The ceramic tiles are the most used tiles in the homes despite of many other options available. One of these options is the resilient tiles, which are very suitable for home usage. The article explains the types of the resilient tiles, their installation, decor tips, and the reasons to use the resilient tiles.
What are resilient tiles?
The resilient tiles are usually made up of solid vinyl or vinyl compositions. One of their most celebrated properties is that they can simulate almost any type of the flooring material (for example wood, brick etc.). Other than that, their innate look and texture is also so good that these tiles can also be used in their original form.
Types of resilient tiles
There are almost infinite types of resilient tiles. Given below are the four major categories of the resilient tiles.
Solid vinyl and vinyl composition tiles
Vinyl is a very versatile and safe organic compound. The tiles in solid vinyl and vinyl compositions are the most commonly used among the resilient tiles. These tiles are very conveniently available (in a plethora of colors) in the market. The installation of these tiles is easy enough to qualify as a DIY project.
Vinyl variation tiles
The vinyl variation tiles usually have different materials such as fabrics, hardwood veneers, wood shakes, or marble chips suspended in the solid vinyl. Sometimes these materials are laminated between a tough base and a vinyl surface. The simulated wood, brick, or ceramic resilient tiles are also included in this category.
After the vinyl composition tiles, another good choice in resilient tiles are the vinyl variation tiles. Aesthetically too, these tiles are a clear winner among all of the flooring materials.
The asphalt tiles form another category of the resilient tiles but they are almost obsolete now. Once they were very popular among the home builders. However, these tiles lost their popularity due to their lack of durability. These tiles might be available at the flee markets or garage sales. Keep in mind that these tiles are only fit for decoration purposes and not for a lot of foot traffic because they are prone to tear and breakage.
Vinyl asbestos tiles
Vinyl asbestos tiles were extremely popular in the 1960s and the 70s. Thankfully, these tiles were removed from the market later when studies proved that asbestos poses potential health hazards. Do not buy the vinyl asbestos tile from any reseller. If the property where you live has vinyl asbestos tiles, DO NOT break, tear or sand it. Breaking, tearing or sanding will release asbestos fibers in the air, which can damage lungs when inhaled. These tiles should simply be covered with any other type of flooring.
Reasons to use resilient tiles
One or more of the following can be the reasons to use resilient tiles in the home.
Aesthetics is one of the major reasons to use the resilient tiles. Nothing amazes me more than the number of variations and designs available in this type of tiles. In my opinion, no other type of tile can match that. Aesthetically, I also adore the fact that these tiles do not require grout, which sometimes looks out of order between pleasing colors, designs, and patterns.
The fact that they can simulate almost any type of flooring material makes them a budget buy as compared to the original materials. In their original form too, the vinyl tiles prove to be very economical when their durability and design flexibility is considered.
For safety reasons, these tiles are always to be preferred over wood tiles. These tiles are highly resistant to temperature, which makes them a good choice for places like cabins in deep woods where fires are likely. These tiles also do not let the water pass through them. So, whenever safety is a concern, these tiles ensure peace of mind.
The resilient tiles are very durable. They are extremely resistant to indentations and thus can remain excellent shape for decades. These tiles can not only withstand water and extreme temperatures but also a lot of foot traffic.
Places (other than the floors and the walls) to use resilient tiles
Of course, the floors and the walls are the most obvious and straightforward choices to use the resilient tiles. However, these are not the only places to use the resilient tiles. The tiles can be used in the following places for both the aesthetic and the functionality purposes.
Shelves and countertops
The tiled shelves and counter tops do not only give a décor statement but they are also very practical. The resilient tiles can stand almost any type of work load. So, either you have a countertop for kitchen work or a shelf where you want to display your prized possessions; having them tiled is a wise decision.
Fireplaces and window trims
The fireplaces or the windows can be outlined with these tiles to beautify any dull space. The fact that these tiles are easy to install make them a good choice for using at places other than the floors.
I have seen great-looking bath tubs entirely covered with the resilient tiles. I am almost obsessed with the look and the aura that the tiled bath tubs impart to a bathroom. Try it by hiring a pro and I guarantee that you won’t regret it.
Choosing and buying the most appropriate resilient tiles
Look, Color, and Design
The very fact that the resilient tiles are available in endless designs can overwhelm the novices. So think of the décor and design theme first and then hit the showroom(s). These tiles are available in slate, brick, and even in ceramic textures.
The design on the tile is either inlaid or printed. Other than these, embossed resilient tiles are also available. What kind of design suits one’s needs the best entirely depends upon the décor theme one has chosen for a given space and the effort one can put in maintaining the look of these tiles.
Usage and Maintenance
Generally, the tiles are considered easy to clean and maintain, however different factors can vary the level of ease in cleaning and maintaining.
Solid vinyl tiles are more likely to develop scratches than the vinyl compositions. So if you are someone like me, who moves the furniture around the house a lot than do not use the solid vinyl tiles.
Embossed tiles are finished with grained structure. They look good and are good at hiding wear and furniture marks. However if they are not cleaned regularly, they may gather dirt which might be hard to remove.
The tiles with the wax finishes are glossy and easy to clean. On the other hand, the no-wax finishes on tiles ensure that they hide the early wear marks.
Price and sustainability
The tiles with the inlaid design are more expensive than those having printed designs are. However, keep in mind that the prints would diminish with time if they have to withstand regular traffic and cleaning. Inlaid tiles might prove to be a high investment buy but they will sustain for far greater time than the printed ones.
A note on DIY Installation of the resilient tiles
The resilient tiles are relatively easier to install as compared to other types of tiles. The tiles are laid tightly against each other. Due to that, the grout is not required, which is one of the materials that require expertise and patience to work with. Other than that, in most of the resilient tiles the self stick variety is available, which makes the job easier even for the first timers.
Although the resilient tiles do not require grout for installation, still some people prefer to buy a special grout when they are using simulated brick or ceramic tiles for a realistic effect.
Personal observation and experience
Personal knowledge acquired from different remodeling handbooks