Porcelain tile is one of the most versatile products in home design. Its beauty and durability make it the perfect floor tile, wall tile, backsplash tile, countertop, patio or pool tile.
Sourced from all over the world, porcelain tile has come to be recognized as a decorative, reliable option for a variety of household and commercial applications. This hardy tile offers unique practical benefits as well as a classy and refined look.
Wiith porcelain tile, you are gaining the benefit of a classy, refined look for your interior, particularly in bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens. Porcelain tile offers a significant level of practicality; the benefits of durability, hardness, and moisture, and frost resistance are its most obvious traits. Equally, porcelain tile has a smooth, attractive surface, lending any interior an air of simple beauty and refinement that remains unique. It is little wonder that porcelain tile has been the tile of choice in many areas, given these advantages. Porcelain tile stands as a choice which offers the best in refined beauty and unique practicality – the best of both worlds!
Take a look here at why you should consider porcelain tile for your project:
Porcelain tile is produced by using the dust-pressed method. This method involves compressing nearly dry porcelain clay between two metal dies or frames. When the tiles are formed, they are allowed to dry slowly before being fired in an insulated kiln heated to over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This produces a dense, fine-grained, smooth tile surface with a very low water absorption rate (less than 0.5%) and high resistance to frost.
Beauty, durability, low water absorption and frost resistance make porcelain tile perfect product to use in kitchens, bathrooms, fireplaces, flooring, patios and swimming pools. Bacteria do not adhere well to porcelain tiles, making it
hygienic and all the more suited for bath, shower, laundry and kitchen areas.
Glazed porcelain tiles are much harder and more wear and damage
resistant than non-porcelain, or ceramic tiles, making them suitable for any
application from light traffic to the heaviest residential and light commercial
traffic. Full body porcelain tiles carry the color and pattern through the
entire thickness of the tile making them virtually impervious to wear and are
suitable for any application from residential to the highest traffic commercial
or industrial applications. Porcelain tiles are
A. What is the difference between standard “ceramic” tiles and porcelain tiles?
Tile terminology can be confusing. Most types of tiles that are made from clay or a mixture of clay and other materials, then kiln-fired, are considered to be a part of the larger classification called “Ceramic Tiles”.These tiles can be split into two groups, porcelain tiles and non-porcelain tiles. These non-porcelain tiles are frequently referred to as ceramic tiles by themselves, separate from porcelain tiles.
“Ceramic” or non-porcelain tiles are generally made from red or white clay fired in a kiln. They are almost always finished with a durable glaze which carries the color and pattern. These tiles are used in both wall tile and floor tile applications, are softer and easier to cut than porcelain, and usually carry a PEI 0 to 3 rating. Non-porcelain ceramic tiles are usually suitable for very light to moderate traffic and generally have a relatively high water absorption rating making them less frost resistant and they are more
prone to wear and chipping than porcelain tiles.
B. Can ceramic tile be used outdoors?
To be used outdoors, we recommend the tile must be frostproof
and unglazed for floor use. Make sure the absorption rate is 0.5% or less.
C. What is the difference between glazed and full-body tiles?
Glazed tiles are coated with a liquid glass, which is then baked into the surface of the clay. The glaze provides an unlimited array of colors and designs as well as protects the tile from staining. The unglazed tiles are pretty much the same as the glazed tile, except that their surface is not coated. Full-body porcelain tiles do not show wear because their color
extends throughout the tile, making them ideal for commercial applications.
D. Should a sealer be used on ceramic tile?
A glazed tile is already stain proof, so there is no purpose to putting on a sealer. You may put a penetrating sealer on your unglazed tile or
your grout joints. The penetrating sealer is an invisible, stain resistant
shield that is absorbed into the surface.
E. What is PEI rating and how does it apply to porcelain tile?
A. PEI classes range from 0 to 5. The Porcelain Enamel Institute
rating scale is not a measurement of quality. It is a scale that clearly
indicates the areas of use each manufacturer recommends and has designed their tile to fit. A PEI 2 tile has been designed for areas where very low traffic and soiling is anticipated. In most cases the aesthetic detailing of these tiles is of prime consideration. You will often find high gloss levels, vibrant colorations and metallic elements in this group of tile. Conversely, a PEI 5 tile has been designed for abusive extra heavy foot traffic. The technical aspects such as surface abrasion resistance will be considered and must be achieved first before aesthetic effects are incorporated.
Class 0 - No Foot Traffic:
Wall tile only and should not be used on floors.
Class 1 - Very light traffic:
Very low foot traffic, bare or stocking feet only. (Master bath,
Class 2 - Light Traffic:
Slipper or soft-soled shoes. Second level main bathroom areas,
Class 3 - Light to Moderate Traffic:
Any residential area with the possible exception of some entries
and kitchens if extremely heavy or abrasive traffic is anticipated.
Class 4 - Moderate to Heavy Traffic:
High foot traffic, areas where abrasive or outside dirt could be
tracked. Residential entry, kitchen, balcony, and countertop.
Class 5 - Heavy Traffic:
Ceramic tile suggested for residential, commercial and
institutional floor subjected to heavy traffic.
F. How do glazed and unglazed tile compare?
As always, you are faced with finding a balance between the practical and the decorative. With ceramic, you get both. But among glazed and unglazed ceramic tile, which ones would be the most appropriate for your space?
In terms of how they are made, there is no difference between glazed and unglazed ceramic tile, other than the fact that glazed tiles undergo an additional phase in the firing process with a layer of liquid glass added by means of very high temperatures. But again, it is important to consider the issue of use when you are deciding on which type of ceramic tile to choose for your project, not to mention the kind of look and feel you’re after.
Unglazed tiles tend to be denser and thicker than glazed tiles, and because of their unfinished exteriors, they tend to be a great choice if you’re looking for a slip resistant surface in an area like a laundry room or kitchen where the tile is likely to be subjected to high amounts of wetness. In terms of safety, this is big consideration. For areas prone to heavy foot traffic, as well as outdoor applications, unglazed tiles are a very good choice, being scratch resistant. Also, unglazed ceramic tiles retain a natural beauty, colored as they are by the mineral deposits from where the clay was
originally taken. Porcelain, terra cotta, and Satillo tiles are popular
varieties. Many prefer the earthy aesthetic quality of unglazed ceramic tiles,
depending on the overall surroundings of the installation. A limitation of
unglazed ceramic tile is the vulnerability to staining. As a precaution, it is
a good idea to use some sort of sealant and a wax after installing unglazed
ceramic tile indoors.
Glazed ceramic tile, although a little less robust in terms of density and thickness than their unglazed counterpart, allows for a wider range
of style and color. Glazed ceramic tiles also tend to be more resistant to
staining, protected as they are by a non-porous layer of liquid glass. The
range of colors available for glazed ceramic tiles is achieved by mixing
certain mineral elements – gold, silver, copper, cobalt, zinc, and others – to
achieve desired colors. There are even more options available to you in terms of the glaze itself, which should also be selected for its degree of
durability. Some varieties of glazed ceramic tile are fired at higher
temperatures than others, and therefore are harder as well. This can often be determined by how light or dark the glaze is, the lighter glazes for ceramic tile generally being harder than the darker glazes. Then there is the issue of gloss: mat and satin finishes are generally harder than shiny glazes. As always, it’s a good idea to try and strike a balance between practical issues and decorating issues when choosing your glazed ceramic tile
Whether you choose glazed or unglazed ceramic tile, each variety has its own unique qualities. As always, the best idea is to know what you want
for your own personal sense of style and practicality. This way, your flooring
project will be something you can enjoy for many years in the future.
G. Maintaining Ceramic & Porcelain Tile
What you will learn: what to consider when choosing products for
cleaning ceramic tile; everyday tips in ceramic tile cleaning; strategies for
keeping ceramic tile grout clean.
Although ceramic tile comes from just beneath the soil, one of its enemies is the everyday dirt and grit that builds up on its surface. Also, it’s important to keep the tile’s grout free from this sort dirt buildup as well. Here are a few suggestions on how to keep your earthy flooring clear of unwanted dirt.
When cleaning ceramic tile floors, a good approach to the cleaning
products you choose is "always read the label and follow the
instructions." A good many of these cleaning products may do a fine job on
a vinyl or linoleum floor, but may spell disaster when cleaning ceramic tile
floors. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure that you
are using the products correctly and in the right measure. This is a good rule
to apply to any kind of flooring or countertop you install, whether it’s
ceramic tile flooring, hardwood flooring, laminate flooring, granite
countertops or any other unique building material.
Cleaning ceramic tile flooring is generally a low-maintenance job. The first thing to do when cleaning ceramic tile floors is to clear the floor of any surface dirt or grit which is likely to contribute to wear. This can be done simply with a broom and your vacuum cleaner with a soft tile attachment.
Then, use warm water and a mop to clear away any residual dust.
One of the more challenging aspects involved in cleaning ceramic
tile floors is the grout, which can pick up mold and mildew fairly easily,
depending on how much exposure your floor has had to moisture. Other than with your toothbrush and your hands and knees, a more comfortable and less time-consuming way of keeping the grout clean is steam cleaning. Ceramic tile can be restored and made to look more closely to its original condition with the help of a number of steam cleaning products. It’s worth shopping around to see which of these is the most applicable to cleaning the kind of ceramic tile flooring you own. It is important to know what kind of grout you have too. Note that some ceramic tile cleaning products can also do damage to colored grout. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions, and seek advice from your local do-it-yourself retailer who may have additional information on cleaning ceramic tile floors.
With ceramic tile flooring, you’ve made an excellent choice for a
tile flooring option that is both attractive and durable. By taking care to
maintain your flooring, you will extend the special beauty that ceramic tile
flooring lends to your room.