Most people in PA, especially those who live in older homes, will probably be able to find ceramic tile in their kitchen or bathroom. It is a very old material that is still widely used. With the many other options for counters, back-splashes, flooring, and showers available today, however, it's easy to wonder how well this classic material holds up in comparison.
Pittsburgh Ceramic Tile in Kitchens
Tile in kitchens is generally found in and around the sink and on countertops. It is put there because it is tough, nonporous, and easy to clean. Though you can certainly find newer materials that would work as a replacement for ceramic tile, Pittsburgh's distinguished older homes may not find any significant benefit (in form or function) from removing original tile.
Probably the most common complaint about countertop tile has to do with the grout that surrounds it. While tile is excellent at keeping bacteria on the surface (and therefore easy to get rid of), grout is porous and can allow liquids and the germs liquids carry to penetrate the surface if allowed to sit. It should be noted that other natural counter materials like concrete and granite are also porous if a protective seal is not in place.
Ceramic Tile in Pittsburgh Bathrooms
It is certainly possible to cover or replace the tile in your bathroom, too, but you would be hard pressed to find a modern tub or shower surround that has the classic appeal of ceramic tile. Pittsburgh's bathrooms are well suited to the authentic look of traditional tile, and this material has been working well in and around Iron City showers and tubs for decades (and, in some cases, over a century).
Grout once again poses a problem, though in the bathroom, mildew is usually the culprit. Mildew stained grout is difficult or impossible to clean, so removing old grout and replacing it is an effective and wallet friendly option. Loose tile in bathrooms is another common problem in older Pittsburgh homes and is often caused by outdated installation techniques. Interested homeowners can have their tile removed and installed like new for a lot less than the price of a true remodel.
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Pittsburgh Ceramic Floor Tile
Floor tile is generally larger than the tile that is used in showers and countertops and can come with different surface textures in addition to different colors and styles. In Pittsburgh, ceramic floor tile is not just good for kitchens and bathrooms but makes an excellent floor covering for foyers and entryways. Since it is so easy to clean and resistant to moisture, there's no need to worry about messing up carpet or hardwood when your shoes come in out of the snow and rain.
Pittsburgh Ceramic Tile Prices
In counters across the country, ceramic tile is far less expensive than granite, concrete, or synthetic solid surface (each averaging over $4,000 per installation), but more pricey than laminate ($1,300). To install ceramic floor tile, Pittsburgh homeowners should expect to pay between $1,100 for small rooms and $4,000 for large areas. Ceramic tile generally takes between two days and two weeks to install.