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About Ceramic Tiles

Most of us know what tiles are and when building a home, many of us like the low maintenance that tile offers. In modern times, tile is most often used to cover the floor and walls of the interior of a home, but tiles can also be used on the outside too. The most widely used tile is made from ceramic clay and comes in the shape of a square or rectangle and has a hard glaze finish to give it a nice shiny look to it.

The most common form of tile is ceramic with a hard glaze finish. Ceramic tile has been used for centuries and provides consumers more options in color, texture, pattern and overall aesthetics than most other floor covering materials. With new manufacturing techniques, ceramic tile designs are nearly indistinguishable from natural marbles, slates and other stone products. Glazed ceramic and porcelain tiles are ideal for bathrooms, kitchens, and great rooms.

There are two basic elements that make up tile and they are water and clay. Different clays are grounded and mixed together to make up the tile. This clay is then pressed together to form the body of the tile and then dried. Once it's dried, the tile is coated with a colored glaze and then placed in a kiln and fired to a temperature of 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. The materials used for clay making is very dense and resistant to moisture, staining, and heavy traffic wear. Porcelain has been known to have stood up through centuries of time and use.

The standard test to determine the strength and performance of tile is called the MOHS test or rating system. This test determines the tiles overall durability to scratching, breaking, abuse and moisture. Ceramic tile is rated between 1 and 10 with one being the softest and 10 the hardest. When choosing a floor tile, one wants the durability of 5 or better in their choice of tile in their home.

Tile is also rated for its moisture absorption that tells the density of the tile. When using tile for a home, you want a low absorption rate especially if you live in a climate with cold winter months. Tiles in this area need to have a very low water absorption rate suitable to withstand freezing and thawing temperatures.