Difference between ceramic and vitrified tiles – Application

Ceramic and Vitrified Tiles

A tile is a thin, flat piece which is generally used for covering floors, walls, roofs, etc. They are made up of different materials like stone, concrete, hard clay, linoleum, rubber, etc. Depending upon the place where we use it.

Now, Let us discuss ceramic and vitrified tiles one by one.

Ceramic Tiles

Difference between ceramic and vitrified tiles - Application

Ceramic tiles are made from non-metallic minerals like natural clay. For the manufacture of ceramic tiles, natural clay is mixed with water and molded.

To prevent the tile from water absorption and scratches it is applied with “glaze”, then to harden it, we simply fire the clay in the kiln.

Ceramic tiles are widely used for the purpose of interior decorations on the floor and wall. They are highly in demand due to their low cost, aesthetic look, availability in different colors, shapes, and textures, easier to apply and maintain, resistivity to stain, etc.

Applications of Ceramic tiles

1) Walls

Ceramic tiles can be used in both interior and exterior walls. But, due to its natural look and texture, it’s preferred for interior walls.

So, for interior walls, they can be used to make walls of the living room elegant, to add different color patterns in our room, and also can be used in our kid’s rooms to add pop-up colors.

They provide major benefits when applied to exterior walls as well. They don’t absorb heat. As a result, they provide a cooling effect during the summer months. Also, they can easily be cleaned, so the atmospheric dust can easily be cleaned in exterior ceramic wall tiles.

2) Flooring

Ceramic tiles are widely preferred in flooring. Mainly by residential buildings like apartments. This is because of its low cost, availability in various colors and shapes, easier to apply and maintain.

3) Kitchen Countertops

Ceramic tiles could be a great choice for kitchen countertops. Due to the presence of glaze in ceramic tile, it is water and stain-resistant, which can be significant and advantageous for the kitchen area. Also, in addition, they can easily be cleaned.

4) Walkways

Ceramic tiles in walkways are widely advised and used due to its property of anti-skidding and heat resistance.

Also in the walkway of places like parks and gardens, ceramic tiles are preferred because of the various shapes and multi-color patterns available in the market, which makes the walkways refreshing, intriguing, and non-repetitive.

5) Exterior patios

Ceramic tiles for the exterior patios is an excellent choice, as it makes perfect walkway for outdoor due to its rough texture and anti-skid property.

Also, they are preferred because they are durable, cheap compared to stone tiles, their water-resistant properties which prevent from forming water build-up, and because they are available in a variety of colors and pattern.

6) Bathrooms

Walls of bathrooms can be covered with ceramic tiles. Also, the floor of the bathroom can be filled with ceramic tiles, as they are less slippery.

Other applications of ceramic tile

Kitchen backsplash, Outdoor terrace, balcony, swimming pool areas, driveway, near parking, etc.

Vitrified Tiles

Difference between ceramic and vitrified tiles - Application

The word “vitrify” refers to the process of converting into a glass or glassy substance by heat or fusion.

Vitrified tiles are pretty much similar to ceramic tiles, with very low porosity, and are very hard. Vitrified tiles are widely used and preferred outdoors due to its property of frost and water resistance. It is being used as an alternative for marble and granite flooring.

They are prepared or manufactured by hydraulic pressing a mixture of 40% clay, 60%silica along with quartz and feldspar, which makes a vitreous surface. Hence, leading to making a very hard single mass with low porosity.

Vitrified tiles are classified into four types. They are Double Charge Vitrified Tiles, Full Body Vitrified Tiles, Soluble Salt Vitrified Tiles, and Glazed Body Vitrified Tiles.

Applications of vitrified tiles

1) Exterior Walls

Vitrified tiles are preferred over ceramic tiles when tiles are used in outdoor walls. This is because vitrified tiles have an absorption rate of 0.5%, which is almost frost-proof, while ceramic tiles have an absorption rate of 3% to 7% making it less preferable.

2) Floorings

Vitrified tiles can be used for flooring in the bedroom, living room, dining room, as we have heavy furniture in these rooms and tiles need to be extremely strong to withstand such pressure. And Vitrified tiles are perfect for those places due to their strong and less brittle nature.

3) Walkways

Since we already know vitrified tiles are utterly strong due to its preparation by the process of vitrification. These tiles are highly suitable in the heavy traffic areas like walkways or footpath.

4) Kitchen

Due to its property of stain and scratch-resistant. They are preferred in the kitchen as well.

Other Applications

Bathroom, or any other outdoor areas with high traffic.

Differences between ceramic and vitrified tiles

           Ceramic Tiles                 Vitrified Tiles
They are prepared by mixing earth clay with water.They are prepared by mixing clay, silica, quartz, and feldspar.
They always have to be glazed for protection.They don’t have to be glazed. As the shine can be given with manual polish.
They are less strong and have a low flexural and breaking strength.They are stronger and have a high flexural and breaking strength.
They are porous. So, absorbs water quickly.They are non-porous. Hence, water absorption is negligible.
They are comparatively rough and external glaze is applied for the glossy look.They are smooth and glossy.
They have a natural, earthly, and elegant look.They have artificial look.
Ceramic tiles have low frost resistance.Vitrified tiles have high frost resistance due to its non-porosity.
They have a low resistance to scratch and stains.They have high resistance to scratch and stains.
They are comparatively less slippery than vitrified tiles.They are very slippery when wet.
They are available in smaller sizes.They are available in bigger sizes in the market.
Direct exposure of tiles to the sunlight will cause to remove the color of the tile frequently.In the case of vitrified tiles, there is no effect of sunlight. So, the color will remain the same all the time.
They are not easy to maintain and also difficult to install, as it requires skilled labour.They are easier to maintain and install, as it doesn’t require skilled labour.
They are comparatively cheaper.They are comparatively expensive.
They are less durable than vitrified tiles.They are more durable than ceramic tiles due to its glass-like surface.
Ceramic and Vitrified tiles

I hope this article remains helpful for you.

Happy Learning – Civil Concept

Contributed by,

Civil Engineer – Mohan Khadka

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