In Arizona, especially in the upscale neighborhoods of Phoenix and Scottsdale, tile installation is a common feature in homes and businesses. There are three main types of non-stone tile: ceramic tile, porcelain tile, and glass tile. Glass tile is perhaps the easiest to recognize with its smooth finishes and deep glossy appearance. And often the term “ceramic tile” is used generically to describe everything else that is not glass tile.
However, there is a difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles. Both are beautiful, common in home and business features and available in a wide array of colors and textures. In this blog post and the next, we will examine the differences between ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles.
Ceramic tiles are made with a mixture of clay, minerals, and water. The mixture is molded and heat-processed to create the solid form of a tile. Some types of ceramic tile are complete at this stage, and the resulting look is rustic. The hardened tile, though, is still porous.
To seal the tiles, a glaze layer is applied in a process known as a “design layer.” The ceramic tile might first be painted, etched, or have other artistic embellishments before the glaze is applied. Tile glazes for ceramic tiles can be clear or colored, thick or thin, and determine the finished tile’s appearance and texture. Ceramic tile glazes are actually graded by their industry; higher grades mean greater durability.
Quality ceramic tiles that are sealed to industry standards are easy to clean, defend against scorching, and resist scratches and chips. They do not absorb odors or emit odors, they resist bacteria and mold, and they will not burn.
In the next post, we will look more closely at porcelain tiles and how they differ from ceramic tiles.