Porcelain tiles have been reported as being the fastest growing floor covering in the industry for a variety of reasons. For years, porcelain had suffered for from the perception that it’s delicate and fragile (like porcelain teacups), but the reality is that it’s tougher than standard ceramic tile.
Porcelain manufacturing systems produce astounding results in high-quality tiles. The manufacturing process starts with the best raw materials available: high-quality clay, quartz, feldspar and others. During the firing phase, tiles are gradually brought to temperatures reaching 2,375 degrees Fahrenheit. This transforms each tile into a solid, compact, extremely dense body with a surface that is highly resistant to wear.
For years, it’s been used mostly in commercial applications, in the walls and floors of office buildings, shopping centres, airports, hotels, and most recently, the Air Canada Centre. It is now however, becoming extremely popular in the residential sector. Porcelain is shedding its image of a rugged, industrial material, as homeowners are revealing an increasing enthusiasm for it and realizing its benefits.
Porcelain basically outperforms any of its glazed counterparts and because of its outstanding physical qualities it is extremely durable and very difficult to scratch. As porcelain is virtually a non-porous material, it does not absorb water or other stains and requires minimum maintenance. Under normal conditions, cleaning requires no commercial soaps, sealing materials, or stripping agents. Just clean water.
Porcelain also has a uniform composition throughout the tile thickness. Colors and textures are derived from the very same materials that compose the tile body, meaning the surface color runs through the entire body of the tile, translating to potential chips, generally being far less noticeable. Please keep in mind that all materials will scratch or dent, should heavy items be dropped or dragged across them.
Another advantage of porcelain tile is its great compatibility with the environment, as it is derived from natural raw materials such as clay and minerals. The manufacturing process of porcelain also does not induce any indoor air quality concerns. The finished product is a tile that is chemically inert; meaning that it does not release any indoor air pollutants or contaminants to the environment. Even after installation, it contributes to indoor air quality, as it is the least likely hard floor surfacing to support bacterial growth.