Ceramic floor tiles have been around for a long time, however, there has been a huge improvement in these tiles over the last twenty years. In the early days, ceramic tiles were rather soft compared to today’s tiles and were made from terracotta-like clays. Today, you can find ceramic floor tiles that are single fired, double fired, triple fired, and even quadruple fired, with literally thousands of different colors and decorations.
The term ‘ceramic’ now has two different meanings in the floor tile industry. You can purchase floor tiles that are designated as being ‘ceramic’, however, the term ‘ceramic’ itself refers to all manufactured clay tiles – and that covers a wide range of floor tiles. Porcelain floor tiles are from the ceramic family since they are made from pressed and fired clays, although the end results are very different to basic ceramic tiles – and that is what often causes some confusion.
Normal ceramic tiles have two layers – the tile itself and a glaze that is placed over the top. The color and patterns are created using that glaze, and like all glazes, it can be damaged. When damaged, the color and pattern is damaged. Porcelain tiles differ in that the color and pattern are created from the start – these tiles have a single layer so the color and pattern flows right through the tile, front to back.
Each tile type has its uses. Porcelain floor tiles are harder, more durable and naturally water-resistant. Glazed ceramic floor tiles look good, and the glaze does offer some water resistance. When looking for clay-based floor tiles, it is well worth taking the time to talk to a tile expert. They can help you find the right tiles for your project, ensuring you select tiles that will handle the conditions and last for many years.