Today in the design of the interior of the premises new materials are increasingly used. And the finish of the floor is no exception. A wooden floor or a base covered with linoleum is a thing of the past. In the first case, because of the high cost of material, and in the second – because of the lack of ecological compatibility of polymer coatings. But tiles are laid on the floor more often, because it is an excellent alternative to other materials.
Types of ceramic tiles
Ceramics in the decoration of the floor was used by mankind in ancient times. Archaeological excavations have confirmed its history, dating back to the 13th century BC. She made floors in palaces, paved sidewalks and patios. And now ceramic tiles are used for the same purposes.
However, if in former times, it was popular only for finishing the floor in a bathroom or a toilet, but now the area of its application has significantly expanded. And it happened thanks to new production technologies. Modern tile floor material can be laid in living rooms and halls, in kitchens, in corridors and even in bedrooms.
Modern ceramic tiles are divided:
- by material
- by type of face
- by structural composition
- by the manufacturing method
- by the number of calcinations
New technologies allowed to receive finishing materials with other qualities:
- porcelain stoneware
- cotto forte
- ceramic mosaic
- gres porcelain
Manufacture of tiles
High-quality natural clay, quartz sand and carbonates are used for the production of facing materials. The mixture is ground to a uniform state, then laid in molds and subjected to either burning or pressing, depending on which tile is to be manufactured.
Ceramic products are produced by extrusion, pressing or manual molding.
Virtually all ceramic floor tiles are made by pressing. After the clay mass is embedded in molds, it enters the drying stage, and then the roasting. For different product categories, the firing process can be either single or double.
Glaze is applied after the first firing, because under the influence of high temperatures, some tiles lose color. A secondary firing is carried out at lower temperatures than the first. Therefore, the coloring pigments in the clay mass do not lose their brightness and luster.
Properties of ceramic products
The most popular ceramic tiles acquired, primarily due to their high quality:
- strength – the material can withstand a great deal of pressure
- resistance to high temperatures
- durability, proven by millennia
- inability to conduct an electric current and accumulate on its surface static electricity
- stiffness – the lined surface does not bend under the load and does not deform
- resistance to aggressive chemicals
- hygienic and easy cleaning by any formulations, including chlorine
- functionality – the material can be used for finishing interior and exterior surfaces, horizontal and vertical, in residential, public and industrial premises
- preservation of its original appearance under the action of ultraviolet radiation
For facing the floor, the most commonly used is the mettlach tile or granite, because they have high strength characteristics.
Ceramic granite is also called gress or granitogres. This, in general, the same thing, for minor differences, does not affect the quality and strength of products.
Porcelain is made mainly of light-colored clay, and for the production of multi-colored products, a pigment is added to the mixture. The material is subjected to compression and a single firing without applying glaze. The pressing process takes place at a pressure of 400 N / cm2, resulting in the product acquiring a high density, and the specific gravity of the material increases. Firing is carried out at a temperature of +1200 +1300 degrees.
The obtained material has the following properties:
- homogeneous dense structure
- High mechanical resistance to impact and abrasion
- resistance to acids, alkalis and other aggressive substances
- fire safety
- excellent tolerance of temperature extremes of ambient air, which makes it possible to use the material for lining not only internal but also external surfaces
- resistance to fading under the rays of the sun
Modern manufacturers offer ceramic granite of different shapes, colors and shades, as well as with different surfaces – embossed, corrugated, smooth, matte, imitating natural materials:
- various tree species
- the cloth
- varieties of stone
Collections of floor tiles from porcelain tiles include additional decorative and functional elements – plinths, corners, treads, steps and so on.
Important! Outdoor porcelain stoneware is ideal for flooring bathrooms, kitchens, halls, staircases, terraces, pedestrian paths and many others where higher strength of the floor covering is required.
Mettlach tile dates back to the Middle Ages, when it was first produced in Mettlach in Germany.
With this kind of ceramic products, many are familiar from childhood, when in homes, public buildings and industrial premises the floors were entirely made of Mettlach tiles. A special aesthetic in those years, the material was not different, but the quality was on top. Even after many decades, when it became possible to change the floor covering, removing the old tiles presents a lot of difficulties.
Modern material differs radically from its ancestors, as new technologies for the preparation of the composition, various coloring pigments, the shape and design of the tiles are now being used.
In fact, this material is a kind of ceramic granite. Produced by pressing and single firing. The difference between porcelain tiles and Mettlach tiles is most evident in the shape and size of ceramic products.
Mettlach tile is produced in the form of a square, rectangle, octagon, hexagon, diamond and other geometric figures. For its production use refractory clay, which after firing at a temperature of +1200 degrees acquires:
- high mechanical strength
- minimum water absorption coefficient
- resistance to virtually all chemical aggressive substances
- abrasion resistance
- frost resistance
- aesthetic appearance
Particularly in demand tiles, the floor of which is laid out in rooms with high traffic, in chemical laboratories, medical institutions and industrial shops.
Also, it can be successfully used for facing external areas, since it is frost-resistant and can withstand up to 150 freeze-thaw cycles. A small water absorption coefficient makes it possible to use the Mettlach tile at a high humidity level – in baths, saunas, swimming pools.
In the production of the material, the pigment is added directly to the clay, so it is not afraid of ultraviolet rays, rain and snow. If you accidentally break a piece of tile, you can make sure that the color inside is the same as the outside. And the small size of each product gives a reliable guarantee that when a label is placed under it there is no emptiness that often occurs when laying large ceramic tiles
Clinker stairs and Stroeher tiles of the DURO – 825 Cherry series.
This material is known in the same way as ceramics, since ancient times. The first mention of ceramics dates back to the 3rd – 4th millennium BC. Later, such tiles began to decorate houses and pave patios in the Mediterranean countries.
But the clinker itself was first obtained in Holland in the 19th century. And since then Western Europe, mostly German, produces clinker brick, tile, special cement, also called clinker. Why did the Germans start releasing this particular material? The fact is that not every type of clay is suitable for its production, but the one that after firing gives special strength to the products. And there is such clay in the German lands.
Modern clinker floor tiles are made from high-quality red clay with the addition of chamotte, flux and coloring pigments.
Important! Unlike porcelain stoneware, which is produced by high pressure pressing from dried clay powder, the clinker is made by extrusion. It consists in extruding the clay mass through a special device called an extruder.
The outgoing mass, already having a shape, is cut into elements of the required thickness, after which they are fired at a temperature of + 1200 + 1300 degrees. The main characteristics of clinker differ little from the properties of porcelain stoneware, the whole difference consists in the method of production.
Of clinker, in addition to floor tiles, a lot of products are made for facing the outer walls of buildings, columns and other structures. It produces tiles for paving sidewalks and parking lots, facing stoves and fireplaces. It is also used in landscape design when building garden paths and finishing ponds and pools.
The clinker tiles have a rough, non-slip surface, which ensures its safe use as a floor covering. The design of floor tiles, made from clinker, has a variety of options. Products can be of different shapes and with different surface textures that successfully imitate natural natural materials – torn stone or marble. Clinker products can have a smooth or rough surface, covered with glaze or matt. For the cladding of the steps, ready-made shapes with rounded edges are produced.
Ceramic floor tiles come in a variety of shapes and shades, giving designers ample opportunities to create unique interiors in different styles. However, when choosing ceramic flooring products, attention should be paid not only to beauty, but also to technical characteristics. First of all, it is a surface that should not be slippery to avoid the risk of traumatic situations.