Properties of ceramic tile

Written by nancy williams
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Properties of ceramic tile
Ceramic tile is attractive and durable. (ceramic tile image by Karin Lau from

There are two types of ceramic tile: porcelain and nonporcelain. Both are made from feldspar and clay minerals dug from the Earth. These raw materials are pulverised and crushed before particles are separated by size. Different grades are carefully measured, mixed and ground together. Tiles are formed by dry-pressing the mixture or following a wet-mill process. After tiles are pressed into shapes and glaze is applied, they're fired in a kiln for a specific time. This kiln time affects the hardness of the tile and whether it's called a nonporcelain ceramic tile or porcelain tile. Both types are very durable and wear well.


Porcelain tiles are generally made by the dry-pressed method from porcelain clays. Dry-milled tiles are bisque-fired at lower temperatures, then glazed and refired for two or three days at temperatures of 1260 degrees Celsius. This tile is dense, fine-grained, impervious to wear and extremely durable. Porcelain tile is available in a glazed, matt or unglazed finishes.

Ceramic paver tiles are nonporcelain similar to quarry tile in colour and thickness. They're suitable for high-traffic areas where a heavy-duty floor surface is needed. Paver ceramic tiles are ideal in factories or industrial plants where they take a lot of abuse.

Properties of ceramic tile
There are many designs and colours of porcelain tile. (ceramic tile floor or wall texture image by Ana de Sousa from

Slip Resistant

Ceramic or nonporcelain tiles are usually made from red or white clay and fired in a kiln. Wet-milled tiles require much less time to fire, sometimes only one hour at temperatures of 1149 degrees Celsius. They're finished with a durable glaze with colour and a pattern. Quarry tile has dense body with low porosity and is very strong. The rough surface makes these tiles more slip-resistant.

Properties of ceramic tile
It's hard to slip on ceramic tile. (ceramic tiles pattern image by Yali Shi from


Glazed porcelain tile has a low water absorption rate, less than 0.5 per cent, and is resists frost. Ceramic tile is dense and, because its hard surface doesn't absorb water, it decreases humidity in usage areas.

Properties of ceramic tile
Ceramic tile works well in cooler environments. (display of ceramic tiles image by Gina Smith from

Acts as an Electric Insulator

Conductive ceramic floor tiles are ideal for use where there's danger of an electric spark causing an explosion. The electrically conductive nature of these tiles allows them to draw off static electricity, preventing discharge of sparks. These tiles are used in hospital operating rooms.

Properties of ceramic tile
You'll find ceramic tile used in operating rooms. (operating room image by Maciej Zatonski from


Paver and quarry tiles are resistant to abrasives and can be used in areas where they're exposed to sand, grit and gravel. They don't chip or fade from wear and aren't damaged by direct sunlight. This tile is dense and its hard surface doesn't absorb water.

Properties of ceramic tile
Ceramic tile is very durable. (great image of a ceramic tiled wall image by Oleg Verbitsky from


Glazed tile is resistant to crazing and hairline cracks. Porcelain tile retains its colour and pattern and is virtually impervious to wear. These tiles are suitable for residential use, high-traffic areas and industrial areas.

Properties of ceramic tile
You'll be hard-pressed to find chips or cracks in ceramic tile. (ceramic image by PixAchi from

Stain-Resistant and Low Maintenance

Glazed porcelain tiles are resistant to stains. Some have a liquid glass coating baked onto the surface of the clay. This glaze increases the tiles' protection against staining as well as the number of colours and designs that can be used. Once installed, ceramic tile is easy to clean and requires no special maintenance.

Properties of ceramic tile
Ceramic tile floors are a breeze to clean. (Tiled floor image by Simon Amberly from

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