Ceramic Floor Tiles
Ceramic Tiles, Porcelain Tiles and Natural Stone
Many people actually don’t know the difference between Ceramic and Porcelain tiles. Below you will find the main differences between the two:
Also known as non-porcelain tiles are made from white or red clay and fired in a kiln. These are the general colours you will see on the back of the tiles either reddish or a white clay look. They are then finished with a resilient glazed finish and within the glaze is where the pattern and colour are embedded.
Ceramic tile flooring is softer than porcelain and easier to cut and work with. They are recommended to be used in light to medium traffic areas. They have a high water absorption rate and are not recommended for outdoor use in colder climates since they are not frost resistant. Tiles are not as resilient as porcelain tiles and are more susceptible to wear and chipping.
These are made from porcelain clays using a dust pressed method. This is the process that makes Porcelain Tiles extremely hard and usually has a very smooth surface. They have a very low water absorption rate which in turn, makes them highly frost resistant.
Due to their hard surface these types of tiles are a lot harder to cut and usually need to be cut with a wet saw or a heavy duty tile cutter. Due to the hardness, they are more recommended for heavy traffic areas than a ceramic floor tile. Full body Porcelain Tiles have the same colour and pattern throughout the entire tile and these are recommended for the highest traffic areas like offices and malls.
Porcelain tiles are available in many different patterns and usually come with either a matt, semi polished or high polished finish.
Stone is different to Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles due to the fact that this type of tile is “Natural” and comes from the Earth, whereas Ceramic and Porcelain are both man made. Natural Stone is a beautiful product but is less uniform in colour and pattern. Natural Stone needs to be sealed on a regular basis since it has a very porous surface. The most popular stone types are marble, travertine and slate to name a few. Each of these products has their own unique characteristics and will add value to any application. Many of these stones are sold within a “Grade category”. This means that 1st grade and will be the best and have less imperfections and colour variations than say a 3rd grade. These are all very important points to research before you invest into this type of luxurious flooring.