Ceramic and Granite tiles
Flooring tiles can be made from various materials including clay, metal, stone and terrazzo. The two most popular types of tile flooring, though, are ceramic and natural stone tiles. Tile flooring is durable, can be used inside or outside your home and will bring either a sophisticated or natural ambience to your home depending on your personal taste and choice!
Ceramic tile is composed of natural clay that will either be molded through a dry press, extrusion or slush process before it makes its way to your retailer and you. The dry press molding of ceramic tile involves mixing the dry material and then putting intensive pressure on it. Extruded ceramic tile is shaped by using slightly wet material to shape it in the mold. Slush mold ceramic tile forming is done using a very wet material mix, pouring it into a mold and then hardening it in a kiln at extremely high heat.
Porcelain versus non-porcelain ceramic tile
Traditional ceramic tile, made from red, white and/or brown clay, is classified as a non-porcelain tile. While porcelain ceramic tile is also made from clay and other minerals, half of it is made up of feldspar – sand or white dust made from crystal found in rock. Feldspar is able to melt into a glass-like material when the tiles are heated in the kiln, thus bonding all material together.
Both porcelain and non-porcelain ceramic tiles come in different varieties with unique characteristics, ensuring diverse appearances. The differences in esthetics can be created during the drying process where different temperatures or the use of special types of kilns can be used, or by adding interesting ingredients to the tiles. Tiles can also be glazed or unglazed, while glazed tiles can have either a high-gloss, semi-gloss or high-gloss finish. Glazed tiles are stain and scratch resistant, and are better at defying water than unglazed tiles.
Natural stone tile
Natural stone tiles are made from stone like granite, limestone, marble, travertine and slate. Natural stone tiles will differ in appearance and characteristics depending on factors like where it was quarried and how it was finished, all adding to their natural splendor.
Granite is an igneous (fire) rock, which means that it was formed through a process of cooling and solidification. (The word ‘igneous’ is derived from the Latin word “ignis” which means fire.) Granite is therefore a dense and hard rock that is virtually impermeable and scratch-resistant, while it gets its appearance from the thousands of granite colors that naturally exist, the various speckled materials inside it and the unique veining of the stone. Granite tiles are polished to bring out their beauty. They are an excellent choice for areas of the home that have to handle a lot of traffic such as the kitchen.