Harder Than Granite
Porcelain tiles are manufactured from extremely pure clays and minerals that are shaped by dry pressing and then fired at very high temperatures (1250ºC). The result is a fully vitrified tile with an extremely low level of water absorption. It is harder, stronger, and more durable than any natural stone – even granite – and has superior chip resistance.
It is so strong that it is frequently used in car and boat showrooms as well as on external driveways.
High Traffic Areas
With no surface glaze to wear through, the tiles’appearance will stay the same for the life of the tile. This is why porcelain is specified for high-traffic commercial and industrial applications such as airports, rail stations, shopping malls, department stores, restaurants, hotels, offices and educational buildings.
Porcelain also tolerates sub-zero temperatures. This important quality makes it an ideal solution for external applications such as cladding, patios, conservatories, swimming pools and hard landscaping in cold climates.
Porcelain is virtually impervious to water. Unlike natural stone, the tiles will not be damaged by water, so sealants are unnecessary. If flooded, the tiles simply need to be dried and cleaned; other materials would need to be replaced. In addition porcelain tiles are the most appropriate flooring type for underfloor heating as they retain heat efficiently.
Because porcelain is impermeable and extremely hygienic, it is often specified for areas requiring rigorous hygiene regimes, such as clinics and hospitals, medical practices, laboratories and beauty salons. It is also impervious to acids, alkalis, strong detergents and solvents – nothing can penetrate the surface of the tile to damage it. This is an important attribute for laboratories, stores and testing areas.
Porcelain is made from natural raw materials, and the minimal waste is recycled back into the manufacturing process. It contains no chemicals such as waterproofing agents, varnishes or resins. Unlike natural stone, it is not polished using lead and does not give off any gasses when exposed to flame.