Porcelain Tile / August 27, 2018 / Brousseau.
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.
To choose the right tiles that would best fit your needs it is important not to get lost with such terms as ceramic tiles non-porcelain or ceramic porcelain. All of these terms refer to a kind of ceramic ware however they differ in characteristics application and production method. Ceramic tiles are usually referred to as non-porcelain tiles and they are easier to cut and have higher water absorption as compared to porcelain. Unlike porcelain tiles ceramic tiles cannot absorb heavy impact or heavy foot traffic as they have a tendency to chip and abrade.
For your walls or ceiling the PEI Class 1 porcelain tiles are recommended because they are not subjected to any kind of weight. The PEI Class 2 may be used as bathroom floor tiles where the weight exposure is minimal while the PEI Classes 3 and 4 are ideal as table top or kitchen top and as flooring in any part of your home. The PEI Class 5 is highly recommended for residential or commercial use where there is heavy foot traffic. Porcelain tiles are all weather tiles that can withstand heat exposure during the summer and the freezing temperatures during winter.
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.