TCNA: Ceramic is Lowest Lifecycle Cost Flooring

Orlando, FL, May 5—The Tile Council of North America, Inc. (TCNA) announced that ceramic tile was found to be the most economical of 12 floorcoverings. The Tile Council of North America commissioned an independent construction cost consulting firm, Scharf-Godfrey, Division of Phoenix Engineering, Inc. to conduct a life cycle cost study comparing various types of ceramic tile to 12 other floor finishes such as hardwood, laminate, concrete, stone, carpet, terrazzo, vinyl, and poured epoxy. Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) is an economic method of project evaluation in which all costs arising from owning, operating, maintaining, and disposing of a project are considered important to the decision. The definition of Life Cycle Costs used in the study was the initial cost to install, which includes labor, material, other installation materials, and normal contractors overhead and profit plus periodic maintenance costs to preserve and maintain the appearance of the product plus the final costs to remove the floorcovering at the end of its useful life. Future expected costs were discounted to today’s dollars using the Present Value (PV) of a future payment calculated as a function of interest rate and an assumed inflation rate. It was assumed that there is no salvage value to any of the products at the end of their useful life but there are disposal fees associated with removal of the floorcovering. Ceramic tile was found to cost less per year than the other floorcoverings over the life of the building. Glazed ceramic floor tile was found to be the least costly flooring at only 33¢ per square foot per year over 50 years. Mosaic tile was a close second at 35¢ per square foot annually. Porcelain tile and quarry tile proved to be equal at 36¢ per square foot. Due to the shorter lifetime of non-permanent floorcoverings such as carpet and vinyl, the life cycle cost of those products was significantly higher.

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