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How to shop for tile

When you walk into any store, you will be overwhelmed by the virtually limitless number of colors, patterns, and designs of this flooring. Hailo Flooring enjoys a 5-star Yelp rating and, as the tagline on our website reads: “Done once, done right.”

"I’m owner Kevin Enriquez. With 20 years’ experience in the flooring industry, I soon gained a reputation as a highly experienced flooring installer. That led to the inception of Haile Flooring in 2010. Our showroom is in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. We service the Inland Empire, which is the Southern California region adjacent to Los Angeles, as well as San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. Be sure to ask us about our estimate!"

First, ask yourself how you plan to use the tile...

...and then tell the retailer. This is important because there are different grades, making some appropriate for both flooring and walls, while others may be for walls only. Also, some can be used outside, but others cannot.

Two main kinds of tile

Porcelain is a kind of ceramic, but composition includes not only fine clay but also sand and glass. That makes it heavier and a good choice for busy, high traffic areas, like the kitchen or bath. It's always waterproof, even when not glazed, and can be used outside. Porcelain tile is a large format, white, almost translucent and can be made to look like anything, from wood to marble and other stones. Some people prefer the larger format/fewer seams because it looks continuous, like a slab or slice of wood.

Ceramic tile is thin, but tough, and is highly designed. They can be glazed or unglazed, but that coating makes them waterproof and gives them the hard-outer shell. Ceramic tiles can be used as flooring for low traffic areas, and are often seen as backsplashes, accent walls, and countertop inserts, etc.
Ceramic tile flooring in Inland Empire from Hailo Flooring

When you shop, think about:

  • Water absorption ratings. There are four, ranging from impervious to non-vitreous. If you have kids and pets, there can be a lot of spilled foods, milk and juice.
  • Slickness. If slippery is an issue, ask about textured surfaces and explore some of smaller tiles, like a mosaic where there are more grout lines to make the floor coarser.
  • Creative budgeting. If the price is an issue, use a plain one on a larger square footage area, with a few highly designed ones as accents.