Porcelain is the name given to tiles that are fired from special clay that makes them resistant to water absorption. The water absorption rating of these tiles is less then 0.5%. Because porcelain is stronger than other types of non-porcelain tiles, it’s more difficult to cut through. You can also get unglazed or glazed porcelain tiles. The following paragraphs will discuss the difference.
How are they glazed? The tiles are covered with a liquid glass and then fired at a high temperature to create a glazed surface. This glaze makes the tiles shiny. Glaze is made in a variety of colours. Sometimes the glaze is a different colour than the tile underneath the glaze. Porcelain tiles that have had a glaze applied are nonporous.
Unglazed tiles are exactly as their name suggests, meaning, they do not have the protective, shiny layer.
How does the glaze help? Well, since glazed tiles are nonporous, they are stain resistant. If a liquid is spilled onto a glazed tile it will not soak into the clay, whereas on an unglazed tile the liquid can seep into the tile and stain the surface.
Although unglazed tiles may not have the pretty shine of glazed ones, in general they show less wear than glazed tiles. Unglazed tiles are the same colour throughout the body of the tile. So wear, chips or gashes in the surface do not show since the colour is the same. With glazed tiles, the surface of the tile is often a different colour than the body of the tile. So when the surface of a glazed tile experiences wear and tear, it can wear away the glaze so that the different colour in the body of the tile shows through.
Unglazed tiles have a rougher surface than smooth, glazed tiles. This has an added safety benefit, namely, the rougher surface provides better traction and thus better slip resistance.
Are you looking for glazed or unglazed porcelain tiles? Chances are you want the best quality porcelain tiles at the most affordable prices possible. If so, your best bet is Tile Factory Outlet. We have a great range of floor tiles, wall tiles, travertine and much more all in one location and ready for same-day pickup. Visit our TFO showroom or compare prices at our online tile store.