Published at Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 - 09:59:52 AM. Porcelain Tile. By Chantay Bonnin.
Sales of floor tiles in the U.S. and Canada have doubled in slightly over a decade, and the popularity of tiled floors continues to increase at a dramatic rate. The rise in tile sales can be attributed to two factors primarily: a determined and well-thought-out effort developed and sustained by marketing and sales forces within the industry; and by constant and significant improvements achieved by tile manufacturers over the past couple of decades. In slightly over twenty years we've come from fairly soft ”knob-back” floor tiles made from terracotta-like clays to extremely dense dust pressed porcelains that are all but indestructible. Walk into any tile salesroom today, and you will find mostly porcelain tiles displayed.
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.
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