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this is a detailed research on ceramic tiles; their raw materials, construction and making, installation, advantages and much more. it explains in details about the process and production of ceramic tiles.
The following research is about Ceramic Tiles, its types, uses, properties and other detailed
Ceramics are generally metallic or non metallic oxides, carbide and nitrides and have very
high melting point and very low toughness( highly brittle).
They fall under the categories of floorings and wall finish materials.
They are widely used all over the world, affordable and durable. They are very much suitable
for any interior purposes with functionality and elegance.
The production of tiles started from ancient times such as the Egyptians, the Babylonians,
and the Assyrians.
Major raw materials for ceramic tiles production are sand, white clay, talc,
feldspar, calcite and dolomite.
Ceramic tiles manufacturing requires a clay base body which is often
terracotta, porcelain or stoneware. The clay body is usually a mixture of
different clays and sometimes silica, sand, grog or feldspar. The purpose of
using a clay base body is because the clay-water composition can maintain
strength and shape during the process of firing and drying.
Ceramic tiles also have mineral raw materials which are nonmetallic,
inorganic, crystalline solids formed by complex geologic processes.
Tiles can also be glazed or non-glazed. The glazing is made from silica,
fluxes, stabilizers, colorant for the desired effect, texture or color, clays
and other materials.
Batching: different types of ceramic tiles require different raw materials in varied proportions. In batching
they process the right amounts of raw materials along with the color composition of clays and color
Mixing and grinding: after weighing out the raw materials they are added into a shell miser which tumble
around and mix everything. They also use a ribbon mixer which grinds the materials. Sometimes they
might add water to mix things properly.
Spray drying: the mixed slurry is dried via an atomizer consisting rapidly rotating nozzle. As the hot air
column rises, droplets coming from nozzle dries and turn into flowing granules, which then results in
Forming: this step varies based on which type of tile is made. Mostly it is dry pressed where the powder
along with organic binder flows from a hopper into a forming mold and then compressed by steal
plungers (high pressure and high heat). Another method is extrusion which is used for making irregular
shaped tiles, which This involves compacting a plastic mass in a high-pressure cylinder and forcing the
material to flow out of the cylinder into short slugs. The slugs are then punched into tiles using hydraulic
punching presses. This method is more economic.
Pressure glazing is another process which has recently been developed, which combines glazing and shaping
simultaneously by pressing the glaze (in spray-dried powder form) directly in the die filled with the tile body
powder. The advantage of this is it eliminates glazing lines and glazing waste materials(called sludge).
Drying: after the formation the tiles must be dried to remove water content in slow rate (to prevent
cracks).the tunnel driers are usually heated with gas, oil, infrared lamps or microwave energy. Impulse drying
is a method where pulses of hot air flows in a transverse direction instead of continuously in the material flow
Glazing: there are different methods of glazing too, such as centrifugal glazing (glaze is fed through a
rotating disc that flings or throws the glaze onto the tile), waterfall method (stream of glaze falls onto the
tile), spray glazing, screen printing (for multiple application), and dry glazing (application of glaze mixture in
powdered form on wet tile surface which melts after firing.
Firing: this is the last step where the glazed tiles undergo kiln or roller kiln with various temperature
adjustments and fired into strong, finished tiles which then go for testing and packaging.
Water absorption: Water absorption is a characteristic that shows the level of tile porosity. If the
water absorption is more, the porosity is greater, and vice versa. The porosity in ceramic tiles is
3%, meaning the structure is more compact, and are resistant to dampening and freezing.
Resistant to chemicals: ceramic tiles are tested to be resistant to abrasion, corrosion and
household chemicals, acids, etc. therefore it can be widely used almost anywhere.
Ceramic tiles can be maintained and cleaned very easily.
Strong, durable. Makes a very good surface for walking, hence as flooring material, as well as
for wall material. They are tested for their resistant to loads of human and furnitures, to resist
bending and breaking, scratches and other wear and tear.
Resistant to catching fire, heat resistant, resistance to thermal shocks, resistance to frost, and for
glazed tiles, resistance to crazing.
Types of Ceramic tiles
The basic classification of tiles is glazed and non glazed tiles, pressed and extruded tiles, such as, sinter, klinker,
Terracotta, Majolica, quarry, porcelain, tiles with red biscuits, tiles with white biscuit and mosaic. There are also
varieties of ceramic tiles based on their shapes, uses in a certain space and whether it will be a material for floors or
Porcelain ceramic tile is made from clay and
minerals and are 50% of a white dust called
feldspar. It is a type of crystal that acts as a
flux during the kiln-drying process. It melts
into a glass-like material and bonds all of the
molded ingredients together. These are harder
than normal ceramic tiles and offer more
flexibility. Most porcelain tiles are suitable
for both interior and exterior uses.
It is a type of earthenware ceramic tile which can be both
roof tiles, floorings and walls, such as Chinese imperial roof
decoration, the antefix of western classical architecture, West
Bengal in India, and much more.
Terracotta tiles have a reddish brown tint to it, giving it an
appearance of earth or clay. They are also known as Mexican
tiles. They are usually fired at low temperature and have more
natural composition. In modern interior uses, terracotta tiles are
often glazed, or treated to seal everything once it is installed
which gives a rustic texture.
Ceramic tiles are pressed under high temperature and pressure, then fired in kiln. Here,
as quarry tiles, they are squeezed out (extrusion process) rather than pressing. This
process leads to a rough finish and variability in shapes and sizes. Traditionally they are
brown in color, although they are now found in black and shades of greys.
Quarry tiles are extensively used for floorings because of there durable and all the other
suitable properties and aesthetical appearances.
Uses in interior spaces
Ceramic tiles as flooring material is an wonderful and long lasting option because of their strength and
durability. They are widely used in residential spaces, offices and other public spaces, and if not, they are
always preferred as bathroom floors and walls.
Being water resistant and easy cleaning, they are the best solution for kitchen floors and walls.
They can be made in any size, shape, color, texture and even can be used as murals. So the huge variety
allows people to choose according to their desire, hence serving both functionally and aesthetically.
Some innovative uses:
Decorative ceramic tiles can be used as headboards for the bedroom.
A portion of any hard flooring can be covered by different tiles, acting like carpet.
Tiles can be used as table or counter top to make furnitures unique and also durable, scratch free
Can be used as cladding of walls or for covering fireplace frame instead of using bricks.
A contrast can be made using different shades and designs of tiles on walls or floors for decorative
The glazed ceramic tiles have protective layer on top and are water and high humidity resistant and resistance from stain
penetration. So they are useful both for indoor and outdoors, such as kitchen walls and floorings, outdoor walls, roofs,
etc. in one words, are very functional in places where there is a chance of moisture or dampness.
They are extremely tough and durable. A good quality installation of ceramic tiles can last 10 to 20 years long. They are
also resistance to scratches, shattering and bending.
Maintenance of ceramic tiles is so easy, normally requires just sweeping or vacuuming.
Ceramic tiles are found in wide variety according to the need of color scheme, function, use in certain space, etc. they can
be cut into various shapes and sizes and can be colored in every shades required or printed digitally on.
They are cost effective, thus making it affordable almost to everyone. Also they have a huge availability in market
Allergen concerns: being hard and strong they are resistant to dust or pollen to stick on, making it healthy for people who
are prone to allergies.
The ceramic tiles are extremely tough and hard flooring which sometimes make it not comfortable to stand
on, unlike the resilient flooring.
They are heat resistant, means they are always cold. It can be comfortable for summer seasons but in winter
the ceramic tiles will stay cold. So they might not be suitable for interior floorings and walls in cold countries.
Ceramic tiles are hard and heavy and they need to be installed using a variety of mortars, grouts, and tools,
making the process of installation time consuming and hard. For this reason the installation cost is always
high in case of ceramic.
Being heavy weighted, they may not always be appropriate for upper story installations.
They are not sound insulated, meaning they make sound during walking and similar activities. So they can not
be used in places which require sound insulation, like conference hall, examination auditorium, theatres, etc.
The hard surface favor accidents unlike soft flooring, or resilient ones.
Ceramic and Porcelain tile is made using 100% plentiful, natural materials (clay, feldspar, quartz). They
have a lower impact on the environment than most other finishing materials, in terms of both the
manufacturing process and the built environment after they are installed.
Over the last 10 years the focus of the ceramic tile industry, particularly within Europe, has been on
adopting an integrated approach towards sustainability, to avoid pollution and limit the consumption of
They are not an original source of contaminants nor will they absorb or release other contaminants.
Also they do not support bacterial or fungal growth.
They can also be recycled and reused.
Mark guidelines for the floor layout if necessary. Marking a grid of guidelines will allow us to quickly
notice if the tile is running outside the planned layout. It is important to determine the best spot to begin
the tile installation
Mix some thin set mortar as described above for setting the concrete backer board substrate.
Use a notched trowel to spread the thin set mortar in a manageable area and work it onto the backer
board. The grooves in the mortar will allow any air under the tile to escape, minimizing air pockets and
Set the tiles into place and gently wiggle them to ensure full coverage of the thin set and to eliminate
any air beneath the tile. Use spacers to keep the tile straight and check the guidelines to keep the layout
Adjust and cut tiles as required prior to space shape and the size of room.
Unglazed porcelain tile should be protected with a penetrating sealer, such as Sta-Clene, Bullet
Proof or Impregnator Pro, including the grout lines.
Cementitious grout must be sealed to prevent or minimize staining. If left unsealed, it might be hard
to remove stains completely in the future use. The sealer must also be cured for 72 hours after
If sealer was not completely wiped off and a residue appears, wipe entire surface with a towel
dampened with sealer. Use a white, non-abrasive nylon brush to loosen residue and follow with a
clean, white absorbent towel to remove.
A full cure should be done after 24-48 hours of installation. The space can be set to full use after 4
hours of complete curing. If foot traffic must resume before the recommended time of cure, the area
can be covered with red rosin paper.
Normal daily maintenance include sweeping with damp cloth or soft brush, vacuuming, using dust
or stain remover, etc.