Looking forward to purchasing ceramic tile? There’s more than what you see.
Of course, color and style are important, but how and where the product can be used is even more important.. Although all ceramic tiles are a product of two basic elements, clay and water, there are ratings to help you determine which tile is right for your particular need. The different types of clays are mined, ground down and blended into a fine powder and combined with water. Once these are mixed together the pressed clay is dried to reduce the moisture content. Ceramic tiles come with a glaze and unglazed surface.
Glazed tiles are covered with a material called frit, which is a glass derivative. The glaze is sprayed into the top of the tile, and the tile is then placed in the kiln to be fired. The firing sets the glaze on the top of the tile which now makes the glaze nonporous and hard. Because it will not absorb moisture, it becomes very stain resistant and easy to clean.
The unglazed tiles are often found in quarry tile and porcelain tile. Porcelain tile, which can be one of the unglazed tiles usually, has a consistent color throughout the body of the tile. In addition, the unglazed are usually very strong and will withstand heavy traffic in both interior and exterior applications. They may be used in residential and commercial applications.
Tiles are also classified in terms of how they can be used. The designations are a wall and floor tile. These designations tell where the tile can be used. Wall tile can’t be used on the floor, but floor tile can be used on the wall depending upon the weight of the tile, and if it can adhere to the wall. Before considering the use of a floor tile on the wall, it’s best to have an installer look at the wall to see if it’s possible.
Ceramic tile can be used in other areas. Tile can be used around and in swimming pools, for kitchen back-splashes, fireplaces, bathrooms and countertops.
Many tile manufacturers have ceramic tile combinations that can be used on floors on walls. This saves you time if you are looking for a combination that will work with your floor. Instead of looking through all the tiles and determining what looks right together, the manufacturer has done it for you. This way, you can “customize” your room and create a designer look with very little effort.
Trim pieces are very important and often are included with the combinations. Trim pieces are available in decorative as well as accent and border pieces, which finish off the job. These pieces give the room an attractive and consistent look as well as adding beauty to your room.