Ceramic tile is a beautiful option for any home. It presents almost endless design possibilities, available in numerous shapes, colors, patterns and glazes. Ceramic tiles are made of clay, which is fired at high temperatures within a clay oven or kiln to dry and harden the material.
The process by which tiles are manufactured results in two basic types: glazed and unglazed tile. After tile is fired within a kiln, a coating, or glaze similar to glass can be applied to the tile’s surface, at which point the tile is fired in the kiln again. The product of this process is a glazed tile. Unglazed tiles have no additional coating added to them and are simply fired one time. The addition of glaze to a tile presents the opportunity for the variety of colors and patterns you see on the market. Unglazed tiles are limited in appearance to the natural colors of clay.
Because of slight differences in the final product, there are differences in the way that glazed and unglazed tiles are used, and where they might be most appropriate for installation. If you have specific questions about which tile type is best for you, a Floor Store associate would be happy to help.
In concept, ceramic tile installation is straight-forward. However, we recommend using a professional installation team to ensure that your tile floor is installed correctly. A well-laid tile floor can add beauty to your home and, if properly maintained, can last a lifetime.
To install ceramic tile, your installation professionals will follow a series of steps. First, they will ensure that the surface is properly prepared to lay the tile. Next, they will mark the center of the room (usually by snapping chalk lines that intersect) and lay a single row of tiles along the center line, setting the layout for the space. The next step is to apply an appropriate adhesive that will adhere the tiles to the material below. Next, tiles will be cut and then eventually set in place. Finally, they will apply grout to the joints between tiles.
If you have specific questions about ceramic tile installation, feel free to contact a Floor Store location near you. Our associates would be happy to guide you through the process of tile installation.
If installed properly and maintained, ceramic tiles can last many, many years. There are slight differences in the durability of different kinds of tile. Glazed tiles will wear more easily than unglazed tiles and porcelain tiles will last longer than other ceramic tiles.
If you place a few drops of water on your grout and it beads up, your sealer should be fine. If your water absorbs into the grout, you will need to reseal it.
Ceramic tile floors are incredibly easy to maintain. You should sweep or vacuum regularly and mop them according to manufacturer recommendations. Grout should also be cleaned periodically, though some build-up and fading in color is inevitable. If your grout lines are dirty or have changed color, contact a Floor Store location near you to ask about how to restore them to their original color.