In this post we have covered basic information about all tiles types
This is one the oldest types of flooring tiles in use. It is made of , as name suggests, cement. Such tiles were first manufactured in France in late nineteenth century. These tiles were widely used in Latin America, Europe and South Asia. In India, such tiles were common choice for flooring in homes and other buildings till late 1990s until when ceramic floor tiles were introduced.
Such tiles are manufactured using cement. They are either molded using hydraulic press or manually. Mineral or non-mineral based pigment are used to create colors and patterns on the surface.
Ceramic tile is made of clay and silica, which is permanently hardened using kiln at high temperature (Up to 1250 degree Celsius). Ceramic tiles can be glazed or used without glazing. Glaze is lustrous material which gives smooth finish to a tile. Ceramic tiles become common for wall covering during 1970s in India. Although ceramic tiles for flooring were less common at that time.
Unglazed ceramic tiles are mainly used for outdoors. They are very rough and skid resistant. They do not offer protection from stains.
Glazed tiles (or Glaze tiles)
Glazed tiles or Glaze tiles are nothing but ceramic tiles with glaze coating. As explained above ceramic tiles are coated with glaze to give it better smooth lustrous finish. It can glossy or bit matt finish depending up on materials used to prepare glaze. Glaze makes it possible to create various prints and colors.
Finish of glazed tiles look much better compared to unglazed tiles. Such tiles are mainly used for interior application. It offers stain and water resistance.
Vitrified tiles are created through process of vitrification. Which is again process where the composition of clay and silica is hardened to become non-porous (having very low water absorption rate ). Vitrified tiles are mostly full body tiles where pigments are mixed in the complete body so the pattern on the surface can remain intact against wear and tear. Sometime Vitrified tiles are polished to provide shiny finish.
In beginnings of 21st century vitrified tiles began to become common choice for flooring in India. It is very hard, water resistant and wear resistant.
Porcelain tiles can be considered vitrified tiles. Porcelain tiles are made using dust firing method to produce more density and hardness. Since porcelain tiles has water absorption rate of 0.5% it is considered to be vitrified tiles.
Glazed vitrified tiles
Vitrified tiles sometime are glazed just like normal ceramic tiles. So there’s additional glaze coating which makes it even harder. Glazed vitrified tiles enables more colour and designs on tiles body compared to non-glazed vitrified tiles where pigments are randomly mixed in the body and there’s not much creative control on design patterns. Glazed surface is also easy to clean and stain resistant.
Polished vitrified tiles
Vitrified tiles are sometime polished at last stage in production. Polishing wheel remove very thin layer of vitrified tiles surface which gives glossy finish just like natural stone.
Double charged vitrified tiles
In this type of vitrified tiles pattern is printed in double layer which is usually 3-4 mm thicker than normal vitrified tiles. It doesn’t allow complex patterns but since there are double layers of pattern it is long wearing.
In recent times digital printing technology was introduced which works in similar fashion to how inkjet printer work for paper based printing. Specially made inks are used to print the glazed ceramic and vitrified tiles. Printer has micro precision and thus it is able to print very high resolution images on the tiles surface.
This technology has enabled very realistic looking natural marble , stone and wooden finishes as well as creative image printing on tiles. Nowadays all glazed tiles are printed using digital printing technology and hence all tiles are digital tiles in a way.
Glass tiles as the name suggest are made of glass. Color is either fused with the molten glass , which gives the color to complete body of glass tiles, or it is layered on one side of glass tiles. In either case color will never fade. Glass tiles are almost always used in form of mosaic tiles. Which mean they are cut into smaller pieces and then laid on the surface in mosaic format which gives better creative freedom in creating pattern by laying pieces.
Since such tiles are very costly, they are only used in luxury houses. Also most of the time they aren’t used for field tiles and instead tey are used as accent or backsplash etc.
Mosaic is not a type of tile actually. It is way of laying tiles. The term mosaic means picture made of smaller pieces. So accent or highlight pattern or specific area in wall is decorated using mosaic , which mean small pieces of either porcelain or glass.