The tile you choose for your home's kitchen is very important, as it needs to resist humidity from cooking as well as potential food stains, while also being comfortable underfoot, so that you don't get fatigued while cooking. Of course, you also want your home's kitchen tile to look attractive, on top of being durable and comfortable! Because all these features of kitchen tile are so important, note a few details to remember when it comes to choosing the best tile, so you'll be happy with your home's flooring for many years to come.
First consider how the tile will be installed, and this includes how to replace damaged tiles over time. If you don't have the budget for a professional installer and are considering putting down tile yourself, you'll need to rule out porcelain and stone, as these materials both need special tools for cutting them to size.
Ceramic is very similar to porcelain and stone, so it offers that same natural look, but is much softer, so it's easy to cut with standard cutting tools. The softer substance of ceramic also makes it a good choice if you stand for long periods of time in the kitchen, as it will absorb your weight and reduce fatigue.
Stone floors are very attractive but they need regular sealing to protect their surfaces. Glazed porcelain has a glass-like finish that is shiny and attractive, and which makes the tile easier to clean, but which may show scratches over time. This glazing may then need to be reapplied to the floor on a consistent basis. Laminate tile needs virtually no maintenance, as the uppermost layer of laminate is made with a strong plastic, so its impervious to scratches, chips, and everyday wear.
Note, too, that grout between tiles needs special cleaning from a professional over time; bleach and other everyday cleansers are not enough to remove built-up dirt from grout, and to restore its colour. Peel-and-stick vinyl tiles that are installed without grout won't require this type of maintenance.
While ceramic is more comfortable underfoot because of its softer surface, any type of soft and porous tile is more likely to hold ground-in dirt that won't come clean with a standard mopping. Over time, you'll need the tiles professionally cleaned. Stone, porcelain, and even vinyl tile may have a pitted surface, to add visual interest and traction to the flooring, but these pits will also hold more dirt and grime, and may need more heavy-duty cleaning than a solid surface, such as laminate.