tools and equipment,
  • Mildew will soon begin to grow between tiles.

They are especially good for garages, driveways, walkways, and for terraces.

Concrete tiles can withstand the weather

In addition to interlocking tiles, others are made from concrete in different shapes. These do not fit into each other, and in most cases they are also laid on a gravel bed. This prevents the infiltration of water and stains. in some places it’s possible to use special leveling spacers placed on a hard surface, with the tiles placed on top of them. But this option is only good for terraces, balconies and loggias.

Advantages:

  • If you use spacers, the floor can be disassembled any time,
  • As with interlocking tiles, they withstand the external effects of weather well,
  • They go well with other concrete gear in the garden (e.g. with a concrete fence).

Disadvantages:

  • Gasoline or oil stains are very hard to remove,
  • Concrete tiles are heavy,
  • Concrete absorbs moisture and so takes it from the ground, so don’t plan on using these tiles around lush vegetation.

Like their interlocking offshoot, concrete tiles are used in garages, driveways, terraces, balconies and loggias.

Falling on rubber tiles hurts less

Rubber tiles are soft and absorb impact, so they are especially good where children move about. They are installed on a reinforced surface, either connected by plastic pins or glued. Water doesn’t affect them and they are nonflammable.

Advantages:

  • Because of their softness, they are pleasant to walk on,
  • They absorb sound, so sometimes they are used as wall cladding for shooting ranges,
  • They have thermal insulation qualities, so do not become cold.

Disadvantages:

  • Concrete or asphalt is recommended as the underlying surface,
  • You can get no other look except the matted type,
  • They become easily dirty and you will not rid them of oily stains.

Thanks to their impact absorption, they are used on terraces, balconies, around pools, in the gym, playgrounds and sports venues.

PVC floor tiles go everywhere indoors

Plastic tiles combine the advantages of all the above-mentioned types. Fortelock tiles are easy to install, just snap them together, it’s enough to use a rubber hammer and knife. Similar like rubber tiles, plastic ones are inflammable, they even suppress fire. There also good for sound and thermal insulation.

 

Advantages:

  • The tiles are not glued, can be replaced any time,
  • Neither oil nor chemicals bother them,
  • They can be installed on any surface,
  • Installation is extremely fast; it takes just an hour in a garage of average size.

Disadvantages:

  • So far only one color is manufactured,
  • The price is a little higher,
  • They cannot be used outdoors.

PVC tiles are not suitable for outdoor conditions, but their use indoors is practically unlimited. They can be used in garages, kids’ corners, basements and in laundry rooms. Read about why PVC tiles make good floors for workshops and utility rooms.

All of the above-mentioned types of tiles are manufactured today in huge quantities, whether in terms of color, patterns, and shapes or the thickness of the tiles. Nowhere is it prescribed which one needs to be used where, so the choice is basically up to you.