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Ceramic Tile
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement

Ceramic tile is not only the most durable of flooring surfaces, but it also proves to offer an amazing array of design possibilities. There are many variations in size, color, texture, and pattern. It is also easy to clean and extremely resistant to odors, bacteria, scratches, stains, and water. For these reasons, it is the ideal material for use in kitchens, bathrooms, entryways, and other areas of the home.

Ceramic tile is made from clay or a mixture of organic materials. The tile is then finished by kiln firing. Ceramic tile is generally light weight and relatively thin. It can come either glazed or unglazed. Glazed tiles are hard and non-porous resulting in flooring that is stain resistant, scratch and fire resistant, doesn't fade from sun light, slip resistant, and easy to clean. The tiles come in many colors and different finishes and textures.

Unglazed tile is unfinished, so there is no glazing or any other coating applied to the tile. The color remains the same on both the top and bottom. The tile is very durable and it doesn't scratch as easily as glazed tile. For these reasons, it doesn't show the effects of heavy traffic. It does, however, fall victim to stains. You can protect your unglazed tile with a sealer or wax.

There are several types of ceramic tile which include porcelain tiles, quarry tiles, satillio, terrazzo tiles, and agglomerate tiles. Porcelain tile is a ceramic tile that is dense, impervious, fine grained and smooth, with a sharply formed face. Porcelain tile is available in mat, unglazed or a high polished finish. Quarry tiles come glazed or unglazed and are made by the extrusion process from natural clay or shale. This tile is most common in the dark red shades and works wonderful for surfaces that receive heavy traffic. Satillio tiles, with Spanish roots, are a decorative tile commonly used for aesthetics purposes.

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