On a hot day like today, I sure do appreciate the tile in my house. I know what you’re thinking…what does tile and the weather have anything to do with eachother? Well in my life, there are two big things. First, its nice to not have floors that take so long to clean that I’m sweating profusely afterwards. Second, when I do get too hot I can just lay down on them and they help to cool me down.
Not only is tile the easiest flooring to clean but it’s also maintenance free!
Although there are many more types and several styles that stem from them, we are going to talk about the three main tiles:
Ceramic Tile is often confused with its daughter Porcelain. What some may not know is that Porcelain is a type of ceramic. More on this later.
Ceramic materials came from the molding of clay containing crystalline and hardened in fire. They then were glazed and fired again to create a smooth surface. Ceramics began in the use of making pottery and have come a long way to the function of flooring.
The ceramic flooring we see now often has more texture and can be created in many earth-toned selections. It can be found in a ceramic-glass mixture as well.
Like I said before, Porcelain is Ceramic’s daughter. Porcelain is made by taking the same crystalline clay used to make Ceramics but it is fired to much higher temperatures. By doing this, Porcelain is created with considerable strength, toughness, translucency and whiteness. It is often referred to as ‘China’ because that is its birthplace.
The difference between the two (even though Ceramic clearly looks older with her wrinkles and the fact that she has to dye her hair to hide the greys) is that Porcelain contains low permeability and elasticity. In English that means it has fewer pores and is more durable.
Meet Glass Tile.
Glass would be considered a ‘non-crystalline’ ceramic. Reason being: it contains little to no crystalline. And just incase you think I’ve made up this term Crystalline, here is the definition straight from Wikipedia:
Crystallinity refers to the degree of structural order in a solid.
In a crystal, the atoms or molecules are arranged in a regular,
periodic manner. The degree of crystallinity has a big
influence on hardness, density, transparency and diffusion.
Anyways, back to glass.
Glass is definitely the more eccentric of the three tile types. I say this because it seems as though it can be made in any sort of shape and colour. The reason for this is that glass is made not from a clay or mineral but from a man-made scientific combination that is very complicated to explain in normal terms. If you are curious however, Google it. Its quite fascinating!
With any of the three, tile is definitely the way to go. They can all be used beautifully for bathrooms (even tiled floor to ceiling), back-splashes and of course for flooring. Well, glass flooring is not common but I’m sure it can be found in more exotic places.
They may be a little more difficult to install, but they are easier to clean, look great, customizable, and they can increase the value of your home.
Now THAT makes it all worth it.