There are three main types of ceramic tiles: Glazed, unglazed and porcelain.
- Glazed tiles are coated with glass forming minerals and ceramic stains. These tiles offer better stain and moisture resistance than unglazed tiles. Usually they come in a matte, semi-gloss or high-gloss finish. High gloss finishes can be slippery when wet and scratch easily. Matte and textured finishes however will have more traction, not scratch so easily and make dirt less visible.
- Unglazed tiles are very hard and dense. Generally, unglazed tiles are used on the exterior of the premises. These tiles do not provide a lot of protection against stains when compared to glazed tiles but they have good slip resistance. It is a good idea to seal these tiles to help prevent staining.
- Porcelain tiles comprise of 50% feldspar and are fired at much higher temperatures during the manufacturing process. The higher the temperature a tile is fired the stronger the tile. Therefore, these tiles are very durable, more resistant to scratches and can withstand extreme temperatures. Porcelain is naturally stain resistant because it is non-porous and has low water absorption ratings. Porcelain tiles can therefore be used for interior and exterior applications including heavy use and commercial areas.