Flooring is one of the most essential element in interior design of any residence or a commercial project. Here we are trying to educate on flooring materials widely used in the present era. This might help in deciding the type of flooring to be used under different circumstances.  Ceramic Tile: Made out of earthen clay and water, these are the oldest types of tiles, traces of which can be seen in stepped pyramid of Egypt constructed around 2600 BC. Later it was mass produced in Europe and since then widely used throughout the world as floor and wall tiles. Water absorption is much higher in ceramic tiles than in Porcelain or Vitrified tiles and hence have shown low resistance to stains. Ceramic tiles are still widely used as wall tiles in Toilet and Kitchen areas as they are light in weight, highly economical and easy to install. Starting price is INR 20/Sqft  Porcelain Tile: All Porcelain tiles are ceramic tiles fired at much higher temperature @ 1300 Deg Celsius and for a longer duration. They are made out of Earthen clay, Feldspar, Silica and Water. They are harder than ceramic tiles. Porcelain has 10-15% water absorption property, which is much higher than vitrified tiles. These tiles are not widely used now a days as the cost difference between Porcelain and Vitrified tile is miniscule. Starting price is INR 30/Sqft Vitrified Tile: Made out of silica, quartz, and feldspar along with clay. These tiles have 0-0.5% water absorption property. They are also a type of ceramic tile made by warming the blend or setting it under high temperatures. There are broadly 4 types of Vitrified tiles viz. Soluble salt, Double charge, Full body and Glazed vitrified tiles. These are widely used now a days as an economical alternative for Italian marble or wooden flooring. Vitrified tiles can be used in almost every area in commercial and residential projects as they are available in anti skid variant and are extremely durable as well with prize as low as INR 40/Sqft.  Terrazzo Flooring: Also known as Mosaic, these tiles are made at site mostly in 4’0”X4’0” or 3’0”X3’0” with glass strips. Size more than this can invite cracks on the surface. The under layer is a 28mm thick Cement concrete layer M15 (1:2:4) using 12mm aggregate. Once the under layer is done, its time to make the 12mm thick top layer with 7-10mm marble chips along in white or grey cement. This type of flooring can be used in residential and commercial buildings. Since this is cast in situ, installation takes a lot of time and care. It can have uneven surfaces if proper care is not taken while execution.  IPS or Cement flooring: IPS flooring stands for Indian patent stone flooring, which was widely used flooring during the early 19th century and provides good wearing properties. Mix of concrete used for IPS flooring specification is 1:1.5:3 (cement, sand and stone aggregates). As per the nature of use the flooring thickness of concrete is decided from 25 mm to 50 mm. It is laid over the concrete base (1:4:8), which is almost 3 to 4 inches thick plain cement concrete (PCC) base.  You can decide the thickness of the IPS flooring as per the requirement of work; in residential floor 75 mm floor thickness is sufficient whereas industrial floor thickness should be kept 150 mm. Now a days colour pigments are added in IPS to give it a better, brighter look which goes with the aesthetics of the place.   Laminated flooring: Laminate flooring is a type of flooring used to give feel of wooden flooring. The base for this flooring is tile along with foam (for moisture and noise reduction) and these tiles are pasted/interlocked on top of it. Laminated flooring are widely used in bedrooms and are available in varied size planks and with multiple colour options. These type of flooring requires high maintenance and are less durable than vitrified tiles.      Carpet: Available in rolled and tile form, carpets are usually pasted on top of IPS base. These are widely used in office areas, specially in conference and meeting rooms due to their sound absorbing properties. Since carpets are prone to collect dust and requires high maintenance, it is recommended to use carpets mostly in controlled environment and air conditioned spaces.  Stone flooring: Stone has been used for flooring from time immortal. India has an abundance of granite and marble stones which can be used in large slabs or also can be used in tile form. Granites are considered to be the hardest and more brittle than kota or marble. Marbles are soft and may absorb water and stains so it is advisable to have a protective coating on top of it. Dark granite usually doesn’t need any type of coating, but light coloured granite and marble can start staining and may require a protective coat to stop water absorption. Italian marble is widely used in high-end bungalows and commercial spaces. Kota stone is sturdy and very much cheaper than other stones which is why they are used in high movement and service areas like staircases, passages, electrical panel rooms, AHU’s, Janitors etc.  Hope we are able to answer most of your questions regarding flooring material, their properties and usage. Incase you still have questions pertaining to the same then fell free to call us on +91-9881196651 or write to us on siddharth.singh@greenhatstudio.inAlso to know more about us, do visit our website www.greenhatstudio.in