Ceramic and porcelain tiles continue to be the two most popular choices for floors and walls in the bath or shower and in other high traffic areas including the kitchen. Ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles are also good options for flooring in high moisture areas such as laundry rooms and basements.
Eleganza Tiles, Inc. is a leading distributor of ceramic and porcelain tiles with strategic locations throughout North America with distributor partnerships across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. As one of the largest and fastest growing distributors in the ceramic and porcelain tile industry, Eleganza offers a wide range of affordable and high quality modern styles that meet the expectations of architects, designers, builders, and owners.
So what makes ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles such a great choice for flooring material? Generally, ceramic and porcelain are much more affordable and a lot easier to maintain than stone flooring materials. More importantly, because of the craftsmanship and engineering process of ceramic and porcelain tiles, they prove to be stronger and more durable for floor and wall surfaces. Ceramic and porcelain tiles can also be designed to look like or have the aesthetics of stone and other materials. Eleganza offers long-lasting porcelain tiles with the beauty of weathered concrete, contemporary stones, classic marbles and travertines, distressed or modern metallic lines, and hand-scraped or exotic natural wood materials.
The hot kiln firing process produces the hard surfaces of ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles. Although “ceramic” and “porcelain” are used interchangeably and are grouped in the same material category, porcelain tiles have become a slightly harder surface than ceramic tiles. This is because porcelain tiles are fired in a very hot kiln at higher temperatures for a longer time than ceramic tiles. Therefore, porcelain tiles are more dense, less porous, and more impervious to water than ceramic tiles. In fact, some porcelain tiles have a water absorption rate of 0.5% as defined by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) C373.
Another important difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles is that the color goes all the way through in porcelain tiles, while color in ceramic usually glazes only the surface. This is a great advantage of porcelain tiles over ceramic tiles since porcelain tiles won’t show wear in high traffic areas as easily as ceramic tiles. And in the rare case of any tile chips or cracks, it is not uncommon for damages to be noticeable in porcelain floor and wall tiles. In worst case scenarios, the cost of repairing porcelain and ceramic tiles aren’t typically too expensive. While most ceramic and porcelain tile flooring and walls are fairly easy to maintain, sometimes, hard water scum or soap scum and mildew can build up in high traffic areas such as the bathroom. Shoe markings or shoe scuffs, oil, grease, paint, or coffee and tea or fruit juice can also stain ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles. Eleganza’s unique technology allows the impressive manufacturing of floor and wall tiles with chemical stain resistance. Eleganza’s tiles are not only beautiful and high quality for indoor residential and commercial use, Eleganza also offers frost-resistant tiles and can be installed as outdoor tiles on patios, decks, in gardens, and glass tiles for pool areas.
So how are porcelain tiles made? It all starts with raw materials and the right amount of water. To start, clay has to be made or sourced. In the past, clay has been sourced from river beds but with modern technology, porcelain and ceramic clay can be made from raw materials, post-consumer materials, man-made materials, and additives. This can include quartz, slate, marble, feldspar, glass, and kaolin.
After the materials are mixed, water is dried from the mixture. It is important to remove water from the mixture through this drying process in order to achieve harder and more durable tiles. Once the mixture is dried, the material is solidified in extreme pressure to compact the tiles and improve its durability. The tiles are dried once again to remove any remaining water or moisture. Frost-resistant tiles are made with less water so that they are less prone to freezing and cracking in low temperatures.
After two drying processes, tiles are ready for glazing. At this stage of the production process, beautiful finishing touches are added using high-tech printing patterns and textures. However, tiles are not completely ready until they receive a glazing or sealing which protects the tiles by serving as additional layers that are chemical, stain, and scratch resistant. The exception, of course, are unglazed tiles which are intentionally left out of the final glazing process for the aesthetic beauty of unglazed tile look.
Eleganza works closely with a network of factories throughout the world in the United States, Italy, Spain, and China. Through state-of-the-art technology and high-definition inkjet manufacturing, Eleganza develops an extensive array of collections specializing in interior, exterior, floor, wall, residential, and commercial applications — to bring your vision to life.