Before selecting a tile product for your home or commercial space, it’s important to learn about the difference in materials and finishes to ensure that your chosen products perform to the best of it standards. Certain products will perform better in specific areas than others, and it’s always great to be informed before shopping of what materials are within your budget.
Ceramic Tiles are made of natural clay minerals that have been mixed together. They are generally available in either a gloss or matt finish. During production, one side of the tile is glazed, and the reverse is fired under extreme heat to create a very strong and resistant product.
Glass tiles are very resistant to mold, mildew and stains, therefore they are very popular for kitchen splash backs and wet areas like the bathroom and laundry. You cannot beat the look of luxury that they provide. They perform best in small areas with minimal foot traffic.
If you want dirt to be less visible on your tiles, then glazed tiles in a textured or matt finish are the way to go. Glazed ceramic tiles are coated with glass-forming minerals and ceramic stains. This manufacturing technique offers better stain and moisture resistance as opposed to unglazed tiles.
Porcelain tiles are a form of ceramic tiles. Although the products can be regarded as very similar, it is the pressing and firing process during manufacturing that makes porcelain tiles the better performing product. They are much stronger and less porous. Many variations of porcelain tiles exist to suit a variety of projects: these include polished/semi-polished, glazed porcelain, matt or natural porcelain, as well as rock finish and structured porcelain. It’s best to ask your sales assistant which is best for your particular job.
Mosaic tiles are typically very small and less than 100mm square and applied on 300x300mm sheets. You’ll find them commonly used as splash back tiles for the kitchen and bathroom, and also as one of the most effective pool coverings. They come in a variety of materials including porcelain, ceramic, glass and natural stone. Designer Tile Company has hundreds of mosaics in our showrooms for you to choose from. There are endless possibilities when it comes to the colour and texture of mosaics available.
A rectified tile is one that has been cut after production to ensure that every piece is true to size. Tilers may charge more to lay rectified tiles as they are laid with 1.5mm spacing, which is the absolute minimum by Australian standards. Although sometimes difficult to lay, they do present a beautiful finish.
Vitrified tiles describe tile products that do not absorb water. They are made from clay along with other materials including silica, quartz and feldspar. During their time inside the kiln, they melt and form a glass substrate throughout the tile. This makes them very strong, smooth, and with much fewer pores in their surface compared to what you would see in ceramic tiles.
For more information, to speak to a sales representative or get in contact with a professional tiler, please contact one of our stores.