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Through Body Porcelain Tile
Through Body Porcelain tiles are extremely hard and impermeable, which makes the tiles highly resistant to moisture, staining and wear. In producing this type of porcelain tile, a color pigment is mixed with the clay body powder, giving the finished tile a consistent color throughout the body of the tile. This type of tile withstands temperature extremes, and may be used in exterior applications, including pool linings.
Glazed Porcelain Tile
Glazed Porcelain Tiles are extremely hard and impermeable, which makes the tiles highly resistant to moisture, staining and wear. In producing this type of porcelain tile, a colored glaze is added to the surface of the tile, enhancing the visual presentation. This type of tile withstands temperature extremes, and may be used in specific exterior applications, including pool linings.
Glazed Ceramic Tile
Glazed Ceramic Tiles have the same glaze on top of the body of the tile that is applied to a porcelain body tile. The body of the tiles can be colored (any color shade from yellow to reddish brown) or else they can be whiteish (sometimes white) depending on the raw materials used. In glazed tiles, the color of the body is relatively unimportant. The main difference between a Ceramic Tile and a Porcelain Tile is the body under the glaze. The Ceramic Tile body is more porous than a Porcelain Tile body. Glazed Ceramic Tiles are an excellent choice for All interior applications.
Mosaic tiles are small tiles, generally 2" x 2" or smaller, and always less than six square inches in area. Mosaic tiles may be made from either a porcelain body or a clay body. Mosaic tiles may also be made with other materials, including Glass, Metal and Natural Stone.
Mosaic tiles are most often mounted on paper, mesh or dot-mounted sheets to facilitate easier handling and installation. Mosaic tiles are commonly used to create a design with other types of tile including porcelain, ceramic, or even natural stone.
Quarry tile is an unglazed tile manufactured from natural clays and shale. It has a thick, dense body with a high-resistance to moisture and staining. Like Through Body porcelain tile, quarry tile has a consistent color throughout the body of the tile.
The surface texture of the quarry tile provides a natural slip resistance, and abrasives can be added to further enhance the slip resistance qualities of the tile. For this reason it is commonly used in commercial applications.
How to Maintain your Tile
Contaminants and spills on a glazed ceramic tile are, generally, easier to clean then other, more impervious surfaces. Glazed tile products should be cleaned routinely with an all-purpose, non oil-based household or commercial cleaner. The product chosen should also be grout joint cleaning compatible. The type of product may vary depending on the tile application and use. A multipurpose spray cleaner, which removes soap scum, hard water deposits, and mildew designed for every day use, can be used on wall tile areas in residential baths and showers.
The entire area should be cleaned and scrubbed with cleaner solution through the use of a cotton mop, cloth, sponge, or non-metallic brush. The entire area should be rinsed with clean water to remove any cleaning solution residue. Remember that you should sweep or vacuum floor areas prior to cleaning to remove any dust or debris. Routine cleaners should never contain acids or ammonia. Acids can damage the grout and the glazed surface of the tile, and ammonia can discolor the grout.
Unglazed tile should be cleaned routinely with concentrated tile cleaners that have a neutral pH for safe regular use. These cleaners are better suited at removing grease, oils and normal spills from unglazed products. Again these products will vary depending on the application, amount of traffic and the use. The product chosen should also be compatible with cleaning the grout joints at the same time
Tile Shade Variation
V1 Low Shade Variation
This number provides a minimal shade and texture variation among pieces from the same production run
V2 Moderae Shade Variation
This number provides moderate shade and texture variations. Each piece will vary, yet be similar to each other in color and texture variations. Each piece of tile may have different colors, textures, and shades.
V3 High Shade Variation
This number provides high shade and texture variations. The intensity of each color will vary from tile to tile and may appear different from another piece. All the colors will be present in a single piece of tile to some degree.
V4 Random Shade Variation
This number provides random shade and texture variations from tile to tile, so that one tile may have totally different colors from that on other tiles. Thus, the final installation will be unique.
PEI Rating on Glazed Tile
The Porcelain Enamel Institute ( PEI ) came up with a testing system to rate the strength of the glaze that is applied to the tile against scratching and wearing. The ( PEI ) Rating system uses numbers (1 being the least scratch and wear resistant, thru 5 being the most scratch and wear resistant) to rate the strength of the glaze on the tile Once the Tile is produced, most tile manufacturers will send the finished tile to the Porcelain Enamel Institute ( PEI ) to test the strength of the glaze, or they will test the glaze strength themselves if they have the proper equipment in the factory. The test is performed on a special machine by placing a carbide wheel to the surface of the tile with weights on the top of the wheel to keep even pressure. The carbide wheel is then turned in a circular motion over the tile, and depending on how many revolutions it takes to penetrate the glaze of the tile is the number rating it receives. For example, for a tile to receive the highest rating, which is a PEI RATING of 5, the glaze will have to withstand over 10,000 revolutions on the machine! The following PEI RATING GUIDE will help you choose the right tile for your particular project.