WHY CERAMIC TILE?
WHY PORCELAIN TILE?
WHY NATURAL STONE?
Differentiating Characteristics of:
1. Porcelain - A glazed or unglazed vitreous tile that is made of an extremely fine porcelain clay composition that produces a dense, impervious, fine tile. It is suited for both exterior and interior use, and is frost proof.
2. Ceramic - a glazed unit made from clays and other ceramic material. It is fired to a temperature sufficiently high to produce a dense body. Decorative ceramic tile is heated at a lower temperature and for a longer period of time to allow the glazes to work. Only some low-fired ceramics are frost resistant.
3. Natural stone is not manufactured. It comes from the earth as grown by God. Since this is the case, you must expect great variation in color and vein within the same slab. There are textural variations as well.
How do they compare? Why would you buy one over the other? It depends on the usage desired.
1. WHY PORCELAIN?
Porcelain is denser, therefore stronger than ceramic tile. The unglazed clay composition has the same color throughout the tile. It is used residentially, but is chosen more often than ceramic for industrial use. The primary reasons why one would select porcelain tile and ceramic tile over stone is that they take much less care than stone, both in installation and in maintenance.
2. WHY CERAMIC?
Ceramic tile is rated by the hardness of the glaze. Depending upon glaze, some tiles are rated only for light residential use, and there are others rated for total residential use, light commercial use moving into commercial use. Ceramic can be more decorative than porcelain as it's not fired in as high temperature as porcelain. Ceramic can be used in all residential and some commercial installations. Some ceramics are frost resistant. The primary reasons why one would select porcelain tile and ceramic tile over stone is that they take much less care than stone, both in installation and in maintenance.
3. WHY STONE?
Natural stone comes from God and is the exact product that ceramic and porcelain try to copy. It is the original, but has some maintenance characteristics that must be taken into account before making a decision to purchase. Stone may be very soft to very dense. Depending on the use intended you have to pick the right density stone. The range of porosity differs a great deal, so there are more variables involved. People who love the natural look and are willing to undergo the maintenance choose stone.
GETTING STARTED / GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS
1. Indoor or outdoor?
If you want to do something outdoors, you need material that is resistant to frost.
2. Wall or floor? or both?
Floor materials need to be stronger to sustain the wear stress placed on them.
3. Slip resistance
How critical is it to the application you are considering?
Your dealer can help you answer these questions and set you up with everything you need for a successful installation.
1. The design of your pattern must be determined. This is the "blueprint" for you or your tile setter to work from.
2. Underlayment preparation is your next step. The material you are going to attach your tile or stone to must be clean, level, and strong enough to hold the weight.
3. Mortar or setting cement is applied to the underlayment to hold your tiles or stone in place.
4. Tiles or stone are set onto the mortar. Cuts are made as needed to complete the area.
5. If stone is being used, it is sealed.
6. After the tile or stone setting is cured, the joints between the tiles or stones is filled in with grout - which is colored cement.
7. Grout residue is cleaned away.
8. Sealing of grout joints complete your project.
1. The proper maintenance for porcelain and ceramic is easy. Vacuum the area first to get up loose dirt so it won't darken the grout joint. Depending on the usage, residential or commercial, a neutral non-toxic concentrated cleaner should be used that can handle difficult dirt and grease problems, yet is gentle enough for every day use. There are specialty cleaners for special problems.
2. The proper maintenance for stone is the same, but the results will vary depending on the installation. Stone must be cleaned and sealed before installation. The number of coats of sealant is dependent upon the porosity of the stone. It requires another sealing after the grout is dry, and it needs to be swept or vacuumed very frequently, then follow the instructions for porcelain or ceramic. The big difference is that porcelain and ceramic don't have to be resealed, but stone does, based on its wear.