Porcelain Tiles: How they are made and their distinguishing features

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Porcelain tiles undoubtedly are the oldest flooring means. In many ancient civilisations, porcelain wall and floor tiles were common in royal houses, known as a symbol of luxury and wealth. Today, the utility and luxury of these tiles have not changed; they are still the most exquisite flooring material, with an array of properties including less porosity, high density, stain and water resistance. Porcelain wall and floor tiles with their smooth texture and sheen can transform and elevate the style and look of your home.

A number of characteristics of porcelain tiles are what differentiate them from other types of tiles, this is what we focus on in this article. We also discuss porcelain tiles distinguishing features and how digital printing technology has led to the changes, which has helped in the manufacture of new types of tiles available in an array of different styles, colour, look and textures.  

How are porcelain tiles made?

When manufacturing porcelain tiles, the clay is baked, which includes a multi-stage process, at a very high temperature. This process changes the molecular structure of the clay and transforms it into an efficient heat insulating material. Even space ships use a modified form of porcelain tiles to protect the spacecraft from melting from the heat while entering the earth’s atmosphere. A number of additives are added, which vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, to endow its characteristic texture and finish.

Adding Glaze

When adding the glaze, the pre-finished tiles go through a kiln at 750 Celsius. This process allows the porcelain tiles to mimic the finish of natural stones, such as limestone marble, and granite. However, this is a conventional method.

Digital printing

Today, the digital printing and laser cutting process has evolved as an alternative to glazing. With the advent of digital technology, unbelievable patterns and textures have been developed. Digital printing draws inspiration from a range of material and exotic locales. A range of porcelain wall and floor tiles are available on the market, which on touch elicits leather, fabric, or wooden finish.

Differentiating properties of porcelain tiles

• The tiles are incredibly hard and they do not just look great but also are durable, therefore, can withstand high foot traffic without losing their patterns and textures. Because of this property, the tiles are suitable for both indoors as well as outdoors. However, the PIE rating, which indicates the hardness of the tile, may vary.

• The tiles are also resistant to scratches, water, and stains, which makes them a tile of choice for bathroom and kitchen settings.

• Porcelain tiles are heat resistant, therefore act as great insulators. Moreover, these tiles are appropriate for radiant in-floor heating systems, which keeps floors warm in low temperatures. 

• When it comes to design versatility, porcelain tiles are considered an ideal material to enhance any room in your home. From the classic to the more conventional designs, including flat patterns and intricate art, almost anything can be printed on porcelain tiles.

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