We’ll show you some curiosities to understand our ceramic.
The ceramic tiles are slabs of various size and even relatively thin, made of ceramic material obtained from mixtures of clays, sand and other natural substances. They carry out different functions: the aesthetics and furnishing functions, the technical one of building material able to withstand the solicitations produced by the time and environment that surrounds them.
The tiles are subdivided into GLAZED and UNGLAZED depending on whether they are or not equipped with a coating called glaze. The function of the glaze, beside the decoration, is making the surface impermeable as, for example, often are the coatings for bathrooms and kitchens.
They are distinguished according to the firing and the glazing:
MONOPOROSA – BICOTTURA (DOUBLE FIRING)– MAIOLICA (MAJOLICA): the glaze is applied on a precooked ceramic support and then passes to a second firing, they are suitable especially for internal lining as they are not frost-proof, they can be in Red or White Pasta;
MONOCOTTURA (SINGLE FIRING): it is fired at temperatures between 900 ° and 1100 ° and the glaze is applied after the pressing and before firing, so that the dough and glaze are fired in a single solution and are divided into RED PASTA, suitable especially for indoor floors, while the WHITE PASTA with low absorption also for outdoor floors.
GRES PORCELLANATO (PORCELAIN STONEWARE): provides for firing at much higher temperatures reaching 1250 °, high temperature allows the use of raw materials such as clays, quartz, glazes, phosphates etc. of better quality, giving the tile a great compactness and above all a lower degree of porosity therefore a very low water absorption (<= 0.5%). The glazling process is the same as the one of single firing in a single solution, it can be glazed or unglazed, uniformly coloured or with a not coloured support. It is ideal for the great technical characteristics for all its fields of use. Subsequent processing is possible, such as: sanding, lapping, grinding with the purpose of the aesthetic aspects. Tiles produced in the European Union must have the CE mark on the packaging.
The tiles have very precise technical characteristics whose measurement, codified by national and international standards, it contributes to the definition of the various categories of tiles according to their intended use.
The most relevant technical features for the purchase of a tile are:
The choice of tiles, being made with natural materials and subjected to a physical process such as pressing, firing and drying can, by definition, have variations in color or shape caused by various factors such as air humidity or the temperature of the oven.
For this reason, before being boxed it is essential to subject the tiles to accurate controls with the aim of giving them a ranking. So a classification is made based on the defects: 1st choice of absence of defects, commercial choice and mixed choice of MS or SE in which various types of defects can be found and in which the tile gauge and tone are not defined.
The tile gauge indicates with millimetric precision the actual tile size, a measure that may differ from the nominal size within the limits defined by the standard.
The Tone of the tile indicates the color tone with reference to the production.
The Sliding Resistance is the characteristic that indicates the involvement of the safety and health of the users based on the flooring, because slippery floors are potential causes of injuries, even serious ones: this is why this feature plays a very important role in the design of public buildings such as offices, restaurants, industries … etc.
The slipperiness coefficients indicated by the “R” value classify the products according to the specific needs of the intended use, indicated according to a growing order of danger, with particular reference to industrial and commercial environments.
The values range from R9 for materials that have passed the first level of the test up to R13, indicated for particular processes.
In general, in the choice of a tile for residential use, it can be considered as a guiding criterion to use tiles that are R9 for all interior floors and R10 or R11 for the external.
Water absorption indicates the measure of porosity of the tile, it is codified at an international level, it expects to express porosity as a percentage by weight of water absorbed in various pre-established conditions.
Resistance to Abrasion indicates the resistance that the surface of the tile opposes to the wear caused by the contact with the various materials that we can find in houses or offices, such as powders, silicas, soles of shoes but also furniture, chairs, toys, trolleys and others vehicles and even the same cleaning activities with dusters, brooms, powder detergents. The effects of abrasion can be the removal and consumption of the tile surface or alteration of the aesthetic characteristics, with color variation and loss of gloss.
The measure of the resistance to abrasion is made in specialized laboratories and as far as the glazed tiles are concerned they result in their assignment to a class of resistance to abrasion indicated by the increasing value of the PEI index, from a minimum of 0 for the least resistant tiles to a maximum of 5 for the most resistant.