The market for flooring materials has long been dominated by ceramic and laminate tile due to their extraordinary durability and/or price point. When shopping for flooring there are a few options to consider before choosing which material to put under your feet. In addition to classic ceramic tile there is now Dura-ceramic floor tile, a newer material, and one that is growing in popularity. But is it the right choice for your flooring solution?
Made from a composite limestone base that is reinforced with polymer resin, Dura-ceramic is produced by the company Congoleum as an alternative to traditional flooring options. The manufacturer claims it can be used in the same manner as ceramic tiles except as counter tops or in a shower or bath environment. Some customers say it feels warmer underfoot than ceramic. It can withstand expansion due to temperature changes and it resists cracking, which does give it an advantage over the tough but potentially brittle nature of ceramic.
Ceramic floor tile, traditionally made from heated and cooled clay and sand, is a beautiful and durable choice for any room in the house or for businesses. As a material it is smooth and non-porous so it is easy to clean, does not readily house bacteria, and does not absorb odors. It is entirely natural and very environmentally friendly, containing no toxic substances.
Stoneware and ceramics can be colored with pigments but the range of looks is limited while Dura-ceramic tiles offer a wider range of visual options. Both materials are durable, much more so than even heavy-duty linoleum, but Dura-ceramic is reportedly more likely to chip from a heavy impact. Both are easy to clean and will stay looking new if properly laid, grouted, and maintained. Neither tile type responds well to vacuum beater bars, abrasive cleaners, or solvents and should be cleaned with manufacturer recommended cleaning products.
It’s difficult to imagine anything better than a properly installed and maintained ceramic tile floor. While Dura-ceramic floor tile is a modern innovation that has more visual appeal than its earthenware predecessor, it is often the more expensive choice. Traditional ceramic is more flexible in its uses and is just as – if not more – durable than Dura-ceramic. If looks are a priority, then Dura-ceramic may be the way to go when you have a specific color in mind but dollar for dollar, true ceramic flooring is the way to go.