Ceramic Tile Flooring - Dependable and Attractive
Beauty of cermaic tiles, glazing facts
Ceramic tile flooring is growing on popularity and is a dependable and attractive choice for any home or institution. A ceramic tile is a composition of clays that have been first been fashioned and shaped and then baked / fired in a kiln under extremely high temperatures. These temperatures harden and strengthen the clay. The resulting floor tile can then be glazed or left as is - for more on glazing read on.
Ceramic tiles have a number of definite unique selling points. You might want to consider each of these before looking at an alternative flooring material.
1. Floor Wear Resistance: This applies to glazed tiles only. The glaze layer protects the core of the tile form damage such as scratching and general abrasion that usually comes with a high amount of traffic.
2. Moisture Absorption: The clay that makes up the body is porous to varying degrees depending on the manufacturing conditions. They can therefore take in moisture (although a glaze does minimize this) and it is important to have an idea of just how much they can absorb. Outdoor tiles should not be able to take in anything more than 3% moisture; this is because temperature changes will cause contractions and expansions that result in cracking.
3. Stain-Proof: Ceramic building materials are in most professional's opinion are the hardest to stain. Glazed and even some untreated floors can defy nearly all solutions that would normally taint wood, stone and laminates.
4. Slip-Proof: This type of surface is on par with most hard-surfaces used in flooring with regard to being slip-proof. As one can imagine - an untreated product has a higher grip factor than a glazed product and is best suited to areas where water spillage is a common occurrence (patios, pool sides etc.) Some tiles also come with an "abrasive git" that increases the available traction.
5. Non- Fade: Some materials will fade from continued exposure to sunlight. This material will hold its color and remain unaffected even through continued direct exposure.
6. Fire-Proof: This material will not burn at any temperature - thus there is no chance of them as acting as a fuel to a blaze (as is the case with wood), they will hold their shape and they also act as a shield to the underlying structural supports.
7. Low Floor Maintenance: The floor will not hold dirt and this and any dust can be easily wiped away with a damp cloth and sanitized with a little mild detergent. The tiles hold no odor and do not absorb smoke or fumes. Terra-cotta tiles need slightly more care and require oiling / waxing every now and then.
More in Glazing
The glaze on ceramic tile flooring is a liquid glass that has been applied to the surface and then hardened by exposure to extremely high temperatures. Color can also be incorporated by combining minerals such as cobalt, zinc and copper. Just how well the glaze on the tile will wear depends on the temperature the floor tile was fired under, the color of the glaze (darker colors are harder), and the gloss level (matte finish is usually harder.)
The most common sizes in the states are 8 inches by 8inches and 12 inches by 12inches.