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Frequently Asked Questions
  What is ceramic tile?
Ceramic tiles are made from a mixture of clays which have been shaped, colored and fired at high temperatures, resulting in a hard body. This hard body may then be left untreated or it may receive a glazed wear layer. Ceramic tile is a surfacing unit, and has been used for covering roofs, floors, walls and countertops.
  Will ceramic tile chip and crack?
Prior to installation, ceramic tile is a very brittle product but once it is installed, it becomes a permanent part of your construction, and will not chip or crack unless hit with a heavy object.
  How durable is ceramic tile?
If the right product is selected and maintained properly, that is, kept free of grit and sand, it should last lifetime of your home.
  What is the difference between glazed and unglazed tiles?
Glazed tiles are coated with a liquid glass which is then baked into the surface of the clay. The glaze provides an unlimited array of colors and designs as well as protects the tile from staining. The unglazed tiles are pretty much the same as the glazed tile, except that their surface is not coated. Unglazed tiles do not show wear because their color extends throughout the tile making them ideal for heavy traffic.
  What types of tiles are used for outdoors?
Any tile that is frost resistant may be used outdoors. For safety reasons, only unglazed tiles with a slip resistant surface should be used on patios, walkways, pool decks, etc. Glazed tiles should only be used on vertical surfaces, when installed outdoors.
  Isn’t ceramic tile slippery?
Tile is about as slippery as vinyl or wood. Naturally, If the floor gets wet, any of these hard surfaced materials will become more slippery. There are many tiles that have slip resistant surfaces, but keep in mind, that the more abrasive the surface is, the more difficult it will be to maintain. You might consider using a mat in wet areas.
  Should ceramic tile be waxed?
Glazed tile should never be waxed. The purpose of the glaze is to give you a maintenance free floor, If you wax the glaze, all you are doing is crating more work for yourself. To keep your tile looking new, use a small amount of neutral detergent in warm water, plus a clean rinse.
  Should sealer be used on ceramic tile?
A glazed tile is already stain proof so there is no purpose to putting on a sealer. You may put a penetrating sealer on your unglazed tile. The penetrating sealer is an invisible, stain resistant shield that is absorbed into the surface of the tile, We do not recommend using a surface sealer because it wears unevenly and you would be constantly touching it up in the traffic areas.
  Isn’t ceramic tile cold on the feet?
Many people assume this, but it is not true. Ceramic tile is a thermal product that absorbs both heat and cold, depending on the room temperature. The tile stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter
  Isn’t ceramic tile too hard underfoot?
The surface of the tile is naturally harder than carpet but no harder than vinyl or wood, also, is surface construction is designed for comfort underfoot.
  What is the porcelain stoneware?
The porcelain stoneware is composed by a mixture of raw materials whose composition does not differ from that of vitreous china (used in manufacturing sanitaryware and crockery).
Therefore, it is a completely impervious material and with high mechanical features. The term porcelain, underlining stoneware’s refined elegance, derives from the use of kaolin, a kind of white clay used also in the production of bone china.
Clays and valuable feldspars, undergoing a firing process at extremely high temperatures, turn into stoneware tiles with the following features: chemical- and frost-resistance, impact strength and scratch hardness
  What is the difference between porcelain tile and ceramic tile?
Porcelain tiles are also ceramic tiles. They are a specified form of ceramic tiles, but composed of much fine and dense clay and fired at much higher temperatures, if compared. Porcelain tiles are made by clay with water absorption ranging of .5 % imported range and Indian range from 1% to 2.5% , while ceramic tiles have a clay composition with water absorption of more than 3% to 20%.
This composition makes porcelain tile more homogenous, dense, much stronger and less prone to moisture absorption and staining. For those reasons porcelain can be suitable for locations with extreme moisture and in freeze or thaw conditions. Not all ceramic tiles can be installed at locations with freezing weather, due to the likelihood of moisture freezing inside the tiles. Internal freezing causes the moisture to expand as it freezes, which often manifests as cracks in the tile.
Porcelain is homogenous in terms of through-body color. Porcelain tile is less porous and therefore less prone to cracking. Porcelain tile is more scratch resistant than most ceramic tile.
  What is a rectified tile?
The tile rectifying process is a process of grinding the edges of fired tiles to allow for butt jointed installation; thus the grout lines are barely visible granting a uniform smoothness effect
  What is the surface finishing?
How to recognize a matt, semi-polished, bush-hammered or textured surface?
The surface finishing is the working processing of a tile in order to achieve certain surface roughness conditions and shape and size allowances.
The natural/matt finishing is very versatile and it has a universal application; the semi-polished effect enhances the aesthetic values of the material by increasing its brilliance and elegance to such degree as to overcome the natural marbles gloss; the bush-hammering processing is carried out with tools like chisel, cap, etc., in order to obtain a rustic, rough surface; the textured finishing solves the slipperiness problem, caused by water or particular environmental conditions.
  What is the shade?
The shade is the colour tone that features a particular batch of tiles.
In industrial manufacturing it almost impossible to accomplish tiles with the exact same colour shade, therefore, before packing, they are grouped together according to colour uniformity, that is to say colour shade. The shade is often marked by a letter which is stamped onto the pack (Shade A, Shade B)
  What is the work size?
The work size is the manufacturing dimension of tiles.
Due to manufacturing technology reasons, the tiles leaving the kiln may be of slightly different dimensions. Therefore, during the grade sorting stage, they are divided and grouped into batches of the same dimensions, according to the standards tolerance provided for by specific regulations. Like the colour shade, the work size is also displayed on the pack, as follows:
20 x 20 cm (W 198 mm x 198 mm)
where 198 mm stands for the manufacturing dimension.
20 x 20 cm - Size 01
  What is the size?
The size identifies shapes and dimensions of the tile. The most common shapes are the quadrangular ones (square and rectangle), but polygonal shapes are also available (hexagons, octagons, etc) as well as complex shapes( Moorish, Provencal, etc).
Anyhow, current technology allows for the creation of any shape at least in theory. Dimensions can also range from only a few centimetres (mosaic) up to a metre per sid
  What is the quality grade?
The quality grade represents another parameter featuring a tiles supply.
Only the 1st/top quality is characterized by specific regulations. For example, no more than five tiles out of a hundred may present appearance defects. The other quality grades (the second, the third, commercial, kiln output, etc) are of lower quality and may contain a greater number of defects
  How many tiles should be ordered?
Before ordering a certain number of tiles, it is necessary to know the extension of the surface to be tiled and have selected the installation technique and plan.

Being stated the above, it is necessary to know that:
• even a batch of top quality tiles can contain some defective tiles (the standards allow for a 5% of defective tiles)
• some tiles must be cut or drilled, therefore a certain number will be wasted.
• some tiles should be kept aside for any future repairs, it is also important to spare a sample to show in case of any complaints.
All in all, about a 10% extra tiles should be ordered exceeding the actual extension of the surface to be tiled, moreover, a sole order is recommended, for the product of another lot might not be perfectly uniform with the one of the previous order.
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