How Tile is Made

Knowing how a ceramic tile is manufactured could aid you in grasping and assessing its performance features: why some ceramic tire floors last longer or look better. The basic ingredients of ceramic tile and the process in constructing them have barely been altered since it was first manufactured centuries ago. Every ceramic tile is made from natural products obtained from the earth, formed into tiles, and cooked in extremely hot kilns.

2 main types of tile construction:

Glazed Tile

  • 2 layers seen from the side
  • body known as bisque
  • top layer known as glaze
  • easy to clean
  • more stain resistant than unglazed
  • perfect for kitchen and baths
  • hard, non-porous, impermeable surface after firing

Unglazed Tile

  • does not contain glazed top layer
  • no additional surface application
  • solid colored all the way through
  • good to be installed indoors or outdoors
  • referred to as through-body construction
  • more lasting and denser than glazed
  • good for areas with kids

There are 5 steps in the ceramic tile manufacturing process:

Mining Tile

  • a mixture of clay and minerals
  • initial process which include the mining of raw materials

Blending and Mixing Tile

  • mud is introduced to the mix
  • mineral and clay mixture combined together and blended to a semi-fine powder
  • water is poured to the slurry or mud-like texture
  • develops into a refined clay powder which is similar to warm, fine sand

Pressing Tile

  • process of applying pressure
  • clay is pressed and shaped into tiles
  • green tiles – term for pressed tiles
  • extrusion step could be used in place of the pressing step
  • a mold, where tiles are pressed, is used in the extrusion step
  • pressing is the most conventional technique used today
  • after tiles are shaped, next step is to dry them

Glazing Tile

This step is disregarded for unglazed tiles

  • liquid and colored dyes are mixed in frit, a glass container
  • the mixture is sprayed or poured on to the tile

Firing Tile

  • at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the tiles are cooked
  • monocotura tile – cooked only once right after glazing
  • biocuttura tile – cooked twice, first after drying the green tiles then after glaze is applied

Alternative-Porcelain Tile

  • made from 50% feldspar
  • harder and denser
  • cooked in a temperature higher than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit
  • high performance
  • can be used for indoors, outdoors or commercial spaces
  • liquid absorption percentage is less than 0.5%
  • Following the inspection of finished tiles, they are packed and crated and ready for shipment.

After the finished tiles have been inspected for quality assurances, they are packaged, crated and ready to be shipped.

Tile Uses

  • tile on your kitchen backsplash may not be recommended for installation on the floor
  • not all ceramic tile is suitable for every area in the home

Tile Rating System

  • Rating system given
  • Rating system is added to boxes or samples
  • Rating systems are often about the endurance and abrasion resistance of the tile

5 Classes of Tile

Slip Resistance Rating

  • Important for areas that get wet
  • Calculated based on its Coefficient of Friction or COF
  • The higher the COF the more slip resilient the tile

Other ratings

  • Moisture absorption
  • Chemical resistance
  • Scratch resistance
  • Breaking strength

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