Ceramic tiles are the most commonly used tile option around world. Despite them being so popular however, most people actually don’t know too much about them. So just what are ceramic tiles made from?
Clay But Usually More
Ceramic tiles are made from clay. While they are sometimes made purely from clay, nowadays they are increasingly manufactured from a mixture of materials instead. Ingredients such as gypsum, ground shale, sand, vermiculite, and talc are added to control shrinkage and extend the clay.
Once the clay is refined and mixed with water along with these additives it is formed into the body of the individual tiles, these are also known as bisques. A machine is then typically used to press them into the desired tile shape.
Firing And An Added Glaze
Once the tiles have hardened they are then fired at very high temperatures in a kiln, a special oven made specifically for baking tiles. Most ceramic tiles will also have a liquid glaze made from pigments and silicates applied to them before they are fired.
This glaze functions as a hard coating of protection. It’s also decorative, since it is what adds the color to the tiles. Some options are left unglazed, such as quarry tiles for example. Unglazed tiles get their coloring from the clay that they’re made from.
Non-slip ceramic tiles will also have other materials added to the glaze as well. For instance sawdust or silicon carbide can be added to the glaze to help give the surface of the tiles some added texture to prevent accidents.
As you’ve just learned while ceramic tiles are made from clay, it’s only part of the equation. Most also include additives, a glaze, and sometimes extra materials for texture as well.
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