Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Guide to Choosing Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain originated from China many thousands of years ago. It is a mixture of clay, sands and other materials that are heated to temperatures up to fourteen hundred degrees Celsius. Besides porcelain tiles, this material has many different uses, because of its decorative nature it is often used to make pottery items such as figurines and bowls and has also been used by dentists to make false teeth, caps and crowns. Porcelain has many different properties and because of its strength, hardness, glassiness, translucence and high resistance to chemicals it is an ideal material for the production of decorative floor and wall tiles.

Porcelain tiles will vary in price depending on quality and strength. They can be produced to emulate many different natural stone effects, making them an ideal alternative to natural stone tiles for someone on a slightly tighter budget. Porcelain tiles are essentially a unique type of ceramic tile which are fired for longer at higher temperatures, making them much stronger than standard ceramic tiles and harder than granite tiles, too. Porcelain is a completely non-porous material, which makes it the perfect tiling material to be used in areas which require a high standard of hygiene, especially wet rooms such as kitchens, bathrooms, laundry areas and utility rooms.

Porcelain tiles are available in glazed, double-glazed, unglazed and full bodied varieties. The cost of the tiles is determined by the materials used, the manufacturing processes and the country of origin. The main differences between natural stone tiles and porcelain tiles lie in the practicality of porcelain, which does not require any special sealants during installation and very little maintenance after the material is installed. This makes porcelain an ideal material for bathroom and kitchen floor tiles. Porcelain floor tiles will also perform superbly in any other area which receives high domestic use.

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