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Unread 07-29-2009, 01:10 PM   #1
Ingeborg
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 152
Tile Industry Porcelain v. Other Porcelain

I just want to add to this since there seems to be a great bit of confusion about ceramic tiles versus porcelain out in the general public.

Porcelain is the "queen" of clay. It is a clay and the reason it is generally white is because porcelain has little if any impurities.

Ceramic is a general term applied to porcelain, earthenware, stoneware and even glass which is also considered a ceramic product. Pretty much since all of the above mention mediums are fired in a kiln, they are ceramic. Make sense?

Is porcelain stronger than regular clay tiles? Yes and no. High fire porcelain with a glaze can be pretty impervious to moisture and can be stronger since the glaze fuses to the clay. In other words, the clay and glaze become one. I seriously doubt that most production tiles are high fire. I say High fire which is somewhere in the range of 2400 to 25oo degrees farenheit.

High fire stoneware clay that is glazed and fired to around 2400 F is pretty low in absorbency but generally the glaze does not fuze to the clay body in the same sense that high fire porcelain does. I would have to go to my studio to check the exact amount of absorbency but it varies with the clay body and firing temperature.

In Spain and many european countries, there are tiles that have been in place for many years and most of them are earthenware which is a very low fired clay. Mexican tiles are low fired and they do ok outside as long as you don't have a lot of freezing and thawing. The problem with Mexican tiles is they can chip (due to the softness of the fired clay) if in heavy traffic area and are hard to maintain.

You're all probably yawning!
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Ingeborg

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