Many households prefer porcelain tiles for their home’s flooring and walls for various reasons. First, porcelain tile floors are denser, impermeable to moisture and are a more durable option that provide excellent stain and water resistant properties compared to ceramic tiles. Furthermore, these tiles are ideal for cozy indoor-heating that will help keep your feet warm and comfy on cold mornings. And with its unparalleled versatility, porcelain tiles not only provide practical and functional features to your home but aesthetic enhancements as well. But before we dwell on the distinct benefits of porcelain tiling, lets first answer some of the important questions surrounding the popular tile material.
What is the meaning of porcelain floor tiles?
Porcelain Tile is a newer type of ceramic tile. It is made from finer, denser clay and is fired at higher temperatures. Also, porcelain tile is tougher, more resistant to scratches and stains than other types and more durable too. It can easily endure heavy foot traffic at both residential and commercial locations. Today porcelain is becoming an increasingly popular option for flooring and an ideal choice for tile flooring applications.
Which porcelain tile is best?
There are two basic types of porcelain tiles: glazed porcelain tiles and through-bodied porcelain tiles. Depending on your needs and intended purposes, both types can offer you superb floor and wall coverings.
Through bodied porcelain tiles are naturally hard and dense. They are composed of sand, clay and other natural minerals making them tough on the inside and out. Because of these inherent properties, they are best used for building countertops, floors and wall coverings because of their distinctive styling and superb resistance against chips and scratches. And because they are less porous and non-slippery, they are also popular options for kitchen and bathroom floors and other areas where water spillage is common. These tiles are widely used for commercial and residential purposes all across the country.
Glazed porcelain tiles, meanwhile, are rigid and watertight tiles that are popular because of their glossy and stain-resilient surface. Glazed tiles are composed chiefly of porcelain with a glaze coating applied to its surface. The tiles can provide the most exquisite colors and can help bring the best out of your homes decorative and stylistic qualities. The majority of decorative tile displays and murals use glazed tiles because of their distinct beauty and appeal. While porcelain tiling is pretty durable, it’s not a popular option for commercial porcelain tile installation. They are often restricted to residential use only.
What are porcelain tiles used for?
Porcelain tiles are suitable as flooring because of their distinct absorption rate that is less than 0.5 percent. And since the tiles are compact, they are stronger and more resilient to staining. Many houses have porcelain tile installation in floors and outdoor areas.
How durable is porcelain tile flooring?
In the world of floor and wall coverings, porcelain tiles are the undisputed king in terms of durability. The tiles are heated at extreme temperatures resulting in an extremely rigid, durable, and stain-resistant tile that is impenetrable to moisture. They can be installed in the harshest of places and can withstand cold, rain and extreme weather conditions for an extended period of time.
Is porcelain tile good for outdoor use?
Porcelain tiles are perfect for outdoor use. As a matter of fact, they are so tough that porcelain tile floors can be used outdoors in virtually any type of climate. And just like their ceramic counterparts, porcelain tiles can either be glazed or unglazed. The unglazed tiles follow the color of their clay components, which means they come with natural earthy tones that are perfect for outdoor styling. Glazed tiles, on the other hand, can be pretty much any color and can replicate the visual appeal and texture of genuine stone at a much lower price.
How long do porcelain tiles last?
Porcelain tiles are one of the most long-lasting floor and wall covering materials not only in houses but also in commercial buildings. An exceptionally glazed porcelain tile with PEI 4 or 5 can last for an entire lifetime of use with the right porcelain tile installation. However, this doesn’t mean that every porcelain tile in the market will have such a long lifespan. Low quality products can suffer from continuous wear and tear and fade quickly in heavy traffic areas. Poor quality tiles will need to be replaced after 20 years. Still, it’s an impressive lifespan, and when properly maintained and taken care of, ordinary porcelain tile flooring can last for decades even after heavy use and exposure from the elements.
Is porcelain floor tile slippery?
Just because it’s shiny and glossy doesn’t necessarily mean it’s slippery. Regardless of whether you are young, old or disabled, the possibility of slipping from a shiny floor tile is pretty much the same as it would with matt tiles. If there is liquid on the surface, this can affect the slipperiness of the flooring no matter the material and finish. Also, it’s important to note that anyone can slip on any floor tiling if you step on them at the wrong angle with your bare feet.
With that being said, it would truly be a shame if you deny your home polished porcelain tiling purely because you are worried about slipping. Glossy porcelain tiles bring can bring in the sense of warmth and radiance into a room and provide a distinctly luxurious feel and ambiance to its finish. There is little to no difference between a shiny porcelain and polished ceramic when it comes to slipperiness. With the proper porcelain tile installation, your home will look amazing and cause you no harm and hassle.
How do you clean porcelain tile?
If you want to keep your porcelain tile floors in superb condition, cleaning it at least once per week would be ideal. Just wipe the tiles with a soft broom then vacuum afterward. Then after a month of use, you can treat it with recommended commercial cleanser using a sponge mop. Then rinse it thoroughly with plain water, and then dry the surface completely using a towel or a microfiber cloth.
There are numerous porcelain tiles and for each type, you can use these cleaning methods:
Cleaning Unpolished/Unglazed Porcelain Tile
- Keep the area free from dust and dirt using a soft broom and vacuum cleaner
- Apply a commercial cleanser or water and vinegar mixture to the floor’s surface
- Wait for 5 to 10 minutes for the cleanser to soften unwanted dirt and tough sediments
- Polish areas with stain using a soft-bristle brush
- Wash all the dirt and cleaning solution with hot water
- Wipe the tile dry using a clean towel or microfiber cloth
Cleaning Polished/Glazed Porcelain Tile
- Free the area from debris and dirt using a broom and vacuum cleaner and then follow it up with a dry dust mop
- Rinse mop with hot water and used it to loosen dirt build-up
- To get rid of heavier dirt, use a soft nylon-bristle. An old toothbrush will also do.
- To remove stains, use a commercial cleanser or vinegar and water mixture
- Mop the area again with hot water before the cleanser dries up
- Dry the area with a clean towel or microfiber cloth
- After it’s dry, polish the clean porcelain tile to a brilliant shine using a piece of cheesecloth
Cleaning Textured Porcelain Tile
- Broom the area twice and then vacuum to remove dirt
- Apply water and vinegar solution for 5 to 10 minutes
- Brush the area with a soft-bristle brush, diagonally and then horizontally, for maximum effect
- Wash the floor with hot water to remove dirt and cleansing solution
- Mop the area before drying it with a clean towel or microfiber cloth
Porcelain tiles are known for their unmatched durability, but there are certain products and methods that you need to avoid such as:
- Refrain from using products that have ammonia or bleach or any kind of acid-based cleanser as these can change the color and visual appeal of your porcelain tiling
- Avoid using oil-based detergents or wax cleaners as they can get mixed up with dirt and become extremely hard to remove when hardened
- With unglazed porcelain, don’t use cleansers that have dye or coloring
- Don’t use steel wool in cleaning the tiles. Tiny parts of steel can get stuck up in the thin cracks of the tile and will eventually cause rust stains
- Never use hard bristle or scrub brushes as they can damage the surface of your porcelain tiles
Constant clean up and polishing using soft bristle and a microfiber cloth will guarantee that your porcelain tile floors will continue to shine bright and look like brand new for many years to come.
Can you polish porcelain tile?
While it’s possible to polish porcelain tiles, it’s not an easy task and may be impossible to do alone if you don’t have the proper tools and expertise. The exceptionally hard and compact characteristics of factory polished porcelain tiles require them to be polished using industrial grade silicon carbide polishing machines. The tiles are too rigid to be polished using a normal diamond-polishing machine.
Advantages of Porcelain:
Now that we have answered the relevant questions surrounding porcelain tiles, lets now move on to the distinct advantages that you can potentially enjoy if you decide to use the renowned floor and wall covering material in your home or commercial area.
1) Resistance to Wear and Tear
Robust, compact, and extremely durable, porcelain tiles can withstand majority of heavy impact stresses and can even be used in commercial purposes. As a good rule of thumb, the material can be considered with a PEI rating of at least 5, making it ideal for majority of environments both residential and commercial.
2) Liquid Resistance
Because they are exceptionally compact, porcelain tile floors are highly resistant to liquid penetration compared to their more porous ceramic counterparts. And when treated with melted glass gaze, the tile can become completely impervious to water.
3) Stain Resistant
We’ve all had that moment when we accidentally spill a glass of wine or juice onto a light carpet leaving it stained for life. But it’s not just carpet that can become stained as natural stones also need regular sealing to prevent even water from leaving a spot. Since porcelain tile flooring is virtually impenetrable, it would be near impossible for wine, water and any other liquid to leave a mark on its surface. So the next time you spill something on your floor, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that it’s made out of porcelain.
4) Low Maintenance
Maintaining porcelain tiling is relatively easy. Its surface are less absorptive to moisture which means spills and other causes of stain can easily be wiped clean using a damp cloth. To keep it squeaky clean and glossy, rinsing it with hot water and a mild detergent will normally do the trick. It’s the perfect material for those who want to maintain appealing flooring for very little effort. The necessary repairs are not that expensive too!
5) Holds up in High- Traffic Areas
Porcelain floor tile is an ideal choice for the areas of the home of high traffic and will outperform other tiles in both long-term appearance and durability. Some other flooring material may quickly wear and can become scuffed and shabby- looking. But, even in high traffic, it maintains the appearance as new.
6) Available in many styles
There is virtually an unlimited amount of style and porcelain tile installation that you can opt for your flooring using the material. Porcelain tiles can be built to replicate the look of granite, slate, marble, wood or limestone depending on your taste and preference.
7) Durable Flooring Option
Unlike other materials like laminate and wood, porcelain tiles are extremely tough and highly resistant to rot and to swell even when exposed to moisture and different weather conditions and environments. This means that they can be used as flooring and wall covers for virtually any area in your home whether it’s in the bathroom, kitchen or patio and swimming pools.
Porcelain can be heated to extreme temperatures, which means they are pretty fireproof and will not burn in any normal condition. The material also helps prevent the growth and movement of flames in case of a fire breaks out.
9) Moisture Resistant
The high density of porcelain means it’s less likely to absorb moisture. They also do not crack due to cold and can even withstand freezing temperatures, which means they can be used outdoors to create a seamless look.
10) Porcelain Tiles are Hygienic
Since the time of the ancient Egyptians, porcelain tiles have been used to provide a durable coated surface that is hygienic and easy to clean, both for indoor and outdoor environments, because of their non-porous qualities.