By Hilaire Marc. Porcelain Tile. Published at Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 - 14:50:57 PM.
The term porcelain was coined from the Italian word ”porcellana” because of its translucent characteristic similar to the cowrie shell. Porcelain was first developed in China and was exported to Europe between the 17th and 18th century. Beautiful jars and other delicate ornaments were made from porcelain, but the discovery of its base material from soft paste to hard past has made porcelain an important industrial commodity. Porcelain is resistant to high temperatures, resistant to abrasions, and is also non-porous, which allows very minimal water absorption. Today, porcelain is an important material for insulation and is popularly used for dental prosthesis and veneers. That is why porcelain tiles are excellent choices for residential and commercial finishing.
But the misinformation continues. The Porcelain Enamel Institute rates glazed floor tiles as to their resistance to abrasion. Glazed tiles are those to which a decorative layer has been applied over the clay body of the tile. Glazes are rated 1 through 5 with 5 being the highest or most durable grade. Many, if not most, porcelain tiles are not glazed, yet ask your tile sales person about the PEI rating of the porcelain tile you are examining in the showroom. It's very likely you'll hear something like, ”Oh, this is a grade 5 porcelain tile. You could lay this baby in a car factory.” I certainly don't aim to demean tile sales people. We need them and love them. Without them we'd be out of work. I do wish they'd get themselves a little better informed, though, so they can better inform the buying public about the virtues of ALL ceramic tiles.
Glazed porcelain tiles are the most common variety chosen by homeowners because of durability and the variety of colors and textures available at tile stores. Glazed tiles can appear glossy or matte and are extremely durable and highly stain-proof. These tiles can mimic the appearance of natural stones like granite, limestone and slate, as well as metals like aluminum and brass. Some varieties even mimic hardwood. These machine-made tiles come in all shapes and sizes and can be used on the wall, floor or as a countertop.
All types of tile are more durable and dense than ceramic tile and require less maintenance than natural stone and hardwood. Glazed porcelain is more difficult to scratch and stain and resists moisture and frost. It is an attractive option for high-traffic areas and is easy to keep clean. It doesn't need to be polished or waxed and only needs sealing if a polished or unglazed tile was installed. Finally, at a fraction of the cost of natural stone can imitate this look for less without the headache of maintaining natural stone.
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