Ceramic tiles are man-made tiles that create a durable surface which is easy to clean, resists stains and scratches and doesn’t fade. Since ceramic tiles are affordable, low-maintenance, available in various sizes, colours, shapes and can easily match with the decor of any room, they are a popular flooring choice in homes.
Ceramic tiles have both advantages and disadvantages. It is useful to know the characteristics of ceramic tiles, their usability and suitability as a flooring option. As an Architect, I have described Ceramic tiles along with it’s features under the following headings so that you can decide whether it is suited for your requirement and your space:
WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF CERAMIC TILES?
- Composition: Ceramic tiles are made from a mixture of clay, quartz, feldspar which is then fired at high temperatures (approximately 2200 degrees). The tiles are either unglazed or glazed- the glazed tiles have a hard, non-porous, vitreous (liquid glass) coating applied at very high temperatures.
- Physical properties: Unglazed Ceramic tiles are soft in nature (scratches easily), have high absorbency (stains easily) and are affected by acids. Glazed ceramic tiles offer a durable surface that is easy to clean, resists stains and scratches, doesn’t fade and is slip-resistant.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF CERAMIC TILES?
- Durable: compared to most other flooring materials.
- Fire proof: They do not burn, nor give off smoke or toxic fumes.
- Resistance to abrasion: Ceramic tiles can withstand heavy foot traffic due to their resistance to abrasion and tread wear.
- Moisture Resistance: The glazed tiles being impervious to moisture, are an excellent choice for use in wet areas.
- Frost resistance: Glazed ceramic tiles are frost resistant (will not deform or break in extreme temperature conditions).
- Slip resistance: Ceramic tiles can be treated to prevent slipping either by adding an abrasive grit to the glaze or texture to the surface.
- Chemical resistance: Ceramic tiles are highly resistant to chemical agents and stains.
- Colour permanence: Direct exposure to sunlight will neither alter the colour of the tiles nor causes them to fade.
- Hygienic: Ceramic tiles being moisture resistant, prevent bacteria and fungi from growing.
- Easy to Clean: and so recommended in all areas where high sanitary standards are a must.
- Cost Effective: They are cheaper than many other types of flooring.
- Wide range and choice: of colours, patterns, designs, sizes. Virtually limitless.
WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF CERAMIC TILES?
- Installation: Tiles need to be installed with a lot of care by an expert layer. Any unevenness can cause the tiles to break.
- Brittle: If something heavy drops onto ceramic flooring, it can break or chip. Also, the edges and corners are prone to breakage.
- Repair : Replacing a broken or chipped Ceramic tile is difficult. The tile with the defect must be cut away along the grout lines, but in the process, the surrounding material could be damaged.
- Fade with time: If the Ceramic tiles have designs imprinted on them, then the design wears away with regular wear and tear.
- Slippery: When wet and can cause possible hip/head damage.
- Grout Maintenance: It is advisable to keep the grout lines narrow while laying, to minimize the work involved in cleaning and sealing and to reduce the visibility of dirt.
- Cold: underfoot and can be uncomfortable in areas where the temperatures dip.
WHERE ARE CERAMIC TILES BEST SUITED?
- Flooring | Natural Material Options
- Flooring | Man-made Material Options
- Flooring | Resilient Material Options
In order to get a rough idea of the suitability of a particular flooring for your requirement and to make a fair comparison of the different types of flooring, refer to an Architect’s rating of the various kinds of flooring on my blog: House construction in India
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