When you are tile shopping, you will need to decide whether you want glazed or unglazed tiles. Most floor tiles are glazed, but there are unglazed varieties as well. This article will discuss the differences so you can determine which option is best for you.
What are Glazed Tiles?
Most people think of glazed tiles as having a shiny finish. But in the industry, glazing refers to a process of coating liquid glass or enamel onto the tiles. The finish can be matte or glossy.
What are Unglazed Tiles?
Clay tiles may be glazed before they are put into the kiln for firing. The firing infuses the glaze into the tiles. But if no coating is added, they are considered unglazed. Porcelain and ceramic tiles may be unglazed. They get their color from the minerals found in the clay or from added pigments. When they are installed, they have a pattern that runs through the entire tile and is not limited to the top surface. This gives them a natural, earthy appearance.
Other Differences Between These 2 Types of Tiles?
Here are some other differences between glazed and unglazed tiles.
Uses: Glazed tiles are mainly used in residential buildings because their fine, slippery finish makes them more attractive. Unglazed tiles are used more often in commercial buildings because their rougher surface makes them slip-resistant.
Stainability: Glazed tiles are not prone to stains as they are protected by the glaze as well as a scratch-resistant finish that is typically applied on top of it. Unglazed tiles don’t have the glaze to protect them and are, therefore, more prone to scratches and stains, even if a scratch-resistant coating is added.
Size: Glazing tiles compacts them making them thinner and less dense than unglazed varieties.
Selection: Glazed tiles can be printed with inkjet technology so they can be commercially designed offering a wide selection in terms of colors and patterns. Unglazed tiles have more of a natural, earthy look. While some may prefer the bigger selection, others may appreciate the inherent customization nature offers.
Porcelain Components: Porcelain does not hold up well to glazing. Other materials must be added to make it strong enough to glaze. Unglazed tiles, on the other hand, may be made entirely of porcelain making them more appealing to porcelain purists.
Ease of Manufacturing: Glazing tiles requires an additional coating that takes an extra step. Unglazed tiles do not need this coating, so they are ready to use when they come out of the kiln.
Glazed and unglazed tiles have their share of advantages and disadvantages. For homeowners, it will mainly come down to whether you prefer a commercial, glossy look or a natural aesthetic. Which will you choose for your tiling project?
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