Any comments on slate tile throughout Eichler Network

Any comments on slate tile throughout Eichler Network

Any comments on slate tile throughout?

Hi Jen:

We do not have slate, but do have ceramic tile throughout our entire Willow Glen home, including bedrooms, closets, and bathrooms — Everything. I will speak to the hardness issue, since tile and slate will be the same in that regard.

We thought long and hard over several years before ripping out all the filthy carpet and vinyl and putting down tile and we are glad we did. For us, it was the best flooring choice, as we both have allergies and wanted something both clean and durable. Also, we (Eichler owners) have an advantage that other homeowners do not have, well actually two of them, relative to flooring. First, our homes are on slab — widely considered the optimal substrate for tile, and second, they have radiant heating — eliminating the coldness that some worry about with tile.

After living for 2 years with our tile floors, here is what I can say:

-When they say that tile is hard on the feet, they are not kidding! Both hubby and I had to give up going barefoot COMPLETELY. If we forget, even for one trip down the hall, we pay for it later with shooting pains in the bottoms of our feet. We even had to change to a different kind of house slipper and we now wear clogs with thick rubber soles. As far as the back and knees, which others sometimes mention, we have not noticed any difference there, but I would still avoid tile if you have back trouble, just to be safe.

-I do a great deal of cooking and baking, and the tile is very slippery when wet. Also, light tile like ours can look dirty very quickly in food prep areas. So, for safety and also to provide additional cushion for my feet, we have a long rubber mat (10-feet long) designed for the restaurant trade, in front of the sink and main cooking areas. For something more aesthetic, you can use a sisal or jute runner, such as those sold by Williams-Sonoma. We did this for a while, but I got tired of throwing them away every 3-4 months. They cannot be washed, but we can take our rubber mat outside to hose it off.

-Everything dropped on the tile shatters in a million pieces. It has no forgiveness at all. This is not a problem for us, as we do not have kids, but if you do, it could be a consideration.

-The acoustics are different with tile, and it allows sounds to carry much more than carpet or even wood. Again, not a problem for us, but it could be for those with larger families or if you are very sensitive to noise. On the other hand, some may never notice the difference at all. It depends.

-Tile is easy to clean. You use a stick vac to get up particles, then a wet mop to clean. I find Swiffers to be invaluable, both the wet and dry varieties and I use them often. And the best thing about tile is that when it is clean, it is REALLY clean. You can use harsh chemicals on it without causing damage. Just be sure to seal the grout thoroughly. Also, since natural slate is quite porous, the stone itself should have several coats of sealant applied.

From an aesthetic point of view, tile and slate both look great in Eichlers. You just need to be sure to use as few flooring materials as possible, to prevent chopping up the open floor plan. Several of our neighbors have slate, and it is lovely.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you’d like me to e-mail you off list, a couple of URL’s for some very active discussion groups on home remodeling and on tile. Great sources for additional consumer feedback.

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