The name “mudroom” is a giveaway to what’s expected in the space so mudroom floor tile has to be up to the challenge. Fortunately, there are dozens of tile options for your Madison WI home. The obvious first consideration is color, but after that you have choices of texture, size and shape. Floor tiles outside of bathrooms are almost always in the category “large format.” Popular sizes range from 12- by 24-inches all the way up to 24- by 48-inches. These tile planks provide the popular look of wood plus all the benefits of a tile surface.
Large format floor tiles provide a special look and are the No. 1 choice for most new construction and remodeling projects for mudrooms and entryways. They do have limitations, however, especially for a do-it-yourself installation. Large format tiles require special tools and equally special handling. Obviously, they are large, which makes them heavy and difficult to handle – it takes two, sometimes three people to handle long tile planks.
Top Mudroom Floor Tile Options
Beyond the size of individual tiles, you have several choice materials that make up your floor tile options. These options include:
- Natural stone – natural stones are the No. 1 choice for floor tiles with slate ranking as the top choice among them.
- Glazed porcelain – porcelain is a close contender for the top spot because there are dozens of options. Porcelain accounts for nearly all the sales of nonporous tiles, and being nonporous is critical to floor applications.
- Ceramic tiles – relatively new among flooring options it isn’t as durable as other choices. A big drawback is that it is far more likely to stain than others. Ceramics require more maintenance and must be sealed – and resealed regularly.
What Makes A Good Floor Tile
When you put tile on the floor you expect it to stand up to abuse – foot traffic from people and pets – plus the elements. Some areas of the house get less traffic. The mudroom isn’t one of them. Tile for the mudroom floor have to resist shoes, boots and paws. They have to vigorously repel water, dirt and debris.
The top consideration for mudroom floor tile is hardness. It has to take repeated punishment all year around. A tile’s hardness is measured on the Moh scale and ranked by number 1 to 5. The lower the number the less appropriate it is for a floor application. Low numbers mean softer, more brittle tile. Bright, glossy tiles rank poorer than matt finished tiles. Floor tile hardness classifications include:
- Class I – appropriate only for walls not foot traffic.
- Class II – OK for light traffic where there’s no chance of scratches from debris or grit. Best choice for walls or secluded spots like bathrooms.
- Class III – Works well for moderate foot traffic. Not ideal for kitchens, entryways, laundries, etc. Used on walls and countertops, too.
- Class IV – better choices for heavier traffic as in kitchens, hallways and entryways.
- Class V – ideal for heavy foot traffic and areas likely to accumulate dirt, mud and debris. Common choices for commercial installations.
Class IV tiles are the most common choices for residential floor installations.
Additional Considerations For Mudroom Tile
In addition to its hardness the porosity of tile is a vital measure of its value for use on floors. Porosity measures the ratio of air bubbles to solids within the tile. It dictates how each piece of tile absorbs water. Mudroom floor tile, as with kitchen tile and laundry room tile must be able to resist absorbing moisture. Highly porous tiles on mudroom floors invite maintenance issues, etc.
The porosity of floor tile is also separated into classifications:
- Impervious – water absorption is less than half of one percent, making these tiles ideal for any room in the house.
- Vitreous – these tiles absorb up to 3% of water on its surface.
- Semi-vitreous – absorbs even more moisture, up to 7% of moisture on its surface.
- Non-vitreous – the most absorbent these tiles take up more than 7% of moisture on the surface. Definitely not recommend for floors.
Some seasons expose your mudroom floors to even more moisture than usual. Wintertime snow, ice and ice-melting materials are easily tracked in. Selecting a tile that’s stain-resistant is important when dealing with road salts and deicers. In addition, selecting tile that’s slip resistant is important.
A tile’s ability to prevent slipping is measured by its coefficient of friction (COF). Floor tiles with the highest COF are the best for floors. Unfortunately, large format tiles used on floors have more exposed surface area and tend to be slipperier. That’s why smaller tiles are common in showers. Evaluating floor tiles? Note that:
- Some ceramic and porcelain tiles have textured, non-slip surfaces.
- Slate is naturally slip-resistant.
- Porcelain tiles provide strength, moisture-resistance and many design and color options. They’re durable and can be used on floors throughout the house.
Natural Stone – A Popular Flooring Option
Beyond their durability, natural stone’s assets extend to style and good looks. No two pieces are truly alike so each installation is a one-of-a-kind. Natural stones excel in large format installations. Using large tiles has the added advantage of fewer grout lines – large natural stone installations can appeal almost seamless.
Stone needs to be sealed when it goes down and resealed every 5-10 years. A recent development blends sealant with grout to make the task much easier.
Natural stone options for mudroom floor tiles include:
- Natural slate – the most popular floor tile in the Madison area. Not easy to install, it takes experience, skills and the right tools to get slate floor right.
- Travertine tile – often mistaken for marble or limestone but it is softer and hard to shine. Its natural matt finish is warm and attractive. It scratches and stains but isn’t as fragile as reports suggest.
- Limestone tiles – related to classic travertine it’s harder and a more resilient floor tile. Excellent texture and color. However it’s fairly porous so sealing is critical.
- Granite – the hardest natural stone, it holds a shine and comes in many colors.
- Marble – the classic selection for large format flooring tiles. It stains and scratches easily. It’s elegant but demanding.
Mudroom Floor Tile – Not Ideal For DIY
Large floor tiles are difficult to handle and require specialized tools. Homeowners don’t have the experience or technical aptitude to complete a quality flooring job. Even if you’re a better-than-average do-it-yourselfer there are positive reasons to consult and work with a professional. Consider the advantages of working with a team of experienced professionals:
- Efficient installation – experience and education leads craftsmen to shortcuts that add value as opposed to those that reduce quality.
- Reduced waste – with experience comes an ability to accurately estimate what’s needed, take precise measurements and reduce breakage.
- Avoid moisture damage – poorly installed and grouted floor tiles allow water to seep into cracks. Mildew and mold take hold in damp places.
- Proper tools – cutting large tiles, setting, grouting and sealing takes more than skill and experience. It takes precision, specialized tools. Sure, you can buy, rent or borrow for a project but a pro has what’s needed and knows how to use each one.
- Protecting property – installing a tile floor often means ripping out an old floor. The debris, dust and disruption is minimized by a crew that does the job daily.
- Warranty support – when a professional does a job workmanship is backed up by a reliable local business. Who stands behind a job you do on your own if it goes wrong?
Ready to tap the area’s No. 1 resource? Call 608-268-8453 or email us to make an appointment and visit Madison’s most complete tile showroom.
For more than 70 years Molony’s skilled craftsmen have provided expertise for jobs throughout the Madison area. Does your home’s tile need replacing, sealing or caulking? Our staff is ready to assist any way it can. We have a wide range of tile options. One will be just right as mudroom floor tile in your Madison WI home.