By Yvet Crouzet. Porcelain Tile. Published at Wednesday, May 15th, 2019 - 13:30:13 PM.
Cheap porcelain tiles can actually be extremely porous and difficult to clean. They will absorb all types of dirt, spills and contaminates. These types of porous tiles will start to show dirty spots especially in heavy use areas and in the center of the floor where people walk. Soon your floor will look ugly and these types of deeply embedded stains are extremely difficult to clean. Often times it can help to seal these porous tiles but this can be costly and time consuming especially for a product that you thought was dense and would be easy to clean and maintain.
This ruggedness is why tiles made of porcelain are the ones most often found in floor applications for outdoor living spaces, it's because they are far better at handling harsh conditions. Tiles made of porcelain are practically a must for outdoor patios in cold weather climates, because unlike normal ceramic tiles, they are far less likely to crack. Not only can they endure the elements better, but the unique absorption rate and density of means that moisture and dirt have a hard time getting through the surface. That means that the tiles look cleaner and retain their color for a longer period of time.
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.
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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