Porcelain is a type of ceramic used for centuries in home-wear such as vases and crockery. You’ll no doubt have seen willow pattern plates and saucers sporting their distinctive blue and white patterned designs, these are usually porcelain. Tiles are formed from clay and fine sand which are then kiln fired at high temperatures. Porcelain floor tiles are both resilient and cost effective. Small tiles mean if damage does occur replacements are cheap and easy to install and since they’re hard wearing the tiles usually last for years and years. Porcelain is highly resistant to water, this explains its suitability for crockery and why it’s the go-to choice for swimming pools. It remains popular in home flooring too and works well with underfloor heating, so if you’re looking for a tiled floor for all seasons it can be a great choice.
Formation of porcelain
Porcelain achieves its impressive strength and water resistance by being fired at higher temperatures than other similar tiles. The higher temperatures produce a denser molecular structure which means liquids have a tougher time working their way in. Porcelain can also be patterned right the way through its body, so if any damage does occur to the top surface it can often be buffed out without leaving a lasting impact on the appearance of the tile. Polished finished are common and should always be topped off with a properly chosen sealant to ensure lasting durability and shine.
Maintaining porcelain flooring
As with any highly polished surface you’ll want to keep an eye on dust and debris. Over time dirt can get ground in and, whilst the tiles themselves are very strong, the surface shine can wear down and leave them looking dull. Regular hoovering can help maintain the shine and extend the life of the tiles. As mentioned, it’s worth keeping them properly sealed too, if in any doubt about this contact a professional since the wrong products can actually wear the tiles down rather than protect them. Since porcelain tiles are quite small, they tend to be held in place with grout. If the grouting isn’t correctly looked after it can quickly show dirt or even deform and cause loosening of the tiles. If this happens it’s not too difficult to re-grout and re-seal the tile, but best practise is to give your grouting a quick check and a wipe down once or twice a week.