Discover the Story of Porcelain Tile
How Porcelain Tile is Made
Mix & Grind
Just like cooking at home, a quality tile requires just the right mix. Raw ingredients and water are combined with grinding beads in a large mixer to create the perfect consistency.
Beads help grind
Before the tile can be formed, some of the water needs to be evaporated in a dryer. Removing water from the mix creates a harder and therefore more durable tile.
The ingredients are pressed into a template at over 5,000 pounds per square inch. The extreme pressure solidifies the tile and gives it the strength that it's known for.
The tile is dried again to remove more water. Tiles made with small amounts of water are less likely to crack in freezing temperatures.
Glaze and Screen
It's time for the finishing touch! A finish is painted on, giving the tile a distinctive pattern, and a glaze is applied for stain resistance. However, not all tile is finished or glazed. You can learn more below.
Finally, the tile is baked at a scorching 2,500 °F to set the glaze and remove more water. Much like baking at home, different tiles require different baking times and heat.
The Types of Tiles
Through Body Tile
Through body tile is ideal for high traffic areas because it's the best at hiding scratches, chips and wear. The entire tile is made of the same material, with no surface glaze or finish, so scratches blend in with the surface. Note in the illustration how the exposed body of the tile closely resembles the surface.
Color Body Tile
Color body tile offers both great beauty and durability. This tile is painted with a finish and then glazed, giving it the perfect look. The color of the tile is carefully matched with the finish to make wear less noticeable. You can see how well the exposed body matches the surface in the illustration.
Double Loaded Tile
A double loaded tile can provide durability at a bargain price by layering a beautiful unglazed tile with a simple base tile. The two layers are fused together with extreme pressure and heat, forming a single solid tile. The best double loaded tiles have a thick top layer to prevent surface damage from revealing the base layer.
White Body Tile
A white body tile can provide a stunning look with a painted eye-catching design protected by a thin yet durable glaze. While this isn't as durable as through body tile, it can make for a truly unique design that can't be replicated by any other method.
Red Body Tile
Red body tile is similar to white body tile, but uses more affordable raw materials which typically results in a more affordable tile. Although the body of the tile is red, once installed and grouted, the red body can not been seen. If the tile becomes chipped or scratched the red body can show through, making this type of tile less desirable in high traffic applications.