Ceramic Tile | Commercial

Glazed Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile has been around for centuries and with today's technology manufacturers have created new design and application possibilities that were not available a decade ago. If you have never used ceramic tile before or it has been a long time since you have done so, you will be amazed at the wide selection of colors, sizes, shapes and new textures that are now available.

Ceramic tile is a natural product made up of clay, a number of other naturally-occurring minerals, and water. Glazed ceramic tile has a ceramic coating applied to the tile body, which gives the tile its color and finish. Glazed ceramic tile is the natural choice for your interior floors and walls.

It's an exciting time to be in the market for ceramic tile Those of you who have never considered using ceramic tile before are going to be amazed at the number of colors, sizes, shapes, and textures from which to choose. For those of you who have used ceramic tile before but haven't considered it in a while, you won't believe the renaissance that has taken place in floor and wall tiles. Ceramic tile has been around for thousands of years, but its interior design and application possibilities have never been greater than they are right now. You'll find a broad range of ceramic tile available in a wide range of colors, sizes and textures.

Why Tile?

Beauty - ceramic tile's vast selection of colors, styles, textures, sizes, and shapes will add beauty and style to any space or design theme.

Design Versatility - combination of sizes and shapes allows for freedom of expression and custom designs.

Low Maintenance - ceramic tile resists dirt and stains and requires little effort to maintain its like-new appearance.

Water Resistance - glazed or unglazed, ceramic tile's composition permits little or no accumulation of moisture.

Environmentally Friendly - ceramic tile is inhospitable to germs and bacteria, not to mention allergens (those things that make you sneeze).

Fire Resistant - ceramic tile is essentially burnt clay which doesn't burn and give off toxic fumes.

Durable - a properly selected tile will outperform most, if not all, non-ceramic finishes created for the same application.

Ceramic Tile Definitions

A mixture of clays that are pressed into shape and fired at high temperatures which gives the tile it’s hardness. The bisque, or body, of ceramic tile may then be glazed, or left unglazed depending on it’s intended use.

Classifications of Ceramic Tile — P.E.I. Wear Ratings

Group I: Tiles that are suitable for residential bathrooms with light foot traffic. Generally wall tile products fall into this group. Some wall tiles can be used on the floor. Consult the manufacturer of the tile for their recommended areas of application. Group II: Tiles that can be used in residential traffic areas, expect areas with high traffic, such as in kitchens, foyers, laundry rooms, etc.

Group III: Products that are recommended for all residential installations.

Group IV: Tiles that are suited for all residential and light to medium commercial.

Group V: These tiles can be in heavy traffic areas and are recommended for wet areas where safety is a concern, such as in food service areas, exterior areas, shopping malls and swimming pools etc.

Types of Ceramic Tile

Glazed – The most common style today in floor and wall tiles, as well as for residential and commercial applications. A liquid glass is applied to the body of the tile and fired at high temperatures. The glazing becomes hard and non-porous resulting in a flooring that is:

  • Stain Resistant
  • Scratch Resistant
  • Fire Resistant
  • Doesn’t Fade from Sun Light
  • Slip Resistant
  • Easy to Clean
  • Shiny glazes are softer, can be scratched easier, and can be
  • slippery than the satin or rustic finishes.

Unglazed – There is no glazing or any other coating applied to the tile. Their color is the same on the face of the tile as it is on the back resulting in very durable tiles that do not show the effects of heavy traffic. The most common unglazed tiles are the red quarry tiles or the granite looking porcelain ceramic tiles used in heavy commercial areas.

Tile Density and Moisture Absorption

Tile Density – As the weight or the density increase it becomes a stronger tile.

Moisture Absorption – As the density increases the amount of moisture that a tile can absorb becomes less.

Tile density and moisture absorption have an indirect relationship to each other. As the density of the tile increases the moisture absorption rate becomes less. Tile density and moisture absorption are important to understand when selecting the tiles for different applications.

Non-Vitreous Tiles – tiles that absorb 7% or more moisture. Suited for indoor use only.

Semi-Vitreous Tiles – tiles that absorb from 3% to 7% moisture. Suited for indoor use only.

Vitreous Tiles – tiles that absorb less that 3% moisture. Referred to as frost resistant tiles but can not be used in exterior areas where freeze thaw conditions could cause tile cracking.

Impervious Tiles – tiles that have less than .5% moisture absorption. These tiles are frost proof and can be used in exterior areas or on the outside of building facades.

Production Methods

Monocottura – It is an Italian word meaning, "single fired". The tile passes through the firing process one time at a temperature of 2200 degrees. Monocuttura tiles have denser bodies and harder glazes than Bicottura tiles.

Bicottura - It is an Italian word meaning "double fired". The clay body is fired on the first pass through the kiln, and the glaze is applied and fired on the second pass through the kiln. This process is only being used today for decorative wall tile products.

White Body Tile versus Red Body Tile

The color of the body is determined by the color of the clay used by the manufacturer that is available in their geographic region. Look at the body of the tile to see if the color is red or white. The quality of the tile is more related to the quality of the manufacturer not the color of the body.

Wall Tile Trims

Bullnose – This is the most used trim shape for wall tile installations. Wall tile bullnose is sometimes referred to as surface cap. It has one rounded finished edge on the tile and can be used horizontally or vertically.

Corner Bullnose – It has two rounded finished edges on the tile to be used to complete the corner where the horizontal and vertical bullnose meet. Generally you use only 2 – 3 pieces for a bathtub enclosure.

Stack-on Cove Base – This cove base provides a coving on the bottom and a flat edge on top to continue with more wall tile up the wall.

Rounded Top Cove Base – This cove base has a rounded finished top like bullnose and is used as a cove base in areas that will not have wall tile installed above it.

The above trims are the most commonly used. There are many other specialty trims available. Our tile estimator will be able to look at your installation and know what trims will be needed.

Floor Tile Trims

Some manufacturers do not provide trim pieces for their products. There are many other ways to finish off the job; Corian, Marble, Granite, Wood, Metal and plastic trim accessories.

Bullnose – It has one rounded finished edge on the tile to give a nice finishing touch. Sometimes it is also used as a substitute for cove base.

Sanitary Cove Base – It has a rounded finished top like a bullnose to cover up the body of the tile.

Marble and Stone

Natural stone, although it can be ordered in slab form, usually is cut into tiles from quarried blocks of granite, marble, limestone, slate or other rock. Although floors made from this material are expensive and hard on the feet, they provide an exceptionally beautiful flooring material that has a timeless, elegant quality.

All of these materials are extremely durable and offer a natural look. There is definitely a reason they are referred to as "hard surface." These floors offer no resiliency, are cold underfoot and noisy in comparison to other types of floors. Some types absorb stains easily and the stains are difficult to remove. They are extremely low maintenance and hard wearing. These stone materials do require a strong subfloor below.

Polished stone can be slippery when wet. Options to this include Honed stone, which has been ground flat but not polished, or textured tiles created by sandblasting or heating with a torch. Stone tiles are usually at least a foot square, but may also be available in mosaic style pieces either for borders, or arranged into designs that can be installed just like regular sized tiles.

Limestone and marble are popular choices but another big seller is travertine because of its versatility.

Travertine is a limestone that is resistant to traffic, is a naturally neutral color and can give either a casual or elegant look. It is also a stone that is resistant to staining and wear. People often like to combine travertine and a tumbled finish to create an antique look.

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