Ceramic tiles are generally categorized as glazed or unglazed; and there’s also a differentiation between porcelain and ceramic tiles. Both glazed and unglazed ceramic tiles are made from clay, shale and other minerals, and sand. They are fired at high temperatures. Glazed ceramic tiles are ceramic tiles that are coated with a layer of melted glass before or after the first firing. Unglazed types, on the other hand, do not go through the coating or glazing process, hence, their “unglazed” distinction. Because its color and finish does not depend on a coating, its color is uniform and uninterrupted from the top surface to the bottom of the tile. This property is often referred to as full-body or through-body color for unglazed porcelain tiles which are denser and higher in mechanical strength.
The earthy tone and rough texture of these tiles make them the popular choice for outdoor surfaces. This earthen aesthetic appeal blends easily with natural landscapes and exterior features. While they have high slip resistance, their resistance to stain and moisture is low. Fortunately, this is easily addressed by applying a clear sealant over the tile surface to increase resistance to water and stain. When properly sealed, they are scratch-resistant, slip resistant, and practically impervious to water and staining.
The hard-wearing quality of unglazed porcelain tiles makes them the perfect choice for home surfaces which are subjected to heavy foot traffic and wear.
Their slip-resistant unglazed finish makes them the best choice for frequently wet floor areas, where safety might be an issue. For this reason, unglazed tiles are usually installed in the laundry room, kitchen flooring or outdoor areas.
Terracotta tiles are unglazed ceramic tiles with burnt reddish brown appearance that makes them look like they came right from a Tuscany reclaimed antique wine cellar. They look warm under the feet for kitchens, patio, outdoor dining spaces, decking and pavers.
Porcelain tiles, whether glazed or unglazed, are offered in such variety of decorative finishes that their use is not limited to home installations. Unglazed porcelain tiles, also called natural porcelain, are often used indoor for commercial areas because they are exceptionally impervious to moisture, wear, freeze and thaw cycles, and heavy foot traffic. Textures can be rough, but can be polished like natural stone tiles. This involves a process similar to polishing stone tiles, such as marble and travertine, to bring out their natural sheen.
Unglazed tiles are available in a range of colors – off white, pale beige, sandy grey, reddish tan to dark hues of brown, but they are all naturally earth-toned. This allows designers and installers the liberty to choose from a wide variety of sizes, colors and tones, designs and effects.
Bring the warmth of the earth to your living and working spaces. Play with naturally textured surfaces indoor and outdoor with these resilient unglazed ceramic tiles.