Broadly speaking ceramic tiles used in the home are organised according to their application, that is to say floor tiles and wall tiles. There are further subcategories to do with specific properties such as glazed or non-glazed, non-slip tiles and anti-bacterial tiles for the bathroom or wet areas, resistance to scratching etc. Ceramic tiles can be made using earthenware, stoneware, porcelain or terracotta. As a choice of material ceramic is a long lasting, hard wearing and attractive option. The sheer variety of ceramic tiles on the market is noteworthy, with a range of shapes, colours, textures and patterns to choose from. But whatever the choice of tile it’s important to carefully consider the circumstances of each individual application.
Product: Dover Acero and Dover Spiga Acero designed by Porcelanosa
Choosing the right ceramic tile
Ceramic or fired clay is one of the most durable materials known to man. For that reason ceramic tiles are appropriate for a diversity of uses in construction. Depending on what is required specific types of tiles are more suitable than others for differing uses. Regarding the various categories of floor tile for example its resistance or how hard wearing the tile is underfoot is crucial. There is an index that measures this characteristic; the Mohs test quantifies scratch resistance, from 1 (softest) to 10 (hardest). For flooring with a lot of foot traffic a high Mohs rating is advisable.
Product: Street Coal designed by Porcelanosa
A range of decorative options
From an aesthetic point of view the choice of material can greatly impact on the overall effect. Terracotta floor and wall tiles can produce a rustic feel. While advances in digital printing means that porcelain tiles can nowadays can recreate any type of marble, stone or even timber pattern imaginable. Ceramic tiles can be three dimensional and shaped, they can be laid in patterns to achieve intricate geometric surfaces. Because of their modular nature the choice of ceramic offers endless flexibility. Depending on what overall look or style is required there is a suitable tile on the market.
Product: Sadasi Mosaics designed by Porcelanosa
Kitchens and wall surfaces
The kitchen wall tile should be hard wearing and hygienic. Here a glazed ceramic tile will be appropriate for food preparation areas, sometimes also used to clad or form a work surface. The glaze ensures lesser porosity, and hence less moisture penetration. Porcelain is also less porous than other materials and an ideal kitchen worktop surface.
Product: XLight Concrete designed by Porcelanosa
There are two practical considerations beyond aesthetics when choosing ceramic tiles for the bathroom. One is related to floor tiles and their resistance to slip, also important to take into consideration for wet areas generally. Tiles with a rougher texture surface provide greater grip underfoot and should be used in the shower for health and safety reasons. Another important quality is being resistant to bacteria because humid areas generally are prone to mould. The use of an antibacterial ceramic material and grouting are advisable in these areas.
Products: Rodano Acero and Rodano Lineal Acero