By Hugette Lefevre. Ceramic Tile. Published at Friday, May 24th, 2019 - 21:21:29 PM.
Such a cermic tile would not be suitable for certain applications. For example if you intend to use the tile for a backsplash, counter top or tabletop you will need a very durable tile that will hold up to frequent cleaning and in the case of a countertop or tabletop, some hard use too. Stoneware clays are the most suitable for this sort of use. Stoneware is normally fired to about cone 6 (around 2200 degrees F) and is very strong. But in your inquiry, don't stop with what kind of clay the tiles are made from. Glazes vary enormously and even so-called 'food-safe' glazes can leach out chemicals, stain and lose their color. Many manufactured tiles are poorly made and will not hold up to the uses they are marketed for. Of course, there are many quite excellent manufactured tiles too so you need to inquire to be sure. That information however may or not be readily available.
For ceramic walls in dry areas not subject to much physical contact most any type of tile and glaze is adequate. For wet areas flat tiles, low relief tiles or even high relief tiles can be used so long as they are not in a hazardous place that a body can inadvertently come into contact with them. A large frog leaping out from your shower wall at body height is probably not a good idea. Obviously, porous tiles are not good for wet areas. So long as the tile is vitreous – has been fired to maturity such that the crystalline structure is unified – the tile or glaze is OK, however the joints between the tiles will need to be sealed. Again, the best bet here is a high fired stoneware tile with a dependable glaze.
When it comes to properties, ceramic and vitrified tiles are both products of men or man made products, as it is popularly called. Ceramic are created from clay. The clay body is topped with a ceramic glaze. On the other hand, vitrified tiles are made by fusing silica and clay. The mixture are then heated or placed under high – fiery temperatures, which would then result to a non – porous tile with glass – like texture. The vitrified type doesn't need additional glaze to be added on to it.
The kind of ornamentation of the ceramic tile is important too. For a ceramic countertop or tabletop, the tiles should be flat. For a backsplash the tiles can have low relief but high relief will be difficult to clean and is not generally advised. Fireplaces, murals, mosaics and facades can be either flat, have low relief or high relief and low fire glazes are OK in these applications. Be careful though with areas that will get much use, such as around a fireplace where logs will be placed or fireplace tools will be used. Low fire tiles and glazes can crack or chip much more easily than stoneware and high fire glazes. Also, if it is an area that will require frequent cleaning, high relief may prove troublesome.
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