Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ceramic Flooring Types, Ideas with Pros and Cons

Ceramic tiles that can be installed on indoor as well as outdoor floors, are made from clay or other such minerals. It is an extremely durable and a decorative choice of flooring.

Why To Use Ceramic Tiles?

Ceramic tile flooring are the most durable of all the flooring ideas. These are also very easy to clean and maintain.  Just take polisher scrubber or simply a scrubber and clean your ceramic tile floor with it. Moreover the huge range of sizes, color, patterns and designs further ads to the selection of ceramic tiles. Apart from all this installation is quiet easy.

Although you may fine ceramic flooring tiles in range of shapes but square and rectangular are the most economical and easy to install types. Also while buying the ceramic flooring tiles it is better to buy unglazed ceramic tiles especially for the bathroom flooring.

Types of Ceramic Tiles Flooring
This classification is based on the manufacturing and heat treatment of tiles. To make ceramic tiles, raw material is first given shape and then placed in kiln, which is called heat-treatment. Treatment of ceramic tiles is done in two ways. These are:

Glazed – Addition of color is done after firing, followed by the addition of glass like surface to the tile. Glazing makes the tiles stain resistant and becomes glassy in appearance. These are then used on the walls instead of floor.

Unglazed – Unglazed ceramic tiles are also known as quarry tiles. Here the color is part of the tile itself. These need to be sealed after installation.

Classification of Ceramic Tiles According to the Tile Council of North America

As per the Tile Council of North America, ceramic tiles have two basic categories. These are: Quarry tiles and second category includes mosaic, wall and floor tiles.

Extrusion from shale or natural clay is used for making the quarry tiles whereas the other types of ceramic tiles are made by compacting the clay dust.

Glazed Tiles

You will find these in slip-resistant, matte as well as high gloss finish. Do not use high gloss tiles in bathroom as these become very slippery once wet. Also it is better to avoid these on other floorings as well. You can use this on wall. Abrasive comes in many hand painted as well as machine printed prints. But once chipped the inner side of the tile appears to be different from the outer surface.

Mosaic Tiles
While making mosaic tiles, color pigment is so added that it goes all across the tile. So even if it gets chipped, its inner area wont look different from the outer surface. But as these resist moisture so these do not get chipped so easily.

Quarry Tiles
These are made from the unglazed clay and come in very earthy shades. AS these are porous in nature so it gets stain very easily.

Porcelain Tiles
These hardest of all types of tiles as subjected to very high temperature during production. Wear-resistant and less absorption of water are their main features.

How to Buy Tiles for Flooring?
Ceramic tiles work very well in high traffic areas. Always buy the right kind of floor ceramic tile and it should combine with the floor or place where you want to install it. AT entry or bathroom flooring you need slip resistant, abrasive and moisture-proof tiles. Even for the other flooring needs the ceramic tiles should be slip resistant.

Hardness of the Tiles

The Porcelain Enamel Institute hardness ratings are:

Group I - Light Traffic: residential bathroom floors where bare or stockinged feet are the norm.
Group II -
Medium Traffic: home interiors where little abrasion occurs. Don't use in kitchens or entries.
Group III - Medium-Heavy Traffic: any home interior.
Group IV - Heavy Traffic: homes or light to medium commercial areas.
Group V- Extra Heavy Traffic: use it anywhere.

Water Absorption Rate
Pay attention to water absorption rate of the ceramic tiles that is measured in %age of water absorption or porosity. The classifications for the porosity of tile are:

Impervious (least absorbent),

Vitreous, Semi-vitreous, and Non-vitreous (most absorbent).

Porosity places an important role while selecting the tiles.

Firing defines the hardness of ceramic flooring tiles. More and hotter the firing more will be the hardness.

Single fired tiles are glazed and baked once in kiln.

Double fired tiles are thicker and baked twice after adding colors and decorations.

Read to Get More Ceramic Tile Buying Tips



Top Brands in Tile Flooring
  • Merola Tile
  • Porcelanosa
  • Marazzi Tile
  • Daltile
  • American Olean
  • Solistone