Tile terminology can be confusing, especially if this is your first time shopping for tiles for your home. Glazes, finishes, PEI ratings, porcelain, ceramic and natural tiles – there’s plenty to understand for first-time consumers.
Worry not! Decorcera is here to your rescue! As one of the leading tile manufacturers in India , we help you navigate the complicated world of tile terminology. This post will walk you through the basics of tiles – types, ratings, how to choose the best tiles for your home and more. The best part – we do not use complex jargon. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive into the world of tiles.
What are tiles?
Tiles are made by combining minerals, clay and solvents which are then heated and moulded at very high temperatures. These are tiles in the rawest form. Generally, all tiles undergo a further treatment known as glazing. Without glazing, tiles are highly porous, making them vulnerable to spills and stains.
Glazing adds a non-permeable layer to the tile’s surface making them an ideal choice for kitchen countertops, bathroom floors, hallways and every other space at your home. You can make your tiles further water-proof by sealing the grout and adding a sealant to the tile’s surface.
What are the best advantages of using tiles in your home?
- Tiles are incredibly beautiful – they are available in an array of colours, textures and patterns.
- They are strong – can easily withstand heavy foot traffic.
- They are heat-resistant – do not conduct electricity or heat, making them a safe choice.
- Hygienic – they are odour-resistant and do not emit any hazardous chemicals.
- Easy to clean – no need for special chemicals. Regular soap water and sponge or soft cloth is enough.
- They do not expand or contract due to changes in temperature, making them an ideal choice for all climates.
Few Pointers to Keep in Mind while Choosing Tiles for your Home
- If you will be using the tile outdoors, look for weatherproof tiles.
- Slip-resistant tiles can prevent accidental slips and falls. Did you know that 45% of all accidents occur at home? And 95% of these accidents are due to slips and falls? Having slip resistant tiles ensures that your home is safe for all.
- Find a tile that you love? Make it slip-resistant by getting tile manufacturers in India to treat it for slip-resistance.
- Using tiles on your kitchen counter? Look for tiles that are not only glazed but also scratch-proof. This ensures that the tile is not damaged due to scratches from pots and pans.
- Using the tile on a wall? Look for delicate hand-painted ones as these tiles do not have to be as sturdy as the ones you use on your floors.
Understanding the Different Types of Tiles
Tiles are available in a variety of materials. In this section, we’ll focus on the most common types and their features:
They are made by pressing porcelain clays. As a result, the surface of the tile is fine-grained, smooth and dense. They have a lower water absorption rate compared to ceramic tiles.
- Ideal for residential applications
- Damage resistant
- Strong (PEI rating of 5)
Stain resistant porcelain tiles are glazed. Glazing is a process of coating the surface of the tile with a liquid glass that is baked on the surface. This covering protects the tile from staining. Porcelain tiles are available in an unlimited array of designs and colours. The colours run all the way through the tile. Hence, they are also referred to as full-body tiles. Since the colour runs all the way through the tile, it doesn’t show wear and tear, making them best suited for commercial applications.
These are generally made from white or red clay that is heated in a kiln. They are easier to shape when compared to porcelain and their ratings range from 0 to 3.
- Ideal for light to moderate traffic
- More water absorbent
- Cost less than porcelain tiles It’s a popular natural stone that has been used in construction for centuries. Marble is made from limestone by metamorphosis. It’s a truly beautiful natural stone that is mostly used for decorative purposes like fountains, bathtubs, accent flooring, etc.
Natural Stone Tiles
Besides ceramic and porcelain tiles, there are several natural stone tiles as well. They are renowned for their natural beauty and unique appearance. Let’s take a closer look at natural stone tiles:
Slate tiles are made from natural slate. Slate is a metamorphic rock derived from shale. It’s ideal for walkways, floors, kitchen countertops, and roofing. It’s usually available in darker shades like blacks, greys, greens, etc.
It’s a popular natural stone that has been used in construction for centuries. Marble is made from limestone by metamorphosis. It’s a truly beautiful natural stone that is mostly used for decorative purposes like fountains, bathtubs, accent flooring, etc.
It’s a sedimentary rock made from calcium carbonate. It’s widely found in several parts of the world and the common colours are beige, off-white, ivory and grey. It’s best used for vanity counters, entry walls, structural walls, shower walls, etc. It’s not suited for kitchen counters as it can easily stain.
It’s a type of limestone that is less dense than marble. It’s mostly used for flooring, shower walls, mosaics, and entry walls. Just like limestone, it’s not suited for kitchen countertops as it can stain easily.
It’s the second hardest material on earth next to diamonds. It’s an igneous rock formed by the melting of magma (lava). Various minerals are trapped inside granite slabs, giving them the distinguishing salt and pepper look. Granite has a natural gloss that makes it suitable for a variety of applications. Another benefit of using granite is that it’s low maintenance. It’s mostly used for kitchen countertops and flooring.
Finding the Perfect Tile for your Home need not be Difficult
Tile shopping may seem intimidating at first. But, worry not! It’s not as difficult as it seems. Keep the above pointers in mind while tile shopping. Approach reputed porcelain tile suppliers in Morbi, India – the tile capital of the country. Explain your requirements to the manufacturer – tell them how you plan to use the tile and finally select the perfect tile that matches your aesthetics.