First things first, what is the difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles?
This is why ceramic tile terminology can be confusing. Most ceramic tiles are manufactured from a mixture of clay and sometimes other materials normally using a slush mold method. This involves taking these very wet tile materials, pouring them into a mold and then put into a kiln or oven at high temperatures. This group of ceramic tiles is then split into two groups called porcelain and non-porcelain tiles.
Here is the confusing part because; non-porcelain tiles are frequently referred to as ceramic tiles when they are actually a group of ceramic tiles. We will refer to them as Porcelain and Non-Porcelain but, be aware of this if you are shopping around!
The other processes of manufacturing tiles.
The other ways that tiles can be molded are formed by either an extruded or dry press. The extruding method of creating tile is when a mixture of damp material is “extruded” into a mold. Whereas, the dry press method of creating tile is when a dry mixture of material is compressed using high pressure, compressing the mixture into a mold.
The big question: Non-Porcelain or Porcelain tiles?
Most porcelain ceramic tile mixtures contain a crystal or sand, called feldspar. This crystal or sand acts like a flux in the molding process and once out of the mold the, feldspar turns into a glass bonding agent. During the molding process, several of other materials can be added to create a variety of color, textures, characteristics and appearances to each batch of ceramic tiles.
As for non-porcelain, these ceramic tiles are the most eco-friendly of all the tile flooring. This is because they are molded at a lower temperature for a longer time in the kiln and normally are from recycled clay material. This gives them the ability to cut easier, offer greater stain resistance, durability, and absorb less water.
To glaze or not to glaze, tile flooring?
Both porcelain and non-porcelain ceramic tiles can be glazed. The tiles can be glazed with a matte, semi-gloss or high-gloss surface. Today this is done in the same step as the molding process and is called Monocuttura. All glazed tiles will have increased durability, traction, stain resistance, scratch resistance and a dramatic decrease with water absorption. When deciding on if you want to use a glazed tile or not we will make it easy and give you a variety of samples to test in the area you wish to install the tile.