Published at Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 - 02:10:29 AM. Porcelain Tile. By Lirienne Pouliquen.
Ceramic tile. Now there's a term for you. When hearing or reading it, most people think of the highly glazed ”bathroom” tiles of years gone by or of decorative tiles which are used to dress up otherwise plain tile installations. After all, aren't there many different kinds of clay tiles? Aren't ceramic tiles just a small part of the field? Actually, no. The term ”ceramic tile” covers almost every clay product produced and used within the tile industry. In addition to four-and-a-quarter-inch bathroom tiles and colorful ”decos,” there are ”monocottura” or single-fired floor tiles, 1-inch and 2-inch ”mosaic” tiles mounted on sheets, double-, triple-, and even quadruple-fired tiles decorated in dozens of different ways, and large format porcelain tiles which are used on floors and walls. It is this last category of tiles that we will concern ourselves with here. There is a great deal of confusion concerning the status of porcelain tiles, most of it generated within the tile industry itself.
Through-bodied porcelain is ideal for commercial locations because they withstand heavy foot traffic. The color won't fade because there is no glaze and if a tile does chip, the color is the same underneath, making the chip less noticeable. These tiles can also be installed in homes as flooring, on walls or countertops, and in wet locations such as the kitchen or bathroom. Glazed porcelain tile is made from porcelain (a mixture of clay, sand and minerals), fired in a kiln and has a glazed finish. The glaze is usually tinted and is a glass wear layer (liquid glass) that is baked into the surface and gives the tile its final color. If glaze is then polished, the tile must be sealed after installation to make it non-porous. The glaze finish makes this tile stain resistant and has more color and texture options.
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