Ceramic tile is by far the most durable, long lasting flooring available. It has covered floors and walls and lined baths since ancient times. Roman and Greek tile mosaics look today as beautiful and vibrant as they did when first installed over 2,000 years ago.
Floor tiles are commonly made of ceramic or stone, although recent technological advances have resulted in glass tiles for floors as well. Ceramic tiles may be painted and glazed. Small mosaic tiles may be laid in various patterns. Floor tiles are typically set into mortar consisting of sand, cement and often a latex additive for extra strength. The spaces between the tiles are nowadays filled with floor grout, although mortar traditionally was used.
Types of Ceramic Tile
Ceramic tile offers consumers more options in color, texture and pattern most other floor covering materials. Today's ceramic tile designs are virtually indistinguishable from natural marbles, slates and other stone products. Glazed ceramic and porcelain tiles are great choices for bathrooms, kitchens, foyers and any high traffic area of the house.
Glazed Ceramic Tile
Glazed Ceramic Tile is comprised of two basic elements, clay and water. Various clays are mined, ground and blended to a fine powder, and pressed together to form the body of the tile. The pressed clay body is then dried to reduce the moisture content. Next, the surface of the tile is coated with a colored glaze (similar to glass). The glaze is then permanently fused to the surface of the tile by firing it in kilns at approximately 2000° Fahrenheit, to form the finished product.
Porcelain tile is made from a blend of fine-grain clays and other minerals to produce a very dense body, which makes it highly resistant to moisture, staining and wear. Because of these features, porcelain tile will withstand years of heavy foot traffic in both interior and exterior applications while maintaining its color and beauty.
Natural Stone Tile
Natural stone tiles can be especially beautiful. However, as a natural product they are a little less uniform in color and pattern and require more planning for use and installation. Since stone tiles are mass-produced, they have very uniform width and length dimensions. Stone tiles such as those of granite or marble are sawn on both sides and then polished or finished on the facing up side, so that they have a uniform thickness.
Ceramic wall tiles are normally less durable than tile designed specifically for flooring. Most wall tile is glazed with a semi-gloss or matte surface. The glazed surface has a very low slip resistance and becomes slippery when wet. Therefore, glazed wall tile is much more suited for wall or countertop applications rather than floors.
For superior craftsmanship, product knowledge and over 30 years of flooring installation experience, contact Ken LeBlanc.
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