April 14, 2010
Pros and Cons of Concrete & Clay Tiles
There are several misconceptions about the performance of concrete tiles and clay tiles. It is often thought that clay tiles are not as strong as concrete tiles because they are thinner. Actually, clay tiles are thinner but are much stronger per cubic inch so their strength is comparable to that of concrete tiles despite their thinner profile. The strength of concrete tiles depends highly on the sand content in the concrete mix. The higher the sand content, the weaker the tile. Not all concrete tiles are created equal so the manufacturer of the tile is an important factor. Concrete tiles generally weigh 10 lbs versus clay tiles that weigh a little over 5 lbs. each. A good quality clay tile and a good quality concrete tile are in equal in strength; however no concrete tile is stronger than a high end clay tile by Ludowici or Borja.
The style of house determines the best tile. Mediterranean-style homes with arched windows and frames warrants a clay Spanish style tile. Concrete flat tiles are appropriate on modern-style houses with features that incorporate sharp lines. Flat tiles are usually concrete.
Pros of concrete tiles include: wide variety of color options, many styles, domestic so readily available, and strong. Cons include: heavy, hot, gets dirty easily if it’s porous, may fade. Pros of clay tiles include: natural material so cannot fade, imported from areas with high quality clay deposits like Columbia and Venezuela, strong, cool, light. Cons include: Limited color selection in medium price range and more expensive than concrete tiles.