What is Ceramic Tile?

by Joey Grable
on 08 April 2019
Surface Art Inc. talks about how ceramic tile is made and its unique qualities and features

What is Ceramic Tile?

How is Ceramic Tile Made?

Take yourself back to the early days of civilization in Europe. Fine craftsmen worked tirelessly for Roman elite, pulverizing and grinding stones into finely powdered clay. This clay was then filtered to remove the impurities. Once cleaned the clay was mixed with liquid to make a bisque. After that, the thick clay-bisque mixture was pressed into a specified tile shape, hardened by firing the tiles in a kiln and often glazed with a unique color and texture.

Today’s manufacturing process for ceramic tile is strikingly similar; the primary difference being vast improvements in quality control, increase in style variety, and more rapid means of production.

Traditionally, ceramic tiles are thin slabs of red or white colored clay made from many types of rocks--shale, gypsum or sand are commonly sourced. The bisque is then formed into its shape, where next the tile is coated with a glaze and fired in a kiln at averaging temperatures of 2100 degrees F.

Ceramic Tile Usage

Ceramic tiles are suitable for light to moderate traffic. Ceramic tiles are prone to wear and to chipping or cracking on forceful impact because they are porous by nature and less dense in their core. Additionally, the glaze on the tile does not go all the way through, so the core becomes obvious if the tile surface is chipped. One advantage to ceramic tile is their mass array of glaze styles, colors, and textures. All of which are produced at a fraction of the cost for natural stone or porcelain tile.

In conclusion, ceramic tile is perfect for decorative applications on the wall or on counter-top surfaces with moderate to low usage. The multitude of ceramic glaze style makes it ideal for this application. Ceramic tile may also be used as a floor tile, too. However, ceramic is best suited for low-impact and water-free areas of your home.

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Victoria, ceramic wall tile. 

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Cancun, high-density ceramic floor tile with a marbled look.

Additional Tile Education Resources

To learn more in-depth about ceramic, porcelain, and their unique differences and applications, read through our Surface Art Tile Education page. We have a more detailed article about the differences between ceramic and porcelain here.