When it comes to redecorating or renovating your home, the surface and finishing options are endless. One tile that’s quite popular is glazed porcelain. These types of tiles are made in a similar way to ceramic tiles, and are often used as flooring or wall coverings. These tiles can also be applied to exteriors due to their durability. With a water absorption rate of less than 0.5 percent, these tiles are aesthetically appealing and work great in areas of your home that are bound to be more humid.
What Are Glazed Porcelain Tiles?
Glazed porcelain tiles are tiles made of clay. These tiles have gone through an additional firing process to give it a desired finish. While they’re slightly less durable than their unglazed counterpart, the glazing process allows for a wider range of styles and colours and makes them less vulnerable to staining.
Glazed or Unglazed Porcelain Tile?
When choosing tiles for your project, it’s crucial to understand the difference in the options available to you, and what will work best for the area you’re finishing. Things like aesthetics, slip resistance, abrasion resistance, price, and maintenance are all important factors to keep in mind.If you’re looking to lay tiles in areas such as bathrooms, pool surroundings, shower areas and spas, then you’ll want to go with something slip resistant. In this case, unglazed tiles would be best. Unglazed tiles also are best for completing exterior, industrial or high-traffic projects, and are a more cost-effective option to glazed porcelain tiles. However, although these tiles are popular, they may t not give you the look and sleek finish you desire. Unglazed tiles are also less stain resistant, meaning they might not look their best in the years of wear and tear to come.Glazed tiles are warm and inviting, and easy to maintain. The sheen that’s inherent in glazed tiles will shine through even dusty floors; a quick mop will give your tiles back their full sheen. Pricier than non-glazed tiles, these tiles may leave a small dent in your wallet, but their sheer beauty is certainly worth it.
Are Glazed Tiles Slippery? Durable? Waterproof?
Don’t let their glossy finish fool you. Generally, you’re no more likely to slip on glazed porcelain tiles than any matte finished tiles. Of course wetness will make glazed tiles more slippery, but that’s no different than any other type of floor. Glazed porcelain tiles can even be used in the shower.
Porcelain tiles are typically denser and much less porous than their ceramic counterparts. As such, they are highly water-resistant, making them great options for the kitchen or bathroom.
Due to their density, porcelain tiles are also generally more durable than ceramic. In terms of glazed tiles, they tend to be more resistant to staining, because of their protective glass layer.
Uses for Glazed Tiles
Glazed porcelain tiles work best indoors. They are often seen in kitchens, bathrooms, and even laundry rooms. Because of the glazing process, these tiles are available in a wide array of colours, allowing you to truly customize your space.
Glazed tiles are commonly used in kitchens as a backsplash, giving you the flexibility of choosing a colour that will go with the aesthetic of your space. These tiles are also popular in bathrooms, and look great and are super easy to maintain. Because of their durability, chip resistance and scratch resistance, glazed tiles are long-lasting and can stand the test of time and wear.
How Glazed Porcelain Tiles Are Made
The process of making porcelain tiles is an ancient practice, often seen throughout history in the homes of the elite and in bathing areas and spas. There are many benefits to tiles, including their beautiful finish, durability, practicality and versatility.
Created from natural products extracted from the earth, these tiles are shaped into squares and then fired in kilns. There are two types of porcelain tiles: glazed and unglazed. Let’s look at how glazed tiles are made.
Step 1: The Basics
Mining the natural and organic raw materials is the first step in the process. The base that’s extracted for use is a mixture of clay and minerals, with 50% of it being a material called feldspar.
Step 2: The Transformation
After extraction, the mixture is blended into a semi-fine powder. Water is then added to create a mud-like consistency, called the slurry. After this, the slurry is pumped into a large dryer. Once it has been thoroughly dried, the slurry transforms into a fine clay powder that basically feels and looks like warm sand.
Step 3: The Shape
The sand is now pressed and formed into a tile shape. At this stage, the tiles are called green tiles. Some manufacturers use a method called extrusion, which replaces the pressing step of the traditional process, as the tiles are shaped through a mold. The most popular method though remains the pressing and forming. Once this has been done, the green tiles are dried to remove moisture.
Step 4: The Glaze
The tiles are now ready to be glazed. The glazing liquid is prepared from a glass derivative called frit. Frit and coloured dyes are mixed together to create the desired look. The glaze is then applied either by a high-pressure spray, or it is poured directly onto the tile.
Step 5: The Heat
After the glazing step is completed, the ceramic tiles are fired in a kiln at an extremely high temperature. Because of its high heat, porcelain tile is much harder and denser than ceramic tiles. After this step, the tiles are ready for use.
In short, glazed porcelain tiles are a great option for homeowners in search of a colour and stain-resistant tile to make their kitchen or bathroom room shine. With so many colour options and styles available, there’s bound to be something you’ll love. Check out our porcelain tile collection to learn more.