When it comes to select a tile for your spaces, whether residential or commercial you are likely to consider the variety of materials for various surfaces. Different people have a different choice. Some want the quality and luxury, others want something that is durable and easy to maintain. Everything depends on your lifestyle and foot traffic.
Thus, Ceramic tile is the perfect solution for those instances. But before you consider ceramic tiles, it is necessary to understand what is it? How is it manufactured?
The Ceramic Industry is widely based on various combinations of clay minerals, quartz, feldspar, and kaolin. Each raw material used has its own properties. This mixture form is used to balance different factors like color, shrinking and porosity level, firing temperature etc.
Once the mixtures are processed into ceramic tiles, further they go into several other processes to obtain a final finished product.
First and foremost, understand which elements are used for making ceramic tiles – explained in the below infographic.
Secondly, how will you differentiate between various ceramic tiles? Whether these ceramic tiles are suitable for residential flooring or heavy commercial traffic flooring. It is understood by knowing how ceramic tiles are made.
Ceramic tiles can be stamped or pressed, i.e. the mixture is poured into the metal form and it is pressed as high as 2,500 tons to create the size and shape of the tile. Some specific shape like a flatter face, a flatter back or an artisanal appearance is created to obtain extruded ceramic tile.
Third, after passing through a process of molding tile into specific shape the surface and or/pattern are sprayed onto the ceramic via an inkjet or rolled on via Roto color process.
The fourth step is glazing and firing of a material. Firing is the most important process in manufacturing ceramic tiles. Firing at high temperature, which is typically 2102 – 2372°F*, undergoes some necessary changes in the file structure which is obtained more durable, increase mechanical strength and resistance to chemical agent and low maintenance. It has a lifespan of longer than 50 years. This step also reduces the water absorption levels i.e. below 12-15% of the tile, which expands the range of possible applications, so the material can be used for wet areas, such as showers, even when the climate falls below freezing.
Finally, tiles are either left un-rectified giving you irregular feel, or they are cut for a clean look and square edges. Final inspection is carried out before tiles are moved from manufacturing facility.
Future In order to sustain the market growth, new equipment and techniques will continue to improve ceramic tiles manufacturing process which will certainly increase production, quality of material and cut the costs.