Tile Terminology

Glazed

  • from the side, see 2 layers
  • body – called the bisque
  • top layer – called the glaze
  • hard non-porous, impermeable surface after firing
  • more stain resistant than unglazed
  • easy to clean
  • consider for areas like the kitchen and baths
  • Unglazed

  • solid colored all the way through
  • do not have a top layer of glaze
  • referred to as through-body construction
  • no additional surface applications
  • more dense and durable than glazed
  • suitable for interior and exterior applications
  • good for areas with kids
  • Mining

  • process begins with the mining of the raw materials
  • mixture composed of clay and minerals
  • Blending and Mixing

  • introduces mud into the mix
  • clay and mineral mixture blended and mixed into a semi-fine powder
  • water is added to form a wet slurry or mud-like consistency
  • the slurry is pumped into a large dryer
  • results in a fine clay powder that feels like warm, fine sand
  • Pressing

  • applies pressure to the process
  • clay is pressed or formed into a tile shape
  • pressed tiles are called green tiles
  • another method, called extrusion, replaces the pressing step
  • extruded tiles are formed by forcing the clay through a mold versus pressing the tile
  • pressing is the more common method used today
  • after the green tiles are formed they are dried
  • Glazing

  • liquid is prepared from a glass derivative called frit and colored dyes
  • applied by a high-pressure spray or poured onto the tile
  • Firing

  • fired in the kiln at temperatures around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit
  • monocuttura, or single-fired, tiles are fired once after the glaze is applied
  • biocuttura, or double-fired, tiles are first fired after the green tile is dried and fired again after the glaze is applied
  • Alternative- porcelain

  • made up of 50% feldspar
  • fired at a much higher temperature
  • harder and denser
  • high performance
  • low water absorption ratings of less than 0.5 percent
  • can be used for interior and exterior applications or commercial areas
  • Rating System

  • rating system provided
  • rating system found on samples or boxes
  • most common system rates ceramic tile abrasion resistance or the overall durability of the tile
  • Class 1: no foot traffic

  • interior wall applications only and not for the floor
  • Class 2: light traffic

  • interior wall applications and for residential bathroom flooring only
  • Class 3: light to moderate traffic

  • for residential floor and wall applications including bathrooms, kitchens, foyers, dining rooms and family rooms
  • Class 4: moderate to heavy traffic

  • residential, medium commercial and light industrial floor and wall applications including shopping malls, offices, restaurant dining rooms, showrooms and hallways
  • Class 5: heavy/extra heavy traffic

  • can be installed anywhere
  • Slip Resistance Rating

  • measured by its Coefficient of Friction (COF)
  • the higher the COF the more slip resistant the tile
  • important for areas that get wet
  • Other ratings

  • scratch resistance
  • moisture absorption
  • chemical resistance
  • breaking strength
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