Tile can be manufactured from an assortment of materials. These can be quartz, stone, clay and terrazzo. Most folks use ceramic and natural stone tiles when creating a masterpiece with this type of medium.
Ceramic tile can best be categorized as either porcelain or non-porcelain. Traditional ceramic tile is non-porcelain and is made from white, red, and/or brown clay and other minerals. Porcelain ceramic tile is made from clay and minerals as well, but it also has 50% of a white dust or sand called feldspar. Feldspar is a type of crystal found in rock that acts as a “flux” during the kiln-drying process, melting into a glass-like material and bonding all of the molded ingredients together. Minor changes to the ingredients of ceramic tile or the kiln-drying process (i.e., to the temperature and type of kiln) create enormous variety in the appearance and characteristics of manufactured ceramic tile flooring products.
Porcelain and non-porcelain ceramic tile are either unglazed or glazed. Glazed tile has a matte, semi-gloss, or high-gloss finish applied to the surface during the manufacturing process. Non-porcelain, ceramic tile is among the most economical types of tile flooring. Porcelain ceramic flooring is more expensive than non-porcelain and sometimes harder to work with; it offers greater durability, natural stain resistance, minimal water absorption, and through-bodied color.
Caring for your tile:
Use a cleaner that has “neutral pH” on the label. Or you can mix baking soda and water as a homemade cleaner. Pour half a cup of baking soda into two gallons of water and mix very well. Then apply the liquid with a string mop or sponge mop. You don’t want to put harsh chemicals on tile, not even the chemicals that are in steel wool pads — there’s always a risk that you’re affecting the color or etching the polish. There might be fading or staining that you don’t notice that seeps in over time.
Tile Trenz has a showroom in Wake Forest at Gateway Commons that is next to the award-winning Heritage community. Our Design Studio Manager will be glad to meet with you and help your tile, stone or granite creation come to life!