Today Roberta writes:
Dear Diva, Have you heard of the snap together ceramic tile flooring? One of my friends mentioned it and I haven’t heard or seen anything about it, but it sounds cool. Is this something I can put in my kitchen? Does it work and will it hold up?
Roberta, I believe the snap together ceramic tile flooring you’re referring to is called SnapStone Floating Porcelain Tile. And I’ve got to admit, SnapStone floating tile definitely looks pretty amazing. Imagine installing a tile floor and NOT having to mix thin-set or install cement boards first! Instead, you’d install it like a floating laminate floor. But instead of having a laminate flooring that looks like tile, you end up having real porcelain tile! This is very exciting and it makes tiling easier for the novice do it yourself enthusiast.
Undoubtedly you’re asking yourself: How in the world can SnapStone take a real porcelain tile and make it install like laminate flooring?
Well it’s all in the interlocking tray that each tile is adhered to. The tray locks together and has a rubberized base. The interlocking part makes installation a snap! Because tiles snap together easily and are “self-aligning” ensuring 1/4″ even spaced grout lines. Which means no additional spacers are needed! As for the rubberized base, it helps too by eliminating the need for thin-set or glue. Thus allowing the tiles to “float” over the existing flooring or subfloor. Which makes the rubberized base akin to the foam underlayment that laminates use.
As for durability, I can’t see a reason why SnapStone Floating Porcelain Tile wouldn’t be strong enough to meet your needs. The tile on top is a high quality porcelain tile which is durable and easy to maintain. As I’ve stated in other articles, porcelain tiles are stronger than ceramic ones because of the higher temperature that they are fired at. This higher firing temperature creates tile that is denser and can take more of a beating. Porcelain tile is a better option than ceramic in an area where heavy things can be dropped, i.e. a kitchen. It also doesn’t scratch as easily.
If you still have durability concerns, just look to the video above that demonstrates the Robinson Strength Test. This is an impressive durability test that highlights how strong SnapStone snap together ceramic tile flooring really is. The SnapStone website is also a great resource to find out more about the product itself and the techniques used for installation. I love that SnapStone provides various installation videos which address an array of topics. There are videos from basic installation to cutting tiles around a toilet to grout haze removal. These videos will help give you an understanding of what installation takes.
In general though, if you’re familiar with how laminate flooring installs, then your ready for the SnapStone install process. Unlike laminate flooring however, once the SnapStone ceramic tile flooring is installed you’ll have one more step left. Since the tiles are not fake, you’ll need to grout the joints before being completely finished. You also need to rely exclusively on the SnapStone grout because it’s specially formulated to withstand the movement caused by a floating floor. If you use another brand of grout, you run the risk of voiding your warranty on the flooring and having cracked grout. So it’s best not to be creative and make sure you order the SnapStone brand grout when installing snap together ceramic tile flooring.
Do you have questions about the selecting or the installation of: tile, carpet or wall treatments (window blinds, etc)? Then email me your tale of woe (diva(at)homemakeoverdiva.com) and perhaps I will be able to answer your questions right here at the Home Makeover Diva Blog!