There are only few design ideas that have not been done previously; however, with a medium such as tiles, flooring does not have to be boring. A unique flooring design will not only make your property look good, but will also add value to it.
One of the most popular flooring choices in today’s market is tile. Almost everywhere, you will see tile flooring. From bathrooms to kitchen backsplashes.
Tile flooring is produced from a number of materials such as terrazzo, stone, metal, clay and quartz. There are many different tile flooring types and each type of tile flooring contain its unique characteristics. Generally speaking, the two most commonly used types of tile flooring are ceramic and natural stone.
Ceramic tile is manufactured from clay materials that are quarried, prepared, and then formed into a mold. Common forming methods for ceramic tile include dry press, extruded, and slush mold. The dry press forming method involves a mixture of dry material being pressed into a mold under extreme pressure. Extruded ceramic tile is formed when a mixture of slightly wet material is extruded into a mold. Slush mold is a forming method in which a mixture of very wet material is poured into a mold and then hardened in a kiln at an extremely high temperature.
Porcelain vs. Non-Porcelain
Ceramic tile can best be characterized as either porcelain or non-porcelain. Traditional ceramic tile is non-porcelain and is made from white, red, and/or brown clay and other minerals. Porcelain ceramic tile is made from clay and minerals as well, but it also contains 50% of a white dust or sand called feldspar. Feldspar is a type of crystal found in rock that acts as a “flux” during the kiln-drying process, melting into a glass-like material and bonding all of the molded ingredients together. Minor modifications to the ingredients of ceramic tile or the kiln-drying process (i.e., to the temperature and type of kiln) create enormous variety in the appearance and characteristics of manufactured ceramic tile flooring products.
Porcelain and non-porcelain ceramic tile can be either unglazed or glazed. Glazed tile has a matte, semi-gloss, or high-gloss finish applied to the surface during the manufacturing process. In the past, glazed tile was kiln-fired twice, once to harden the tile mold and a second time to harden the glaze. Today, in addition to double-fired ceramic tiles, an automated single-fired manufacturing process called Monocuttura hardens a glazed mold in one step. Glazed tiles have increased stain resistance, scratch resistance, and traction, as well as decreased water absorption, in comparison to an unglazed tile.
Non-porcelain, ceramic tile is among the most economical types of tile flooring. Porcelain ceramic flooring is more expensive than non-porcelain and can be harder to work with. However, it offers greater durability, natural stain resistance, minimal water absorption, and through-bodied color. Many types of tile are manufactured in a similar fashion to ceramic tile, but they are less common. These include brick, cement, glass, encaustic, saltillo, and terra cotta tile. The varying materials and manufacturing processes create distinctive product characteristics.
NATURAL STONE TILE – GRANITE
Natural stone tile is produced from natural materials that are quarried, slabbed, finished, and cut to size. Common types of stone used as flooring tile include granite, marble, limestone (including travertine), and slate. Among these types of natural stone are thousands of varieties with characteristics that depend on where and when the stone was quarried.
Granite is a type of igneous rock that is very dense and hard. Its distinctive appearance is due to speckled minerals found within the rock, its unique veining, and the thousands of available colors. Granite is nearly impervious and, once it is polished, resists scratching. It is an excellent choice for flooring in kitchens and high-traffic areas.
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