Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles
All ceramic tiles are made of clay and quartz ferrous sand materials and water. Once ceramic tiles are formed and shaped, they are fired to high temperatures (1250C) with a glazed or natural finish. Porcelain tiles follow a similar manufacturing process but use more refined and purified materials and are submitted to much greater pressures in the manufacturing process; consequently they are denser than standard ceramic tiles and provide an even better resistance to water. Ceramic tiles are constructed using red, brown or white clay whereas porcelain tiles are usually constructed using white clay.
When selecting any ceramic tile it is important to look at
the PEI factor. This is the scratch resistance factor. A PEI of 1 is ideal for walls. A PEI of 2 is best for bathrooms and kitchens. A PEI of 3 is appropriate for all residential applications, and PEIs of 4 and 5 are applicable for commercial and heavy commercial applications, respectively.
Natural Stone Tiles
Natural stone is hewn directly from the rock in the ground, sawn, shaped and grounded as opposed to ceramic and porcelain, which come from a manufactured process. Natural stones are available in matt, rustic or 'tumbled' finishes or highly polished. Granites and Marbles are dense heavy stones, hard wearing, durable and usually with a high gloss finish. Characterised by their inlaid crystals they add sparkle giving any room or area an elegant and sophisticated quality. Limestone is a softer stone usually with matt surface or tumbled finish which gives off a warm rustic appearance. Its light neutral tones of oatmeal and cloudy white, create a natural brightness and should be professionally sealed to maintain its effect. Travertine is similar to limestone, available with natural earthy tones of pure white through to yellow and brown tints and patterned grains in a tumbled matt or polished finish. You can get Glass tiles which give a contemporary look to any room. Available in a wide range of colours and designs, they are easy to maintain. With their light refraction properties they add brightness and colour to any room and can be very effective when interwoven with other ceramic and natural stones.
Mosaics are available in all materials, ceramic, porcelain, glass and natural stone as individual tiles, or multiple tiles glued to a mesh backing. Available in different styles and sizes to create the desired style and effects.
There are tiles for different styles and effects. I am a specialist in Natural Stone, Ceramic, Porcelain, Slate, Granite, Marble, Travertine, Glass and Limestone. Whatever your choice, I can help you create the style and look you want and provide you with advice on the best materials for any job.