So if you are shopping for floor coverings and have decided on ceramic tiles, you are going to be boggled by the huge range of choice! By breaking the choices down a little you might be able to pick your way through the decision making a little more easily!
So firstly, to tile type! There are three primary types of ceramic tile to choose from: Glazed, Unglazed and Porcelain.
Glazed – glazed tiles are basically tiles with glaze on them, duh! No but really, glaze is a glass coating made up of minerals and ceramic stains for tiles that is baked onto the tile surface to become the bonded surface of the tile. Glazed tiles can come in matte, semi-gloss or high-gloss finishes, and they can also come in a huge range of textures, so you have plenty of choice. The pros of glazed tiles are that they are the very stain and moisture resistant and easy to clean. The cons are that the higher the gloss, the more slippery the surface when wet, and the more easily scratched.
Unglazed - Unglazed tiles are basically the tile before adding the glaze. They are hard and dense and come in a variety of surface treatments and textures. The colour range of unglazed tiles is limited to the natural colour of the body of the clay, but this range is still extensive. Unglazed tiles are usually installed in outdoor areas. The pros of unglazed tiles are that they offer excellent resistance and have no slip factor, but the con’s are that they can be easily stained. A seal would need to be applied to lessen stainability.
Porcelain – Porcelain tile is much harder and more dense than regular ceramic tiles. This is because it is 50% feldspar and is fired at much higher temperatures than other tiles. Because of this, Porcelain is a great deal more durable and scratch resistant than other ceramic options. It is also much more durable under extreme temperatures. It is naturally stain resistant because of its lack of porousity and doesn’t absorb moisture much at all, so it’s perfect for bathrooms, laundries and kitchens not to mention any exterior tiling!