Table of Contents
Absolute resistance to the raised operational loadings, external attractiveness and ecological purity of porcelain tile have made this material very demanded, it is applied to interior and external finish of any rooms and the field of its application constantly extends.
Ceramic granite is characterized as material:
- with the highest resistance to mechanical influences, its hardness same, as at quartz;
- with the highest resistance to abrasion of surface, it practically does not lose initial esthetics throughout operation term;
- with very low moisture absorption therefore has amazing frost resistance;
- ideally meeting standards and requirements of hygienic standards as it is very resistant to influence of chemicals, formation of spots, it is simple in cleaning;
- environmentally friendly, it does not emit any substances and the radiation background which is present at natural stone, in porcelain tile it completely is absent.
What is porcelain tile?
Porcelain tile is the artificial finishing material received from natural components: kaolin and illite clay; quartz sand; mineral dyes and feldspar. As the auxiliary (secondary) raw materials promoting acceleration of production processes and regulating some properties of initial raw materials apply electrolyte.
The technology of process of production of this extremely strong material is based on the principles of naturally happening natural processes of formation of natural stone and consists in the following:
- The basis for future porcelain tile represents itself the homogeneous mass received by method of crushing of components special mills with water addition. Proportions of mix are strictly defined and are controlled by dosers with fine precision.
- The prepared weight at the following stage is exposed to pressing which is carried out by means of special press. Depending on objectives, pressing with high pressure can happen in several stages. Regardless of the number of perfect operations, in the course of pressing the tile, homogeneous and dense on structure is born.
- Drying of semi-finished product deletes excesses of moisture from it to 0.5 – 1%. Drying is made in horizontal or vertical dryers, it increases mechanical strength of future product.
- Roasting of ceramic granite is difficult process, during this operation there are chemical reactions of the interacting components, polymorphic transformations and important physical processes: the weight, porosity volume, density of the burned material changes. The agglomeration happening in the course of roasting of semi-finished product turns conglomerate into very strong ceramic material.
Roasting is made at very high temperature, about 12000C within 40-50 minutes. Temperature conditions and conditions of roasting of material affect color and tone of ready porcelain tile.
Ceramic granite is sorted by technical characteristics, exterior, I blossom, I sink. On the impartial computer equipment the geometry of each plate is checked. Ceramic granite can have different surface: natural, impressive, profile, relief, polished or polished. The grinding equipment for receiving high or opaque luster of surface is used to processing of tiles.
It is a little history
As finishing material ceramic granite widely began to be applied not really long ago. Prior to the beginning of the 80th years of last century porcelain tile was produced only by the European companies in limited assortment. Italy was the leader in its production at that time, porcelain tile intended for finishing of rooms of technical assignment where processing for the purpose of receiving strong surfaces with low moisture absorption was required. Not glazed porcelain tile therefore it and was produced by not numerous foreign firms perfectly coped with this task.
Production technique of ceramic granite was gradually improved and at the beginning of the 80th many companies have begun to produce it actively. Technical and esthetic parameters of material constantly improved, and its application in finishing public and premises has become possible.
Production of porcelain tile is constantly improved, new structures of color, impressive effects are created, the dimension of plates increases.
In what distinctions of ceramic granite and ceramic tile?
Ceramic granite in image of ceramic tile is used long ago, but it not same. Processing at more high temperatures and with high pressure will allow to receive the material similar in characteristics to natural granite. The simplest proof of essential distinction of ceramic tile and ceramic granite is studying of scratches of identical depth on the surfaces of two different materials. Porcelain tile is painted on all inside face therefore the scratch on its outer side will almost not be visible. The same scratch on tile will show that the tile has only superficial color and under glaze coat the material basis is obviously visible. The porcelain tile on all volume one-color and in it its main difference from ceramic tile.
Other distinctions follow from the main characteristics of material.
Whether ceramic granite has shortcomings?
At the qualified approach to application and the correct transportation shortcomings at this material are absent.
But nevertheless specialists insist on availability at porcelain tile of two shortcomings:
- relative fragility when transporting and mounting;
- complexity in cutting and processing.
These two shortcomings are direct continuation of advantages of material: its high hardness and shortcomings should carry more likely to costs which are inevitable at use of any materials.
Classical production techniques offer porcelain tile in the form of the rectangular plates having the surface and deep drawing imitating the most different materials in the majority of models – natural. On sale the most various sizes of plates meet: from 5х5 cm to 120х180 cm, plates of such parameters are recognized as the most demanded: 30×30, 40×40 and 60х60 cm from 8 to 14 mm thick though thickness of plates varies in the range of 7 – 30 cm. Porcelain tile is and different decorative and additional functional elements: table-tops, steps, borders, angle pieces which are offered as in mosaic models, and separately.
Ceramic granite is classified by structure and type of surface.
On the structure material is subdivided on:
- Homogeneous porcelain tile presents itself the material which is painted over on all volume with the homogeneous drawing or color as from within, and on surface. It is practically not abraded as in the course of thinning its initial drawing or color remains invariable. Depending on technology of pro-paint and to types of the applied pigment, homogeneous ceramic granite is separated on:
1. more economic models having monophonic uniform color and which are called as “monocolour” or “salt pepper”;
2. porcelain tile clinker being expensive models imitating natural stone or valuable breeds of tree.
Besides, carry to homogeneous also material with inclusions of fragments of natural stone, shells, smalt pieces.
- Partially painted over ceramic granite has two-layer structure which first layer is the substrate, the second – the thin pigmented layer. Such composition of material is economic as expensive pigments contain in it less.
- Glazed porcelain tile, in fact, is ceramic tile with the improved utilization properties. Consolidation is made due to addition of substrate from porcelain tile.
By the form surfaces classify ceramic granite on:
- Opaque: without additional treatment of surface with smaller, in comparison with polished, feldspar content. It possesses extraordinary resistance to mechanical influences and with ease maintains stress loads.
- Polished and semi-polished: has bigger external attractiveness, but on functional performance concedes to opaque.
- Glossy: combines in itself strength characteristics opaque and esthetics of the polished porcelain tile. It is produced with drawing the mineral layer adding to product soft gloss.
- Structured: material with textural surface: relief figures, antiskid notches of different standard sizes. Such products receive by roasting in relief compression molds.
- Mosaic: it is carried out serially or on individual by the order. Mosaic collections are applied to outer and inside floor and wall lining of surfaces.
How to choose porcelain tile?
Porcelain tile is on sale in most hardware stores, quite often it is shown together with ceramic tile. If you have decided to buy ceramic granite, then with material belonging to this type of goods even the glance on tile quickly will help to orient. If on side cut the drawing of tile other, than on front surface or at all is absent, it is not porcelain tile.
Having decided on model and having made sure that it is that material which you want, not superfluous it will be to be convinced of the consumer qualities stated to it. It is possible to make it simple drawing the line marker or felt-tip pen on polished surface. Several minutes later drawn it is necessary to try to remove. From the polished quality porcelain tile the drawing will pass into nothingness, low-grade material is purified badly or even is not purified at all. Testing by means of water does not approach here as ceramic granite of any grade possesses exclusive moisture pushing away.
Knowledge of that how many the square meter of good stuff depending on thickness has to weigh will help to orient as material. If the tile chosen by you has thickness of 8-8.5 mm, then 1 of its sq.m has to weigh about 18.5 – 19 kilograms. To orient the catalog of products can help with weight, solid producers always put the catalog to consignment of goods. If on packaging about porcelain tile weight is not specified and in shop there is no catalog, then it is better to address services of other supplier.
Small depth of hollows on reverse side of tiles can demonstrate high quality of material, they should not be deep, and the sizes of small squares should not exceed 2х2 cm. If these sizes exceed 3 cm, and depth of hollows considerable, then this material of small density, so and quality at it doubtful. Factory products are, as a rule, marked with logo of the producer therefore on reverse side of each tile it is possible to see brand, logo or other data on the producer.
Designation on packaging of caliber of product can conduct the buyer in delusion. The matter is that is admissible deviations in the stated tile sizes on ±0.6 mm therefore the caliber is appropriated to tile of some and those parameters after exact measurement. When laying in one plane it is admissible to apply tile only of one or two adjoining calibers. Otherwise the difference in sizes will be visible.
Opaque (unpolished) ceramic granite
Unpolished (opaque) porcelain tile is the porcelain tile which has undergone the minimum processing at its production. Its popularity is proved, first of all, available, in comparison with other models, the price. Utilization properties it, at the same time, it is better than the polished types.
Most often it is used for processing of surfaces in places of the raised operational loading: in public institutions with the increased passability, at production of the ventilated facades, at the enterprises where there is possibility of influence of abrasives or chemicals on the trimmed surfaces. Also willingly buy opaque porcelain tile for the house, it is easy to wash it, it has environmental safety, is steady against temperature differences.
Opaque porcelain tile is irreplaceable in places where there is possibility of moistening of surfaces on which people and mechanisms as, unlike polished, it does not form slippery surface move.
How does the price of porcelain tile form?
The price of material depends on product thickness, i.e. the tile, the it stronger and, therefore, is thicker more expensively. The tile from 13 mm and more is always more expensive than thinner models.
The coloring also has considerable impact on the price of final product. The cheapest porcelain tile has gray or beige tone with white (black) specks, so-called “salt pepper”. At this method of manufacture expensive dyes or special receptions are not used. The most expensive is one-color porcelain tile, it is connected with the fact that to receive monophonic color, so-called “monocolour” most difficult. Additional surface treatment, increases the cost of ceramic granite.