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5 Benefits of Ceramic Tile: An Interview with Jason P. Rhodes of Universal Ceramic Tile Distributors

By Jason P. Rhodes

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Universal Ceramic Tile Distributors is a family run business that was founded in 1996. We are located at 301 Murphy Road in Hartford, Connecticut. We offer a 7,000 square foot showroom that displays all the products we offer, ranging from ceramic, porcelain, natural stone and specialty glass items. We stock more than 90% of the products we display, which means that the time between purchase and acquisition can be as quick as driving around the back of the building to our 40,000 square foot warehouse. Along with all of our products and showroom, we have a very involved staff that is available to answer questions about tile and to help design the room of your dreams.

Can you talk briefly about the biggest benefits of choosing ceramic tiles?

Ceramic has come a long way and has evolved into the porcelain tiles we see in restaurants, malls, bathrooms and homes. The biggest benefit of choosing porcelain tile is one of the hardest materials in the tile world and more durable than regular ceramic, which makes it perfect for high-traffic areas, commercial use and anywhere that might take a beating (from toys, dogs, muddy boots, etc.). Porcelain tile is also much more versatile than ceramic, wood, linoleum or any other type of floor covering. Porcelain can even be used in an outdoor application, such as patios, walkways and even garage floors. We have many different variations of porcelain that look like natural stone and even an entire hardwood floor look. With porcelain, you get the look and style of wood or stone without the maintenance and upkeep associated with those products.

What are the basic options that homeowners have when it comes to ceramic tiles?

We have loads of options for homeowners when it comes to choosing their porcelain tiles. We have many manufacturers and styles, sizes, colors and textures to choose from. And on top of the tile portion of your project Universal also offers a wide selection of amenities to add to the value of your tile project, such as underfloor heating, 36 colors of grout and caulk, preformed shower and bath products, and many other tools and adhesives.

Is there anything that most people don't know about tiles that they should know?

One of the most common misconceptions about porcelain tile is that it is not as durable as some other materials and can only be used for certain applications, such as in a bathroom. This is not the case. Porcelain is more durable than natural stone, hardwood or any other type of flooring available. What I tell all of my customers is, If you can dream it, we can help you make it happen."

Besides flooring, what are some popular uses of ceramic tile in a home?

Porcelain tile is making its way into all areas of homes and businesses. Floor is the most commonly used area, but it's also used in showers, bathtub surrounds, kitchen backsplashes, countertops, fireplace hearths and surrounds, outside patios, garage floors, or just about anywhere you can imagine. Many people are using their own creativity to give their home a unique character by using accents and mixed mosaics, or mixing colors and textures. Our design staff is here also to guide you through this process and can present some new ideas that you may not have thought about.

Do you have any advice for choosing the right type of ceramic tile for a specific room or area?

The best advice is to take a look at other designs, magazines, websites, etc. That way you can get an idea of what you may be looking for. If you have samples of your countertops, cabinets, paint colors or anything that may help our design staff assist with your project, bring them in with you. Also, go into the design process with an open mind and try your best to visualize the whole picture and not just one or two tiles. Universal Ceramic Tile Distributors encourages our customers to take samples home so that they can see what their selections will look like in their own lighting.

What's the best way for people to contact your company?

Folks can give us a call at 860-525-3644, visit us on our website , and come see us on Facebook. Our showroom is open to the public Monday - Wednesday and Friday: 8 am - 5:30 pm,Thursday: 8 am - 8 pm, Saturday: 9 am - 4 pm. Our design staff is ready to help you find the right tile for all of your projects.

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