Often times, consumers think that porcelain tile is porcelain tile – that is, that all porcelain tile products are the same. However, that’s not the case. There are several different types of porcelain tile, and knowing the differences between them will allow consumers to make the best choice for the specific needs of their project that requires porcelain tile.
Below are descriptions of the four main groups of porcelain tile, as well as some of the advantages and disadvantages of each. This knowledge will aid you in the decision making process.
- Made with a limited number of select materials, blended, pressed and fired to get through body porcelain tiles.
- Veins and grains go all the way through.
- Advantages – Good technical performance makes the product suitable for heavy commercial use.
- Disadvantages – No original color effect; repetitive look; and doesn’t have the natural look of real stone.
- Materials of multiple loading porcelain are pressed twice.
- Made with a limited number of colored materials and no glaze.
- These tiles consist of two layers, with 25% of the thickness made of noble minerals and the remaining 75% of simple fine speckled material.
- Shares the same advantages and disadvantages of full body porcelain.
Standard & Colored Body Glazed Porcelain
- Made with clay and other materials, which are blended and pressed in order to create the texture. The tile is then dried, decorated, and fired.
- Advantages – Affordable prices and an appealing look.
- Disadvantages – Detailing loses definition when the tiles are structured as a result of the limits of the technology used when decorating uneven surfaces; also not suitable for use in high-traffic areas.
- Made using an innovative technology where different colored minerals are blended and pre-compacted by a first “light weight” press.
- Raw tile can receive more decoration than standard glazed porcelain, which allows for infinite aesthetic options.
- A second press is used to compact the glaze and body together, and then the fully decorated piece of tile is shaped into the desired structure.
- Advantages – Highest technical performance; very appealing; non-repetitive look; second pressing turns flat decorations into a 3D look by compacting the glaze and body together; and ideal for residential and commercial applications.
- Disadvantages – Priced higher because first quality raw materials are worked through a more refined production process.
Hopefully, this has helped you understand the different types of porcelain tile. If you still have questions or want to know what kind of porcelain is best for your project, contact Conestoga Tile today. We’ll be happy to assist you!
Information adapted from Rex Ceramiche Artistiche