Ceramic tile comes in two varieties. Porcelain or non-porcelain. The traditional tile is non-porcelain made from white, red or brown clay. Porcelain is the same but with 50% feldspar or white sand. Feldspar is more common than quartz, and has aluminum, potash, soda, lime or baryta incorporated as well. Feldspar makes up about 41% of the earth’s crust. Feldspar is derived from a German word meaning “field” and “flake”.
Glazed & Unglazed Tile
Ceramic tiles are glazed or unglazed with matte, semi-gloss or high-gloss finish. Glazed tiles have better stain resistance, scratch resistance, traction and decreased water absorption in comparison to unglazed tile. As the manufacturing process is controlled there is more uniformity in the tile than any of the natural tiles, but that can be made to realistically mimic the natural stone tiles. Non-porcelain tiles are the most economical tile flooring available. The other synthetic but mineral based tiles are brick, cement, glass, encaustic, Saltillo and terra cotta tile.
How is Natural Stone Flooring Made?
Whereas, ceramic tiles and other synthetics are mixed and are controlled throughout the manufacturing processes, natural stone is quarried, slabbed, finished and cut to size. Being a natural product stone varies, sometimes dramatically from one tile to the other. There is little or no control over the coloration and texture of the tile. Most must be sealed to protect the tile from water, stains and abrasion. Granite is a very dense igneous rock. Igneous means it was formed from liquid material like lava. It is speckled with various minerals that are mixed it during formation and cooling. Its density and hardness make it ideal for high traffic areas and kitchens. It is nearly impervious. Metamorphic rock is formed under heat and pressure, unlike igneous rock it doesn’t hot enough to liquify. Marble is a metamorphic rock. It has a richness to the veins and a more porous texture. Not recommended for the kitchen unless it is honed and resealed on a regular basis. It is metamorphic limestone. Limestone is a sedimentary rock. It comes in an offering of various shades from light to dark. The surface can be polished or left smooth. Limestone if less dense than marble or granite. It is easily stained and softer, prone to scratching. It is not recommended for high-traffic areas or kitchens. Travertine is a type of limestone. It has a crystallized appearance in earthy tones. It is soft, porous with natural surface that has pitting or divots. Only after filling these surface voids can the material be honed and polished. Not for kitchens as it stains easily and scratches readily. Special care and surface sealing are required with travertine. Slate is a metamorphic rock and is extremely dense and durable. Not only used on floors but as roofing as well. It has dark earthy tones, but its surface is naturally textured and less smooth unless honed and polished. Another good high-traffic and kitchen choice.
Cleaning Natural Stone
Caution should be used when cleaning natural tiles. A lot of experience with the appropriate cleaning agents and the flooring material is required to be effective. Limestone products, including marble and travertine are very susceptible to damage by acidic cleaners. Limestone is a base material and will dissolve in the presence of acidic components. The marble faces of buildings and statutes and other marble or limestone-based materials are deteriorating in the face and onslaught of pollution related effects including acidic rain.
Tile & Grout Cleaning Cleaning in Aliante, Anthem, Desert Shores, Eldorado, Enterprise, Green Valley Ranch, Henderson, Inspirada, Mountain’s Edge, North LV, Peccole Ranch, Paradise, Providence, Rhodes Ranch, Seven Hills, Silverado Ranch, Spring Valley, Summerlin, Sunrise Manor, The Lakes, Tuscany Village & Las Vegas Nevada
When refinishing natural stone and resealing it is best to turn to a pro. Silver State Floor Restoration can handle all your manmade tile and natural stone cleaning, sealing, polishing and restoration needs. Call us today to schedule your next appointment.