Porcelain Tile / August 31, 2018 / Brousseau.
The installation of porcelain tile is becoming an increasingly regular task for the modern day tiler. Customers desire the look of natural stone but require the extra durability that porcelain tiles offer. With porcelain tiles being non-porous (impervious to water) and virtually maintenance free they are the perfect solution for the progressively popular wet-room styled bathrooms. Your ceramic white tile will look lovely at first but it wont be long before day-to-day dirt gets ingrained and its permanently dingy.
The term porcelain was coined from the Italian word porcellana because of its translucent characteristic similar to the cowrie shell. Porcelain was first developed in China and was exported to Europe between the 17th and 18th century. Beautiful jars and other delicate ornaments were made from porcelain but the discovery of its base material from soft paste to hard past has made porcelain an important industrial commodity. Porcelain is resistant to high temperatures resistant to abrasions and is also non-porous which allows very minimal water absorption. Today porcelain is an important material for insulation and is popularly used for dental prosthesis and veneers. That is why porcelain tiles are excellent choices for residential and commercial finishing.
Cheap porcelain tiles can be difficult to properly install. Cheap tiles may look nice on the surface but they may not be able to be cut cleanly with a tile saw and may chip on the edges. Also if the tiles are porous then it will be difficult to clean up the excess grout. Grout haze can become embedded in the tiles and make them look vastly different after they are installed compared to what they looked like before they were installed. Cheap tiles can have quality control issues. Many times people choose their sample tile and then order them.
There are some types of porcelain tiles that are quality made and do have characteristics that are vastly superior to ceramic tiles. You should always only shop for quality name brand tiles at quality tile shops to ensure that you are truly getting a quality product. Ask many questions at the tile store and ask to see as many samples as possible before you actually purchase them. Remember that many times you will be paying a premium for porcelain as opposed to just normal ceramic tiles. In many cases especially with indoor tile installations ceramic tiles will perform just as well at a much lower price.