What’s in a Glaze? Put simply, glazing a ceramic tile means coating it with a liquid, coloured, glass either by spraying it on, or pouring it on. Afterward, these glazed ceramic tiles are sent off to be fired at a high temperature so that the glaze bakes onto the surface.
Why are glazed ceramic tiles ? Other than providing a means to give the tiles beauty and making them available in an enormous array of colours and styles, the glaze increases the moisture and stain resistance of the tiles. However, the actual process of glazing ceramic wall and floor tiles is by no means a simple one. Glaze may be applied in numerous layers before the tiles are finally sent off for the final firing.
However, ceramic tiles are not recommended to be used universally in any place you would like to have tiles in your home. There are certain points that need to be considered. One is, as mentioned previously, that the glaze is in fact a glass coating. It thus follows that wet glass is slippery. Therefore using glazed ceramic tiles in certain installations could create safety issues where there is often moisture and high foot traffic or where the installation is an outdoor one.
Despite this issue, glazed ceramic tiles have many redeeming features. For one they are easy to maintain and are resistant to stains. Using only a damp mop or sponge, you can clean dirt off the surface. They are also durable, partly due to the glazing. Another bonus is that these glazed ceramic wall and floor tiles generally do not retain odours, allergens, or bacteria. They are also fire resistant and can withstand high temperatures such as that which would occur if hot cooking pots or frying pans were placed on the surface. Your glazing would not melt and the tile would not burn. Being resistant to most common liquids is also a plus, so that even the most irritating and messy spills will not damage your tiles.