Ceramic Tile Flooring
Ceramic Tile: Created In Antiquity – Perfect For Today
From the public baths of ancient Pompeii to the homes of wealthy Anatolians, ceramic tiles were used to create beautiful personal and public spaces. The fact that many of these works from ancient civilizations survive today is a tribute to the incredible durability of ceramic tile as well as to its versatility as an art form
Ceramic tile’s birthplace was ancient Egypt around 4,700 BCE. Tile spread westward from the Middle East, and mosaic flooring and wall panels were already popular in Europe by the 11th century . Throughout their history, ceramic tiles have essentially been made the same way. Clay is shaped and dried, the fired I a kiln at very hot temperatures.
Tiles come in all shapes and sizes, colors and glazes, ad can be used plain, decorated, or as part of a mosaic.
Benefits of ceramic tile include:
- Cleanliness – Ceramic tile is environmentally friendly, uses natural materials and does not retain odors, allergens or bacteria
- Versatility – There are an almost unlimited variations of colors, sizes, styles, shapes and textures.
- Fire Resistance – It doesn’t burn or emit toxic fumes, and hot kitchen pots can’t melt or even scorch the surface of glazed ceramic tile.
- Water Resistance – With few exceptions, glazed ceramics have a dense structure that admits little or no moisture.
Contemporary meets classic in today’s ceramic tile
Ceramic tiles are incredibly sturdy and will perform better and last longer than any other flooring surface. Using modern technologies, tile manufacturers can now create the most incredible array of shades finishes and shapes imaginable. But they haven’t forgotten old school tiles, either. Terracotta and other natural, unglazed finishes are still available. Ceramic tile is a huge subject for the uninitiated to wrap their minds around, but before consulting a professional Interior Designer like Great American Flooring’s Pam Bally, it is good to have a basic knowledge of tile terms.
Ceramic tiles are tiles made from clay that is kiln-fired at very high temperatures.
- Glazed — Glazed ceramic tiles are coated with glass-forming minerals and ceramic stains. They come in matte, semi-gloss or high-gloss finishes. Glazed tile offers better stain ad moisture resistance than unglazed and are available in hundreds of different shades.
- Unglazed — Unglazed ceramic tiles are harder and more dense than glazed ceramic ones. Unglazed ceramic tiles take their color strictly from pigments present in the clay from which they are made, without any color added. They work well outdoors, and they have great slip resistance.
- Porcelain — Porcelain tile is 50% feldspar and is harder than other tiles. Porcelain can stand up to heavy use and is perfect for indoor and outdoor applications. .It has built-in stain resistance and a very low water resistance.
- Sizing — In ceramic tile, size counts. But not the way you might think. When deciding which size tile to use for a room, remember: It’s the size of the room that’s important, not the size of the tile.
- Stone — Some time ago, consumers demanded less expensive ceramic tile that emulated stone. Manufacturers complied. The most popular styles are travertine(a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs) and marble.
- Outdoors — Outdoor living areas are perfect for ceramic tile. Outdoor tiles have non-skid finishes and very low water absorption rates to minimize cracking, chipping , etc.
- Specials — Ceramic tiles are also available in decorative inserts, mosaics (tiles 2”x2” or smaller), medallions and patterned borders.
- Durability — Ceramic tiles are extremely durable and are intended to last for a lifetime. Resistant to stains, heat and cracking, they are easy to clean and maintain. They are not intended for outside use, as weather and temperature changes will cause cracking.
- Durability Rating — Ceramic tiles are usually rated for durability, in case you have any questions about where particular tiles should be used. They can be rated practical for wall installations, light traffic, medium foot traffic and even high traffic for more industrial applications.Again, ceramic tile is an enormously vast subject which can be daunting to even the most devoted amateur. When you’re ready to talk tile, call Great American Flooring’s Interior Designer, Pam Bally. She’ll be happy to guide you to the right choices.