Maybe the below answers to some of the most frequently asked questions will help you make up your mind …………
Whats the difference between a glazed ceramic tile and glazed porcelain tile?
The difference is in the biscuit, or base of the tile. A ceramic biscuit is normally made from red clay which is then glazed and fired. A porcelain biscuit is made from much finer grained clay which is then pressed under very high pressure; this makes it very hard and impervious to water. As a result porcelain tiles are generally frost proof and stronger than a ceramic.
Ceramic tiles tend to be cheaper and easier to cut and providing you have a high glaze grade (PEI rating 4 or 5) are extremely durable for flooring, though not recommended for outside.
Glazed tiles are painted with a glass like liquid and then fired to produce a sheen on the surface to give the tile a different characteristic. The liquid glass or glaze is usually baked into the surface of the clay at very high temperatures over 1500 F. Not only are glazed tiles easier to keep clean but they also allow manufacturers to produce an unlimited assortment of colors, hues, and designs..
There are essentially two types of glazed ceramic tiles:
To produce single glazes, the glaze coating is applied directly to the tile before it is fired. Single-glazed tiles offer more vivid colors and are typically more durable than double-glazed and unglazed tiles, making them more suitable for floors.
Double glazes are produced by applying a glaze coat to tiles that have already been fired, then firing the tiles a second time. Double glazes show patterns better than single glazes, but are somewhat less durable, making them more suitable for lighter-traffic floors and walls.
How do you know which PEI Strength rating a glazed floor tile is?
We are often asked this question. It is impossible to tell the PEI Grading just from looking at the tile. All Glazed floor tiles have been rated at manufacturing stage for the performance of glaze for resistance to wear and scratching using the ‘Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) scale. We always find out this rating before importing and selling any tile.
What is a PEI Rating?
This is an international rating for glazed floor tiles to rate the performance of the glaze resistance to wear and scratching. The scale (see below), ranges from 1 (least durable) to 5 (most durable).
PEI 1 – Very Light Traffic – These tiles can be used on all indoor wall applications, interior light use counter tops such as in bathrooms, etc and very light traffic residential bathroom floors. These tiles are not recommended for any area that will have any constant or heavy foot traffic.
PEI 2 – Light Traffic – These tiles can be used on all interior wall applications. All interior counter top applications and light traffic residential interior floors. This tile should not be used for commercial use.
PEI 3 – Moderate Traffic – These tiles can be used on all interior wall applications, all interior counter tops applications and all residential interior floors. This tile should not be used for commercial use.
PEI 4 – Moderate to Heavy Traffic – These tiles can be used on all interior wall applications, all interior counter top applications, such as restaurants, lobbies etc. This tile should not be used for heavy commercial use.
PEI 5 – Heavy Traffic – These tiles can be used on all interior wall applications, all interior counter top applications, all residential interior floors and all heavy commercial applications, such as airports, shopping malls, supermarkets etc. This tile is an excellent choice for industrial applications where extreme durability is required.
Will a glazed floor tile last a long time?
The durability depends on how the glaze was applied, most glazes should last from 10 to 15 years, however glazes will wear away with heavy traffic. In general, single glazes are harder and more durable than double glazes. If a glaze shows signs of wear, it can be revived using a specially formulated sealer called LTP Glaze Protector.
Glazed porcelain and glazed ceramic tiled floors look great when just washed.
A part from the standard glazed wall tile the crackle glazed wall tile has become a popular choice.
Are Crackle Glazed tiles hard wearing and do they need sealing?
This is a frequently asked question. This deliberate crazing effect on a crackle glazed tile has become a popular choice for wall tiles (and can even be seen on original antique tiles (delft range), however to create crackle glazes, the glazed surface is designed to develop a series of spiders web- like cracks. As a result, crackle glazes are more prone to staining from grout, dirt and water both during and after application. To protect against this, all crackle glazed tiles should be sealed with LTP Crackle Glaze Sealer prior to installation. Instruction on sealing crackle glazed tiles(pdf). Take a look at our Greenwood
Greenwood crackle glaze range. Choice of 5 colours.Parchment, Light Parchment, Fossil, Snowflake and Driftwood
range with a choice of 5 colours.