What is a Ceramic Tile?
Before acquiring ceramic tiles, it’s first good to know what they are made from. What actually is “ceramic”? The root of the English word “ceramic” is in fact the Greek word Keramos referring to potter’s clay or pottery. Thus ceramic tile is as its name, a natural product made of clay, other minerals and finally water. From these unimpressive beginnings spring a bewildering variety of colors, shapes, sizes and even textures. Despite its many varieties, ceramic tile is basically produced in one of two ways. What are they?
Ceramic Tile—Twin Brothers
Ceramic tile is generally created in one of two ways. One method is the taking of shale or natural clay and extruding it, which is basically passing it through a small tube or opening then shaping it into tiles. The second is by taking minute particles of tile minerals and pressing them together under high pressure to form the body of the ceramic tile. Afterward these tiles are fired in a kiln which fuses the tiny particles into a strong tile body. So the ceramic tiles you use will be one of these “twin” brothers. Some will be glazed and others will be left unglazed.
Strength of Ceramic Tile
Just as person’s background can impact whether or not he gets hired for a job, knowing the background of how a ceramic tile is made will make the difference between buying a tile of superior quality or an inferior one. Why? As mentioned, tiles are hardened by pressure. The greater the pressure during the creation of the tile, the greater its strength will be. The strength of the ceramic tile is indicated by its psi (pounds of pressure for square inch) rating. This shows how much pressure it can take before breaking. A rating of 250 pounds/psi is good rating indicating a tile of good quality.