Sunday, December 20, 2009

Flooring for house-options

Just like in any other house construction features trends in flooring for the house keep changing with new trends,technology developments etc.Let us see the current options available.
Personally I feel clay tile flooring is ideal especially for bed rooms.As clay tile is made from mud,it is most ecofriendly and ideally suited to our climate.Unlike granite,marble and manufactured flooring materials like vitrified or ceramic tiles,you can simply walk or sleep in clay tile flooring without fear of flooring taking away your body heat and making you more prone to unhealthy conditions.
When I talk of clay tile,you may be thinking of clay tiles in old houses which gets worn off fast and does not even look decent.Look at picture below:
This is clay tile flooring done at bed rooms at our Vyttila site after polyurethane coating.In the nearby bed room they have done  granite tile flooring.Even though much less costly,clay tile  really looks better.Clay tiles are traditionally used for slope roofs just as in this picture again from our Vyttila site.
You can get more details on clay tiles at website of one of the best clay tile manufacturers in Kerala at
Cost of these clay tiles is approximately only Rs.15 per sft.While laying expenses will be same as that of ceramic tiles or vitrified tiles.I have done entire flooring of a 4000 sft house cum office of a sitting Judge of High court with clay tiles about six years back and it still retains its elegance and looks.He was more particular about using clay tile flooring than me at that time.
I also use clay tiles above flat roof concreting instead of usual roof top plastering.I have done this in many sites.Only additional cost to my client is the cost of clay tiles as laying expenses will be same as that of roof top plastering.Roof top plastering is likely to get affected by fungus and over a period of time,it will wear off with continuous exposure to rain and sunlight thus causing wetness in the roof concrete,finally leading to roof leakage especially if concreting is done without proper mixing and improper ratio of concrete aggregates mainly due to workers trying to lessen their work,ignoring quality of work which is very common.
When you lay clay tiles over flat roof,it prevents roof leakage and reduces heat inside rooms as clay tiles absorb most of sunlight heat.To prevent fungus growing over clay tile laid roof top,apply antifungal tile protecting paint preferably ICI make called Tile shield with type name Sunrise which gives original clay tile colour.
Vitrified tiles became popular about four years back .It was quite strong in construction and had added advantage of mirror finish quality just like granite.But recently competition has brought down price of vitrified tiles from nearly Rs.90/- per sft to Rs.25/- per sft and quality naturally has suffered.Now you can get good quality Vitrified tiles with smooth or rough finish from both NITCO or Johnson Tiles.If you go to their websites you will get details.
Compared to using single colour single design tiles,new patterns and designs can be made with combination of tiles selected and designed by your Architect thereby giving unique appearance for your bath rooms and living spaces.I am at present trying out this new trend in design for floors and walls at my Cherthala site in Kerala.
Vitrified tiles are highly slippery even more slippery than granite.Hence chances of falling down on the floor especially when wet are more.It is not eco friendly.
Granite slabs are quite costly with material cost alone about Rs.200/-Rs.250/-per sft.With laying expenses of about Rs.50/- per sft,it can take your flooring cost to about Rs.300/- per sft.As granite is a natural stone,it is more eco friendly than ceramic or vitrified tiles.Granite is a pre polished material and does not require polishing like marble.It has a clear mirror finish as you can see from pictures below.
With different colour combinations as per guidance from Architect,you can have better appealing appearance for flooring by using vitrified tiles,granite slabs or tiles and ceramic tiles.
Granite tiles which have similar appearance like granite slabs are less thick,smaller in dimensions and less costly.Price may range between Rs.60/- to Rs.90/- per sft.Laying expenses may not change much as additional dressing of sides may be required in the case of granite tiles.
In Kitchen,it is not advisable to go for clay tiles as clay tiles may get damaged due to acid materials used for cooking spilling on to the floor.Hence you can go for granite tiles which is not as slippery as vitrified tiles.
Ceramic tiles are now available in attractive colours and designs.Even anti slippery versions(anti skid tiles) are available with very good designs from various manufacturers.But cost is around Rs.30/- Rs.50/- per sft.Laying expenses does not change much.
Wooden flooring is very good  especially on ecological aspect.Among all flooring materials it is more comfortable to walk,sleep or move around.Maintaining it will be a problem if you have small kids in the house as water cleaning cannot be done as water will damage polished wood.Cost may range above Rs.300/- per sft.
Marble is not much popular these days.Marble being a natural stone,is like granite on ecological aspect.But it requires polishing after laying which is costly and time consuming.With polishing, laying expenses of marble can go as high as Rs.80/-  per sft which takes away lesser cost of marble compared to granite.Polishing will not last the effect after five years and you will have to re polish after every five years.Except for Italian marble which is costlier than granite slabs,marble available here does not look that good also.


  1. This is quite informative.


  2. Informative posting. I agree with you on laying clay tiles in the bedrooms. Do you happen to know if slate tiles are available(for the kitchen and living room)? How much does it cost per sqft?

  3. I am not aware of slate tiles and what exactly you mean by that.
    Latest trend is against granite also.Instead of granite a new version of vitrified tiles thicker and with rough surface that can be grinded and curved is now available.It may replace granite for use in stairs

  4. can you provide further information regarding the grouting material to be used in clay floor tiling and the colour of tile available?
    whether sealer coat requierd for clay tiles before laying to avoid the moisture absorbtion from especially joint grouting material and consequence stain on tiles?

  5. Clay tile is laid just like laying of ceramic tiles or vitrified tiles.Mortar is used to level surface and cement water mix(grout) is poured over mortar before fixing tiles.Clay tile is available in one colour only.If you want you can get tiles baked with some other colour.For flooring no other colour is used.After laying clay tiles on floor,acid wash is done and later hand polishing followed by Poly urethane coating to prevent moist absorption.If you have more queries write to
    as I check these blog comments rarely and hence reply can be delayed

  6. I am agree with the claytiles (terracotta tiles) but the only problem is it will become ugly very soon. fungas will attack faster.

  7. After laying clay tiles,you will have to clean by using acid wash.After that you will have to do hand polishing using polish material like Mansion polish.After that if you apply a coat of poly urathane then there will be no fungus formation or dirt accumulation as you can easily wash surface

  8. can u arrange or give details of experienced staff only carriyng out acid wash, then polishing and poly urathene coating.

  9. I do not think usual clay tile laying workers will come for doing acid wash and pollishing alone