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Quarry tile for the kitchen - be sure there's support

Q. I would like to know about quarry tile for my kitchen floor. Is it slippery when wet? I need a safe surface to walk on. Do you have another suggestion as to a kitchen floor?

Mrs. Louise Sullivan Salem, Ore.

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A. Quarry tile unsealed is not particularly slippery. But in a kitchen it should be sealed for obvious reasons, and therefore becomes more slippery. Further, quarry tile is heavy. The size and spacing of your kitchen floor joists may not be capable of the extra loading from quarry tile and grout. Ask a local builder or building official to investigate the structural capacity of your kitchen floor framing.

Other, less expensive and perhaps more practical kitchen finish flooring is resilient tile, sheet vinyl, or carpet. They would pose no structural floor changes. Of course, almost no one could slip on a fastened-down carpet!