Various methods of production and surface treatment, in the manufacture of ceramic tiles, give a wide variety of surfaces.
The surface of the tile can be:
Finishing the front side of the tile not only gives it decorative properties, but also provides certain performance characteristics.
In the manufacture of glazed tiles, a mineral composition is applied to the formed workpiece, after which the product is fired. After the coating melts and cools down, a glass layer forms on the surface, which can be opaque, transparent or white. By varying the content of minerals and pigments, manufacturers obtain products with the desired color and pattern.
The glaze is applied to fired or dried tiles, depending on the number of firing applications. After coating with enamel, the material acquires increased strength and does not allow moisture to pass through, and also protects the product from dirt and stains.
Matte porcelain stoneware made with innovative Italian equipment is of particular value to modern designers. The product is characterized by increased durability, ease of maintenance, and no slip effect. The low level of moisture absorption allows the use of porcelain stoneware for covering walls and floors in rooms with high humidity. Due to its density and resistance to abrasion, the material has proven itself well for facing external walls, steps, vestibules.
With this type of surface, not ceramic tiles are produced, but porcelain stoneware. Smoothing and glossing the face of the tile is ensured by sanding. After cutting off the top layer obtained after firing, the surface is ground with abrasive discs and then polished.
For the production of polished tiles, homogeneous (completely stained with pigments) porcelain stoneware is used. To increase the service life of such a material, it is necessary to apply a special mastic to its surface immediately after laying.
The technology for manufacturing lapped (semi-polished) tiles is similar to the technology for producing polished porcelain stoneware. Only the top layer is removed using coarser abrasives to obtain an unevenly sanded surface. As a result, two types of areas are formed on the tiles: perfectly polished and rough.
The lapped porcelain stoneware has a soft gloss effect and looks very attractive. Due to its non-slip and increased wear resistance, the material is often used in places with high traffic.
The peculiarity of structured materials (tiles and porcelain stoneware) is their peculiar surface, which imitates natural materials. The product can have a texture that resembles natural stone, wood, leather and even foliage. The corrugated surface perfectly prevents slipping, therefore structured tiles are applicable in places with high humidity (bathrooms, saunas, swimming pools).