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SP HTS What is Porcelain?
Porcelain, which derives its present name from old Italian porcellana (cowrie shell), is a ceramic material made by heating raw materials, generally including clay in the form of kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between 1,200 °C (2,192 °F) and 1,400 °C (2,552 °F). The toughness, strength, and translucence of porcelain arise mainly from the formation of glass and the mineral mullite within the fired body at these high temperatures.
Types of Porcelain Tiles
There are a few varieties of porcelain tiles available:
* Natural Porcelain Tile - Porcelain tiles that have not been polished or glazed which are very porous.
* Polished Porcelain Tile - Although these polished tiles have a finish, they are not glazed and therefore need to be sealed.
* Glazed Porcelain Tile - Like glazed ceramic, glazed porcelain tile may be the best option for kitchens for strength, stain resistance, and water absorption. Many of these tiles have remarkably smooth surfaces which can be very problematic as a kitchen floor.
What is the difference between standard "Ceramic" tiles and Porcelain tiles?
Most types of tiles that are made from clay or a mixture of clay and other materials, then kiln-fired, are considered to be a part of the larger classification called “Ceramic Tiles”. These tiles can be split into two groups, porcelain tiles and non-porcelain tiles. These non-porcelain tiles are frequently referred to as ceramic tiles by themselves, separate from porcelain tiles.
Scratch resistance Porcelain tile is more scratch resistant than ceramic tile. Porcelain is made from a finer, more dense clay, which results in a more dense, harder body. Also, porcelain tile is fired at higher temperatures than ceramic, resulting in superior durability and stain resistance.
Water resistance - Porcelain tile is far more resistant to water than ceramic tile. The absorption rate for porcelain tiles is 0.5% and even less.
Maintenance - Glazed porcelain tile maintenance is as simple as a quick sweep and a mop when necessary, however if your choice of tile is natural or polished porcelain, be sure that your floor is properly sealed otherwise cleaning could get more difficult!
Porcelain Tile Care
* Sweep your porcelain tile regularly to keep it free from dirt that may get ground into the grout.
* Washing your grout lines with a rag filled with soapy water should be enough for routine cleaning of your porcelain tile.
* If your porcelain tile is on the walls, keep the walls washed down regularly.
* If your tile is in the bathroom area, keep the grout tile as dry as possible, which may include toweling down your walls after you shower or bathe.
* Sealing the grout between your tiles is important to keep it looking clean.
* Sealed grout will repel water better and is smoother and easier to sweep.
* Grout sealer can be purchased commercially as a spray or a liquid that you paint on.
If you are looking for flooring that is durable, exquisite, translucent, and shiny, then porcelain tile might be the ideal choice for you. Porcelain tiles have a reputation of being extremely durable while requiring little effort to keep clean. With this type of floor, you don't have to choose between beauty and durability. You get both that will hold up great through everyday wear and tear. Especially popular in bathrooms and kitchens, porcelain tile is fairly resistant to moisture and is simple to clean even in these high traffic areas.