Porcelain tiles contain all the benefits of ceramic tiles but due to their composition, they can be pressed at higher pressures and fired at higher temperatures. Remember the higher the temperature, the stronger the tile.
Porcelain tiles have higher impact resistance, stain resistance, and frost resistance. For more information, refer to porcelain tiles under ceramic tiles above.
There are three types of porcelain tiles:
The process of manufacture for glazed porcelain is very similar to glazed ceramic tiles. The only difference is the raw materials used. Glazed porcelain uses higher grades of clay, making the body slip of the tile better in quality.
Due to the quality of the raw materials being greater than ceramic tiles, the temperature and pressing rate of the these tiles is higher than ceramic tiles.
In other words, the tile is less porous and much harder than ceramic tiles. These tiles are therefore very durable and carry a high PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) rating.
With glazed porcelain the colour and design of the tile is printed onto the tile and then the tile is covered with a glaze and fired at high temperatures. Think of the tile in two parts: the first is the base of the tile (the body slip or tile bisque) and the second is the pattern and/or colour that are glazed onto the tile.
- Full Bodied:
Full-bodied porcelain tiles carry the pattern and/or colour of the tile from front to back. In other words, the tile has the same design all the way through the tile.
In manufacturing these tiles, the colours and/or patters are mixed into the clay in the beginning of the process. Then the powder is placed into the mold before being pressed and fired in a kiln.
These tiles are more expensive than glazed porcelain tiles because of the amount of raw materials used throughout the entire tile.
These tiles are used in high traffic areas such as shopping malls, office corridors, and hospitals.
- Double-glazed (Loaded) or double charged:
Due to the expenses related to full bodied tiles, a cheaper alternative is offered by double charged tiles. The process of manufacture is similar to full bodied tiles except that when the coloured clay is placed into the mold, it is only filled half of the way. The other half is filled with uncoloured clay and therefore reduced the costs of raw materials. These two layers are then pressed and fired.