What are Vitrified Tiles?
Ever wondered what vitrified means, what vitrified tiles are, what advantages they bring and how vitrified porcelain tiles differ from ceramic tiles? Porcel-Thin is here to take the mystery out of porcelain tile manufacturing and to make the vitrification process as transparent as its namesake.
What does vitrified mean?
- When the mix for a porcelain tile (such as silica and sand) is fired, it vitrifies due to the high temperatures. Vitrification (from the Latin vitreum, "glass" via the French vitrifier) means to become glass-like or to be transformed into a non-crystalline amorphous solid.
- Molten silica fills the gaps and air bubbles that would otherwise be left exposed and fuses to make porcelain tiles tough, dense and impermeable to water. There are many other advantages to vitrified porcelain tiles explored below.
What’s the difference between ceramic tiles and vitrified porcelain tiles?
- Ceramic tiles are more like cement, in that they’re porous and less suitable for wet or even moist environments and conditions. Porcelain tiles are fired at a much higher temperature than ceramic tiles, generally 1000-1400 degrees centigrade, and it is this process that causes the tile to become vitrified.
- Porcelain tiles are fully vitrified with a water absorption of 0.5% or less. This means they’re denser and absorb less water so perfect for bathrooms, wetrooms, kitchens and outdoors.
What are the advantages of vitrified porcelain tiles?
- They’re individually pressed for greater strength and won’t crack under pressure from heat.
- They’re resistant to scratches and wear and tear, making them easy to maintain.
- They’re resistant to stains and chemicals and so easy to clean.
- They’re highly resistant to water (Porcel-thin tiles have ultra-low water absorption of below 0.5%).
- They lend themselves to the latest 3D printing technology, meaning Porcel-Thin tiles. especially, are available in a wonderful selection of colours, styles and finishes.
- They can be used anywhere in the home and commercial settings, including high-traffic areas inside and outside.
- They can be used as wall tiles and floor tiles as well cladding and paving.
- They can have underfloor heating installed beneath and are excellent heat conductors so your feet can stay toasty.
- The Porcel-Thin collection comes in an ultra-thin, lightweight form for easy installation.
- The Porcel-Thin collection comes in an extra-large format (up to 240 x 120 cm in Leviathan).
- Because of the many advantages stated above, they’re extremely cost effective.
- Many porcelain tiles contain recycled content and the manufacturing processes, for Porcel-Thin tiles especially, has a far lower environmental impact than those for standard porcelain products.
To find out just how varied and versatile Porcel-Thin’s vitrified porcelain tiles are, please explore our collections and case studies. For more information on the significance and impact of vitrified tiles, contact us.