How are ceramic tiles made
October 2, 2014 Steven Murphy
Ceramic tiles are a great addition for any bathroom and kitchen and they are an extremely versatile tile as well as being durable and hard wearing. Ceramic tiles also come in a wide range of colours and styles and you will always find a ceramic tile to fit in with any existing decor and style.
Ceramic tiles have a long history and have been in existence for thousands of years. Years ago the tiles would have only been available to very important people such a queens, kings and royalty but today anyone has access to the wonder of ceramic tiles.
A ceramic tile starts its life as clay and is then moulded into shape, glazed and the colour is added. The tile is then heated and baked until hardened, tiles can be handmade or more commonly made using machinery. Tiles are now manufactured on a grand scale and for that reason machinery is used in order to produce tiles in large quantities.
Ceramic tiles are made from the materials earthenware and porcelain and can be hand cut, moulded by a machine or hand moulded. Smaller manufacturers will produce much smaller amounts of tiles than a much larger manufacturer who may produce millions of tiles per year. Larger commercial manufacturers have different shaped moulds that may be squares, ovals and circle shapes and the clay dust is pressed into moulds before being fired, some glazed tiles which have a glossy appearance may need to be fired more than once. A large kiln is then used to dry the tiles which may take quite some time, this process is likely to take longer for smaller manufacturers especially if the tiles are handmade because of the complexity of the colours and for this reason handmade tiles are more expensive, although lovely.
Ceramic tiles may be glazed or unglazed, unglazed tiles are usually only fired once where as glazed tiles will have a second coat applied before being fired again. This is known as double firing. Glazed tiles are more suitable to walls than flooring because they will become slippery when wet. Quarry tiles which are suitable for flooring are a mixture of unglazed clays and come in a mixture of brown shades which is due to the temperature during firing and the clay colour. Porcelain tiles are fired under extreme temperatures and are the better choice for areas that are likely to be subjected to wet and damp. Porcelain tiles are extremely durable and are very suitable for the kitchen area where there is a high volume of activity.
Tile choice offer a wide varoety of tile choice as well as offering advice and information on tiles and tiling. http://www.tilechoice.co.uk