Knowledge Centre

What is Ceramic Tile?

Ceramic tiles are strong, durable, water-resistant, and easy to clean. Glazed and unglazed are the two most common types of ceramic tiles, with glazed ceramic tiles having a top coat that protects the tile from water and stains. Unglazed tiles do not have the topcoat, which makes them more affordable but also more susceptible to stains.

How are ceramic and porcelain tiles different?

Porcelain tiles usually have a much lower water absorption rate than ceramic tiles making them frost resistant or frost-proof. Glazed porcelain tiles are much harder and more wear resistant than ceramic tiles, making them suitable for heavy, residential, and commercial traffic. Full body porcelain tiles carry the color and pattern through the entire thickness of the tile. Ceramic tiles are used in both wall tile and floor tile applications. They are softer and easier to cut than porcelain, and usually carry a PEI 0 to 3 rating. Ceramic tiles are usually better suited for very light to moderate traffic areas.

In what ways are ceramic and porcelain tiles similar?

There are many similarities between ceramic and porcelain tiles. Firstly, the tiles do not retain dust or residues as easily as many other flooring surfaces. The tiles also insulate against electricity and are nonreactive with chemicals. Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are highly durable and susceptible to thermal shock. The two surfaces do not easily retain antigens or allergens, nor do they absorb fumes, odors or smoke. This feature enables good hygiene and makes these tiles a suitable flooring material for any environment where hygiene is essential.

Can ceramic tiles be installed outside?

Many flooring experts do not recommend installing ceramic tile outdoors. However, if you do, the tile must be frost proof and unglazed. Make sure the absorption rate is 0.5% or less.

Should I use a sealer on ceramic tiles?

A glazed tile is already stain proof, so there is no purpose to putting on a sealer. You may put a penetrating sealer on your unglazed tile or your grout joints. The penetrating sealer is an invisible, stain resistant shield that is absorbed into the surface.

How do I install ceramic tiles?

Installation methods vary for different products and brands, please check your specific instructions before you start. Measure out the length of the wall or floor, as well as the center point of the room or the space. Lay a row of tiles out with plastic spacers in between to add future grout lines with a chalk line, starting with one tile beside the center line; the center line should be a grout line. You can then mix the thin-set of mastic and begin setting your tiles. Cut the end pieces with a tile cutter or wet saw.

How do I clean ceramic tiles?

Regularly sweep, vacuum, and damp mop your tile floors. A quick sweep or vacuum removes dirt and debris before it can become embedded in the tile or grout. Mopping with warm water and using a manufacturer-recommended cleaning product also enhances your tile's gloss, shine, and color.

Can I cut ceramic tiles?

Yes. If the end pieces are too big for your space, you can cut the tiles with a tile cutter or wet saw.

Where can I install ceramic tiles?

Ceramic tiles are suitable for just about any room in your home, but you’ll need to check the water-absorption rating to make sure the material can handle it. We also recommend that you don't install ceramic tiles on the deck or patio, because they absorb too much water and can crack when they freeze and thaw.

Is ceramic tile a good option for houses with pets and children?

Yes, both ceramic and porcelain tiles are great for pets and children. The durable materials resist the wear and tear of spills and scratches, while being easy to clean and maintain. They can also offer a cool surface for your pet to sleep on when it's warm outside.

Will my tiles fade over time?

Because color is fired into a tile’s clay body (in the case of unglazed tiles) or onto a tile’s glazed surface (for glazed tiles), fading does not occur. The colors in ceramic tiles do not fade even if exposed to direct sunlight and its color-leaching UV rays.