Lock Tile Blog

Are Interlocking Tiles Right For Harsh Climates?

ByAllen Czermak


What exactly is going on in Texas this winter? The weather is polar opposite of a typical winter climate in that region. What about here in the northeast? We have not had this much snow in a good while. I do not want to get too political but what has happened to global warming? Now that the democrats are back in power, we should be hearing more about the subject of climate change. So far, they have not made an uproar. Some Texas homeowners are suffering from no heat, no water, hypothermia and even unfortunately fatalities. At least here in the east we are more prepared for this weather although our floors are taking a beating.

 All this messiness has got me thinking about the carpet that I have in many parts of my home. How much more abuse can the various carpets in my home take? If you do not salt or sand the sidewalks, walkways and steps, there is a great danger of even the most balanced person falling or slipping. On the other hand, salt and other chemicals are very harmful to most types of flooring. Even if I would decide to risk it and not salt or sand, these chemicals are still being brought in on boots and sneakers from the busy street in front of the house which must be sanded by the municipality trucks. The rock salt gets stuck in between the boot treads and the sandy snow will cling to any shoe.

Ice melting chemicals all work in identical ways. They can leave stains on floors and much worse. To avoid corrosion by these chemicals, your floor must be durable. Choosing a floor that is water resistant will help the floor hold up well under wet conditions and the stress of heavy boots and snow gear.

Carpets and Rugs in Harsh Climate

For carpets, salt, and sand are the worst. Assuming the people do not remove their shoes before entering the front hall, the dirty snow mixed with the salt and sand quickly melts because of the sudden change of temperature from the outside to the inside. Since the carpet and the padding underneath are excellent water absorbers, carpet is an abysmal choice for any areas where people will step in with wet boots or shoes. Of course, carpets offer a warm greeting to a cold home comer, so if you insist on using carpet in your entry, a low pile carpet will decrease the water absorption.

In the olden days, area rugs were used in the winter to warm up the home and removed in the warmer weather. Yes, they did get wet, but there was little to be done because the floors underneath them could not handle anything wet whether it be rain, sleet, or snow. Depending on the century, the floors underneath could range between plain earth to hardwood floors which really took a beating in rough weather if they were not covered by rugs. Hard wood floors of yesteryears were beautifully and intricately patterned but did not have waterproof finishes. Certain types of oils like hard wax or tung oil were rubbed into the floors to strengthen them in inclement weather. However, area rugs do have a great plus. They can be given out to clean or even in earlier times taken out when the warm weather abounded to clean and bang out the dust and debris accumulated during the winter months. There is no way to do this with wall-to-wall carpeting.

My original strategy this winter was a garage overhaul project. That has not yet happened due to the impossibility of the cold and wet weather. When this harsh weather leaves us, I am planning to empty my garage, look through all the paraphernalia in it and install floor interlocking tiles. The floors are so clean, shiny, and so easy to maintain. My neighbor has been telling me about his for years. Now I am thinking, would it be possible to install locking tiles in my entryway as well? Sure, spring will be coming soon but I am dreaming of a clean, smart, and tailored look for my hallway that will always be neat and modern no matter what the weather will be.

Interlocking Tiles For Front Hall

Although I liked my neighbor’s garage textured PVC interlocking tiles, I wanted something with a smoother texture for my hallway. After checking out the variety of textures and colors in the store, I found what I was looking for in a flash. I always liked the elegant look of black and white foyer tiles. I was hesitant about choosing locking floor tiles like my neighbor’s because I felt that the texture that he had in his garage was more appropriate for a playroom or gym. My neighbor likes the texture very much because it is non-slip, and his elderly parents live with him. He drives his car straight into his garage, so his parents do not have to brave the cold and they step straight onto the textured tiles and go right to their room from the garage.

Getting to the tile store was more difficult than choosing the interlocking tile. It was so simple to select the tiles I wanted. My dream has always been to have an elegant black and white tiled floor in my entry. I gave the exact measurements of my front hall to the experienced salesman and he calculated the right number of tiles and of course suggested I buy extras which I did. I ordered enough to make a diamond pattern and I also want to put them in the front walk-in closet adjacent to the hallway. Surprisingly, the tiles look quite elegant. The salesman explained to me that even though black and white tiles have a modern look to them, they are timeless. The marble/ stone floor at the Palace of Versailles, France, has this same black and white motif which dates back to the 1600’s. This motif of black and white lock tiles will be timeless as well as chic.

Interlocking Rubber Floor Tiles For Garage

I could not decide what to get for my garage floor. There is just too much of a selection to choose from. I decided to go home and sleep on it. When deciding on garage tiles it is important to understand what everyone uses his garage for. If you use your garage to park your cars or truck, then maybe you would want colors that would not show dirt or oil. Dark tiles would probably work best. If you use your garage as a play area as well as storage, then colorful tiles would be inviting for your children and guests to play at the ping pong table. Some folks like soft neutral colors and like to know if there is any dirt around and wash the floor quite often. That is why I am prudent and did not yet purchase the garage tiles. I cannot wait to install the hall tiles in time for this winter’s weather. I may still put a small decorative mat at the door but it’s really not necessary as the tiles are so easy to clean.

Unlike a rug or wall to wall carpet, interlocking floor tiles prevent the humidity and water from penetrating the floor causing mold which can affect the health of people who are sensitive to mold. The floor interlocking tiles are not that cold to bare feet and feel warm without footwear.

Locking Floor Tiles Vs. Ceramic Tiles

What a difference a day makes. My carpet is removed, my PVC interlocking tiles are installed. Am I living in The Palace of Versailles? My entryway looks huge. I did sacrifice some practicality by purchasing the white tiles along with the black ones and I would do it again. Although my first wish had been ceramic black and white tiles, I am so happy I went with the more economical ones. Yes, ceramic holds up well against winter’s hardships, however there are several pitfalls besides price. Unlike interlocking floor tiles that interlock, ceramic tiles must be grouted. Grout lines are dirt collectors and sometimes must be redone after wear and tear. Also, ceramic can become very slippery, so it is not the best choice for the winter.

Final Words

Safety and beauty are sometimes conflicting terms. In the winter, as always, we all want to be assured of a haven inside as well as some fun outside. The trouble is that having fun outside and bringing in the wet snow, sleet and melting chemicals can cause havoc to our well-groomed homes. By choosing practical tiles for our home, be it, the front hallway, the playroom, basement, or the garage will assure us all that we are doing our part to keep our loved ones secure. Even the most well shoveled walk or practical home flooring can be an accident venue. However, this is beyond our control and in God’s hands. If we are doing our part to keep our family and anyone entering our homes safe, then the rest is in the hands of the one above. Here is hoping we all stay healthy whether in Minnesota, Texas or here on Long Island. I am looking forward to the spring. What about you?

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