Natural Vs. Glazed Vs. Polished Porcelain Tile for Floors: Pros and Cons of Each

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Designing and planning for your home interiors need not always be as difficult as you may think it to be. The prime factor is planning and preparing in advance, for the home improvements, which can turn your home into a beautiful place.

When it comes to the flooring of one’s home, people love to go in for different looks that can enhance the home interiors. One can opt for cladding with stone or ceramic tiles to spice up the entire look of the place. There is also a marked confusion between porcelain tiles and ceramic tiles for many people even today.

Most types of tiles that are available today are generally made from clay. These can also comprise other materials. Later, they are kiln-fired. Tiles are generally classified into two groups, which are the porcelain tiles and the non-porcelain tiles (Ceramic Tiles).

Porcelain Floor Tiles

These are further divided into three categories-natural porcelain tile, polished porcelain tile and glazed porcelain tile. Porcelain tiles are generally made by with the dust pressed method from porcelain clay. This gives us a fine grained, smooth and dense tile. These tiles have an absorption rate of .5% or even less. This is what makes them frost resistant. Porcelain tiles are also available in an unglazed, matte or a very highly polished finish.

What is a Natural Porcelain Tile?

This is a kind of tile that is unglazed and unpolished. Comprising of only natural porcelain, they have an absorption rate of less than 1%. The absorption rate has no connection with the surface of the tile. These are also known as ‘through body’ porcelain. They are sometimes treated with soluble salts or they can even comprise of a different face or a different body. This is known as being double loaded. This means that the top half of the tile in terms of design and texture varies from the bottom half of the tile.

What is a Glazed Porcelain Tile?

These can be partially or completely glazed. This can be altered in the manufacturing process. Most of the glazed porcelain tiles have an absorption rate of .5%. But the absorption can be under .1% if the clay body of the tile is used on the face of the tile. The interesting factor about porcelain tiles is that, it can even be polished.

What is a Polished Porcelain Tile?

In this case, when you mention a polished porcelain tile, it means that it comes close to the granite finish. The surface of the tile is not actually glaze. These actually comprise of natural porcelain that have a polished exterior. One has to employ certain methods to increase the resistance of such tiles. The process of polishing tends to open the pores of the tile. Therefore, whilst grouting of the tile, one must ensure that a certain sealer is applied to the polished tile. This would increase its resistance against staining.

Benefits of Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain Tiles can have certain advantages when it is used in home improvements. A few are listed below-

* Porcelain tiles are very much resistant to tremendous wear and tear. This is because it has a hard, durable surface and the durability of the porcelain tile can be seen in most malls and places that have a high traffic of shoppers at all times.

* Porcelain tiles are ideal for the kitchen, which needs a lot of cleaning at all times. These can resist strong chemicals and acids and therefore are easier to clean.

* Natural porcelain tiles are chip resistant. Besides, if the situation does arise that the tile does chip, you need not be worried. The chipped portion can never be seen too easily as it is of the same color of the tile.

Porcelain tiles have seen a meteoric rise in the tile industry and also when it comes to home interiors. The past few years have witnessed many techniques and methods that been devised to create new patterns, textures and such additional elements for these tiles. Glazed porcelain tiles offer one the option of creating limitless designs and colors. Sometimes, these glaze effects can cause a few changes in the constituency of the tile. It may make the tile lose its resistance to certain chemicals.

The particular characteristics of the tile dictate the kind of use it would hold for the designer who is planning to use it his/her home interior designs. One has to know the performance, maintenance, the aesthetics and the budget for the appropriate use of the tile.


Posted on Jul 26, 2011
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