By Frederic Vaillant. Porcelain Tile. Published at Sunday, May 19th, 2019 - 03:16:36 AM.
There are many different types of tiles on the market today. Most people want the best possible type of tile floor they can afford and they also want it to look beautiful and last for many years. There are also cleaning and maintenance issues that must be considered when choosing tile flooring. Many people desire the natural beauty of stone and are willing to deal with the increased cleaning and maintenance issues that come with stone. Other people like the uniform look of ceramic and porcelain and they do not want to deal with some of the hassles involved with stone tile floors. For the easiest to clean and maintain floors ceramic and porcelain tiles seem to make the most sense.
Ask a tile sales person whether porcelain tiles are stronger and more durable than ceramic tiles and in most cases the answer will be yes. But although porcelain tiles are indeed strong and durable, that answer is essentially incorrect. As I stated above, porcelain tiles ARE ceramic tiles. Porcelain is simply a type of ceramic clay. Porcelain tiles are those which have the lowest absorption rates of all the ceramic tiles available. To be classed as ”porcelain,” a tile cannot absorb more than .5 percent of it's total mass in water. Many porcelain tiles absorb less than that — down to as little as .1 percent. In the industry, these tiles are called ”impervious.” There is no confusion on this matter among installers. We call ourselves ceramic tile setters, not porcelain tile setters. It's just that as it turns out, most of the floor tiles we install nowadays are made from porcelain.
First off porcelain is a much denser tile than ceramic and less likely to chip. Also it's absorption rate is less, which makes it frost resistant and suitable for both indoor and outdoor installations.* But if a glazed porcelain tile chips, you will see the porcelain. In many cases buying a porcelain tile for a residential product is overdoing it and a ceramic tile will do just fine for your project. Every tile, ceramic or porcelain, has a PEI rating. The PEI rating should be the determining factor in making your final decision, not whether the tile is ceramic or porcelain. The PEI rating will tell us how resistant a tile is to chipping or scratching. Below are the PEI ratings and the recommended use for each rating.
Because they are made of finer clay materials are fired at a higher temperature, porcelain tiles are harder in texture making their physical feature jagged which makes them appropriate for more challenging purposes such as flooring functions. They are usually made from white clay. There are glazed and unglazed porcelain tiles. The unglazed types are the most popular choice because the colors go all the way through making the little scratches and dirt not visible at all. These types of tiles are also harder to cut because of their hardness and density making them more difficult to customize to fit your house's interior design. Ceramic tiles on the other hand come in glazed and unglazed types. The unglazed ceramic tiles are more at risk of cracking and so are not advisable for flooring intentions requiring for a better care. The glazed ones are glass-like with dazzling designs making them more appropriate for wall purposes. They tend to be slippery in texture and so are very not suitable for bathroom use. They are best for mural use. They are prepared from brown, white or red clay.
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