Ceramic tiles are made up of thin slabs of either clay or some other inorganic material. They are then put into moulds and fired in the oven thus hardening them and then glazed to give the tiles the shiny look.
This makes them extremely durable and is thus a very good flooring choice for installation in bathrooms, kitchens etc.
Advantages of ceramic tiles
The process by which ceramic tiles are made makes it an architectural resource versatile enough to be used in a variety of situations and surroundings. It has several advantages which increases its functionality like:
- Resistance to water: Ceramic tiles with a glazed finish come with a protective layer which makes it resistant to penetration from both water and stains. Tiles which are not glazed need to be finished with a sealant which will protect these tiles from the ravages of water and stains. However, the grout lines might result in water seepage unless they are regularly finished to keep them in top working condition.
- Durability: Ceramic tiles are generally rated for their hardness on a scale of 0 to 5. The hardness specified by ratings 0 to 2 are good for use as wall tile while 3 makes for good residential flooring and tiles with ratings 4 and 5 are extremely suitable for commercial use. Thus these tiles are so tough that they generally do not develop cracks easily. However, tiles which do develop cracks can be easily replaced.
- Maintenance: Ceramic tiles are also low maintenance since they liquids, stains and even dirt can be easily moped and cleaned without having to worry about seepage. Regular maintenance can be effectively done just by giving the ceramic floor a regular sweep or a soft brush vacuuming. In cases of persistent stains, cleaners can be used without any side effects.
- Variety: Today with advancement in technology it is possible to imprint a wide variety of designs onto the ceramic tiles. This results in varied style options thereby increasing its flexibility of use and also enabling the creation of unlimited unique floor designs. Another advantage of ceramic tiles is that they can be cut into squares, rectangles, triangles and can also be made into planks.
- Safe to use: The hard solid surface of the ceramic tiles holds no attraction for disease causing allergens like dust, pollen, dirt etc. This makes it safe to use especially in homes wherein some members might be suffering from breathing problems etc.
Disadvantages of ceramic tiles
But even ceramic tiles have certain drawbacks like:
- The floors are excessively hard which makes it an uncomfortable option to stand on for a long time.
- They are not able to hold on to heat at all and are thus generally quite cold. While this can be of great advantage to people experiencing high temperatures in summer, it can be extremely unsuitable for places which experience harsh winters. However, this problem of cold floor can be easily taken care of by using carpets which add to the beauty of a room as well.
- Installation of the ceramic tiles generally needs to be carried out by professionals since it its weight and the processes involved make DIY installations almost impossible.
While some of these drawbacks can add to the initial cost of ceramic tile installation for floors, its durability and longevity generally tends to even out the cost over the years. Thus all things considered, ceramic tiles are a good option for flooring for both residential and commercial installations.