Tile floors have an elegance and a timelessness to them that add a whole new dimension to interior design. But because traditional tile floors are made from porcelain, ceramic or clay, they can present some problems. They can crack if something is dropped on them. They can have a very long wear life, but they can become dirty looking if not maintained regularly. And they can be cold to the touch.
Modern luxury vinyl tiles address most of these problems, but they haven’t been able to achieve that tile-feel that everyone loves. Until now.
Armstrong has a new line of tile that is kind of a hybrid between luxury vinyl tile and traditional tile. It’s call Alterna. Alterna is what is known as an engineered tile. It consists of about 70 percent limestone mixed with a binder that makes it waterproof – unlike traditional tile.
This limestone mix gives Alterna a look and feel that is very similar to traditional tile. But the binder in the limestone gives Alterna resistance to cracking and also makes Alterna much warmer than traditional tile. Alterna is also very easy to clean.
And because it is technically an LVT, it has the same ease of installation that LVT does. It can take several days to install a traditional tile floor, but an Alterna floor can be done in one day. Plus, you can cut Alterna into shapes that are nearly impossible to do with tile.
But how does it look? Most people can’t tell the difference between Alterna and traditional tile – Alterna can even be installed with grout, just like traditional.
Since traditional tile is made with natural products, no two tiles are exactly alike. This is part of the charm with traditional tile. Armstrong has found a way to give Alterna a similar sort of variation between tiles that is so characteristic of traditional tile. Alterna is good on floors or walls, but it is not recommended for showers or fireplaces.