For a long time now tiles have proved to be a hugely popular choice of furnishing for homes and businesses. Tiles offer a hard wearing attractive look to a room and come in an enormous variety of shapes and sizes. So what types of tiles are there?
Ceramic tiles can be glazed or unglazed (although they are normally glazed). They are made from a combination of sand,gypsum and shale which is heated in an oven to form the tile. The higher the temperature of the oven the harder the tile will be. Ceramic tiles are porous due to the materials involved which is why they are normally glazed. Ceramic tiles are normally soft and can therefore be cut easily with most types of tile cutters whether they are dry cutters or wet cutters. Ceramic tiles are usually the most affordable but offer an enormous range of colours and patterns.
Porcelain tiles are made from pure clays which are shaped by dry pressing and then heated in very hot ovens. This results in a very hard material which normally retains the same colour throughout the tile. If you were to chip a porcelain tile you would notice that the chipped section would be the same colour as the front of tile whereas glazed ceramic tiles do not have this feature. Porcelain tiles are very hard, durable, dense, resistant to frost and abrasion, and are non-porous. Because porcelain is a harder material is it more difficult to cut and drill. Specialist tile cutting is often required using diamond wheel wet saws and drilling has to be done with specialist drill bits. Porcelain has come down in price a lot recently due to advances in manufacturing techniques and offers a massive range of shapes sizes, textures and colours.
Quarry tiles are made from natural clays squeezed through an extruding machine and then fired. These tiles are very traditional and have been made in the same way for hundreds of years. Quarry tiles are normally found in terracotta, black and white colours.
Natural Stone Tiles
These tiles consist of marble, limestone, granite and slate. They are natural products so they often need sealing prior to fixing and grouting. These tiles types can be hard or soft but all require extra special care in fixing and maintenance.