Porcelain Tile FAQ’s 2022

What are porcelain tiles?

In the most general terms, porcelain tiles are kiln-fired clay products. They are required to have a water absorption of 0.5 %, or less when measured by commonly accepted international testing standards. This particular firing process results in a material that is impervious to staining and extremely durable.

Are porcelain tiles strong? 

Yes. This strength is due to their refined clay content and the extraordinarily high temperature of 2000° F that they are fired at. This production process yields a fully vitrified tile that is considered to be stronger than granite and marble.

Are porcelain tiles expensive? 

As with so many of our product categories, we have a nice range of porcelain tile price points for every budget. So, the answer is no.

Are porcelain tiles durable?

Yes. We have previously discussed the manufacturing process that uses refined, pressed clay, which is then kiln-fired at very high temperatures, resulting in a dense, impervious tile body. This translates into a product that has a lifecycle that can be measured in decades.

Are porcelain tiles slippery?

The question of whether any flooring is slippery needs qualification. Is the area inside or outside? Is it subject to standing water? Is it sloped or ramped? In the case of porcelain tiles, what texture is being used? As a rule, these tiles are subject to testing for ADA compliance, which will set a baseline of slip resistance. Nevertheless, common sense must prevail. Marble Systems can offer solid advice.

What does “rectified” mean? 

Typically, a kiln-fired clay product will shrink a little bit from start to finish during the firing process. Think of pastry contracting in your oven as the dough mixture loses water from the heat. When a porcelain tile has been “rectified,” it was intentionally made a little larger. Then, after firing, the resultant material is machine cut down perfectly to size. This allows individual tiles to be installed very close together.

Where can porcelain tiles be used? 

Porcelain tiles are used regularly as flooring and wall covering in both residential and commercial settings. They are also a freeze/thaw stable material that will perform well in climates where that is a concern.

Should porcelain tile be sealed?

The rule of thumb says no. These tiles will absorb almost no moisture, so they are considered vitreous and impervious. Consequently, a sealer will simply sit on the top of the tiles and will itself have to be maintained.