Porcelain & Ceramic Tile
Why Choose Ceramic Tile?
A ceramic tile is clay that's formed, glazed and baked. Remarkably, for ceramic tile's long, illustrious history, very little has changed. The same ingredients are still used, and the process is still basically the same, though it has been updated and mechanized to allow for faster production. A well-designed, well-installed tile job can increase the value of your home, and will last the life of your home.
Advantages of Ceramic Tile:
- Ecologically Sound: The raw materials that ceramic tiles are made of come from the earth which, together with water and firing, produce a natural high quality product. Choosing tile in your home décor is a simple choice you can make that can have a global impact. Tile contains no polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is found in sheet vinyl and many carpets. Also, many manufacturers offer ceramic tile with recycled content.
- Extended Life Cycle: The extended life of tile products greatly increases their value. Though the cost of tile installation can be equal to or somewhat higher than that of comparable products, reduced maintenance and repair costs make tile a better choice. Tile installations retain their stylistic appeal and physical condition much longer than other products. Because of this, tile has a much lower cost per square foot over time versus that of any other product.
- Maintenance: The nature of a ceramic surface prevents anything from sticking, and grease can be eliminated easily. Their ability to act as electrical insulators, helps to make ceramic surfaces repel electrically active atmospheric dust, thus contributing towards our material ease.
- Hygienic and antiallergenic: Ceramic surfaces prevent humidity and the development of colonies of germs and fungi that are easily generated in surfaces with deficient permeability. The action of these organisms is progressive and may cause stains on the surfaces and deterioration on their inside. Ceramic tiles are the obvious choice for any area exposed to water.
- Durability: Ceramic surfaces do not require any maintenance after they have been laid except normal cleaning. Their resistance to abrupt temperature changes, chemical and biological agents, their hardness, resistance to friction, gives them durability. Their incombustibility also helps to prevent the spread of fires. Under almost all imaginable circumstances, tile will not burn, scratch, etch, melt or show wear patterns.
Key distinctions within Ceramic Tile:
Today there are literally thousands of pattern and color combinations available to choose from. Ceramic tile can be machine made or handmade. It can be made out of red clay, white clay or porcelain. Ceramic tile also offers a vast array of decorative tiles, from simple liners to the most ornate handmade pieces. Here are some distinctions that directly influence cost, quality and installation.
- Handmade Ceramic Tile: Historically all ceramic tiles were once made by hand. Today, many artisan tile makers still form ceramic tiles by hand, offering quality, craftsmanship and a flexible approach that only individual tile makers can provide. Handmade ceramic tiles are held in very high esteem particularly due to the very elaborate manufacturing process. Handmade tiles are imperfect items, but little dents and flaws are considered artistic, unique and pleasant to discerning eyes. They require an experienced installer, as your installer will have to integrate the irregular sizing into their installation. With a countless array of design and glaze options, you can create a unique installation that is both functional and a work of art.
- Porcelain Tile: Porcelain tiles are harder and denser than regular ceramic tiles. The clay used in making porcelain tiles is more refined and fired at a much higher temperature, allowing porcelain tiles to be made in very large formats that would be impossible to achieve in traditional ceramic tiles. Porcelain is also less prone to absorbing moisture, and is superior in performance with respect to stain resistance. Porcelain is up to six times more frost resistant, making it less likely to crack in cold weather, and therefore preferable in exterior applications. Porcelain also has superior chip resistance making it stronger and more durable in most cases than granite. Because of these advantages, porcelain tiles tend to be more expensive than regular ceramic tiles.
- Rectified Tile: Rectified tiles have all edges finished to exacting dimensions. Manufacturers take a large tile and cut it into smaller sizes, thereby ensuring a controlled tolerance. Stone, ceramic and porcelains can all have rectified edges. The advantage to rectified tile is a tighter grout joint, giving a more contemporary look. This also requires an experienced installer, as he/she will have to be very conscious of the flatness of each tile so as to avoid lippage.