Saturday, August 7, 2010

Floor Tile Selection

As usual, we did some casual research on a few type of flooring available.

1. Natural stone
The 2 common type are marble and granite.
Marble was our favourite as my partner and I both loved the wavy natural patterns and cool feeling of marble. But marble is probably the most "capital intensive" and high maintenance of all our options. It needs to be polished every few years to maintain its glossy look, each costing about S$200 plus (depending on floor area) and major furniture shifting. Marble is also more susceptible to staining from deep coloured drinks like red wine.

Granite on the other hand is extreme durable but cheaper than marble. Our problem with granite is that the patterns did not appeal to us very much. Granite patterns are usually speckled and it looks too heavy for our theme of Classic European

2. "Man-made" stone
Commonly known as Homogeneous tiles. These are factory-made tiles compressed under high temperature and pressure into form and pattern. we learnt that homogeneous tiles come in a large range of qualities. Not that we understood how to tell the difference. Homogeneous tiles comes in a large variety of patterns and are known to be more durable and easy to maintain than marble. Plus it is a fraction of marble price.
3. Laminate
If you have seen our blog, the pre-renovation was using wooden laminates. the system consist of interlocking wooden panels that is laid on a tile or concrete slab surface.

Considering the functionality over ascetics, budget over luxury, we picked homogeneous tile. We had 1 young boy and another one coming then. Milk spillage and crayons is something marble cannot withstand.

However, we choose as big (600mmx600mm) a homogeneous tile size as possible from a pattern that resembled marble. That's as close as we can get to marble... ...


  1. Hi Matthew,

    Just wanted to check with you regarding homogeneous tiles. The grout (white lining) will turn black after a while. How did you deal with that?


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  2. Hi Nick,
    To be honest, the white grout started turning yellow after about 3 months. The good news is the grout now blended in with the cream coloured tile.

    When I asked for a 1mm wide grout line in white, the tiler initially warned me about this would happen. He proposed to use 3mm wide grout with cement. It is supposedly more durable.

    On the hind side, I might have taken his advice and piced a light grey floor tile.

    Will do a write up on the current state of my white grout at the next available opportunity.

  3. Hi,
    in case anyone is following this thread, you can here: refer to for some information regarding floor tiles and grouting.

  4. Just wanted to check with you about flooring. What do u think of laminates? Cost effective? Durable?


  5. Hi,
    laminates (interlocking wooden boards) in my humble opinion, are not considered durable, especially if you are using wet cleaning (ie mopping).

    the only situation I would consider laminates if I am staying in a resale home for short term (maybe 5 years) and prefer to reduce the reno cost. I would recommended to lay laminates over the existing tiles.