Ceramic Tile Flooring
Have you ever walked into a carpeted kitchen? If so, chances are you weren't walking into the average American kitchen. The vast majority of kitchen floors in the United States are covered with ceramic tile flooring.
History of Ceramic Tile Flooring
Tile flooring can be traced back as early as the 4th millennium B.C. to the Far/Near East, but ceramic tile flooring didn't make its way into the North American colonies until the late 16th to early 17th century. During the Victorian era, ceramic tile flooring became extremely popular in the United States, which led to the rapid mass production of ceramic tile flooring in the US from 1870-1930.
Manufacturing and Installing Ceramic Tile
Ceramic tile flooring is made from pressed clays. The pressed clays may be covered with metallic oxides or ceramic stains as well as a matte surface or a glaze. Ceramic tile flooring is a popular choice for kitchens due to its strength and durability, cost-effectiveness, low-maintenance, heat resistance and easy installation. Ceramic tile flooring may be installed in a variety of different patterns, and it is available in a wide variety of styles, shapes and colors. No matter what design or pattern you choose, once the tile is laid, the spaces between the tiles are filled in with an epoxy grout. Not only does epoxy grout help hold ceramic tile flooring in place, it also helps resist stains.
Glazed and Unglazed Ceramic Tiles
There are two basic types of ceramic tile flooring: glazed and unglazed. The most common type of ceramic tile flooring is glazed. Glaze or enamel provides shine and color to the tile whereas unglazed ceramic tiles' color comes directly from the clay. Colored glazes are available in a variety of shades ranging from yellow to red. Glazed ceramic tile flooring is virtually stain and water-resistant and it doesn't require special cleaning or maintenance. There are many different types of unglazed ceramic tile flooring such as quarry or encaustic.
Quarry and Encaustic Ceramic Tiles (Unglazed)
Quarry ceramic tiles are the most basic type of ceramic tile flooring and they are typically square or rectangular in shape. Quarry ceramic tiles are basically slabs of clay that are baked in a kiln. Quarry tiles are typically brown, red, or gray in color, and this type of flooring is very popular in Mexico. Encaustic ceramic tile flooring is a traditional decorative tile available in square, octagon, or custom shapes. Encaustic tile flooring is unique in that the designs or decorations are made into the surface of tile.