Tag Archives: ceramic flooring

How Ceramic Tile is Made

ceramic tileNot too long ago ceramic tiles were hand-made. A mound of wet clay was carefully shaped using a wooden mold and then left in the sun to dry or fired in brick kilns. Although a small percentage of ceramic tiles are still made the traditional way, the vast majority are made through a process known as ‘dry pressing’ or ‘dust pressing.’ This process is highly efficient and requires far less time and labor to produce than previous methods, a factor that has made ceramic tiles very common in modern construction. This is opposed to the past when they were reserved for Eastern Kings only! Below are the various processes involved in ceramic tile making:

Drying

Every ceramic life begins its life as a lump of earth. The final product is essentially baked earth. Various ceramic tile manufacturers use different methods to make the tiles, but the common denominator is that all use clay as the raw material. Other ingredients such as feldspar, sand, quartz, and water are added to the clay. The ingredients are carefully mixed together in the right proportions into a ball mill in order to create a body slip. The body slip differentiates the tile’s body from its glazed topping. The body slip is 30% water. The moisture helps the different ingredients stick together. The body slip is placed into a hot dryer to remove most of the moisture. This continues until the moisture content drops to just 6%.

The drying process essentially reduces the body slip to a lump of dust. This is placed inside a large hydraulic or electric-powered press. The press uses enormous pressure to press the dust to a particular size and shape. When I say enormous pressure, that’s exactly what I mean; something in the range of a few hundred, up to 100,000 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). The pressure is necessary to give the ceramic tiles high tensile strength. Presses sometimes have shaped imprints such as diamonds and ovals that correspond to the tile shape. Once the body is pressed into shape, it’s now called the ‘‘bisque.’’ It is further dried to completely remove the moisture.

Glazing

Glaze refers to the shiny substance found on top and at the sides of ceramic tiles. Glaze is either sprayed directly or silk-screened on top of the tiles. It can be finished in either high gloss or matte. Various color pigments are added to the tile to impart the desired color. Glazing is not absolutely necessary in tile production, although it’s almost always used.

Baking

All ceramic tiles undergo baking before they are complete. The tile is referred to as a ‘‘green tile’’ just before it undergoes baking. Tiles were traditionally fired in a periodic kiln for several hours. Modern kilns, however, are the continuous type, and are far more efficient than the traditional periodic ones. Continuous kilns include roller-hearth kilns and tunnel kilns. The temperatures inside kilns are quite high and reach 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit (about 1,371 degrees centigrade). High temperatures are necessary for the production of high-strength tiles.

Colors and Patterns

Tiles are re-fired by baking, using a method known as bicottura. This is used to produce tiles with many different colors and patterns. The prefix ‘bi’ in bicottura does not mean that the tile is fired only twice; in fact it can be fired several times. A different type of colored glaze is applied to the tile before each firing cycle and this is repeated until the desired final product is achieved.

The type of finish applied by the manufacturer determines how slippery the tile will be when wet. Tile manufacturers use a rating system to classify their tiles for different applications. This ranges from Class 1 to Class 5.

Located in Cleveland, Ohio, Pucher’s is a family-owned Home Decorating Company. We are a highly reputable home decorating company serving residents of Berea, Westlake, and North Royalton. Our services include the installation of ceramic flooring and wood floors as well as the sale of window treatments such as stylish shades, blinds and draperies. If you need state-of-the-art ceramic tiles for your floor, just call or visit us and you can select from our great collection of top brands such as Onyx Accent Tile, Emser Tile, DalTile, Marazzi USA, Mannington Porcelain, and our classic Pucher’s DesignPro Ceramic Tile.

Flooring From Pucher’s

mar292013Flooring is a necessity and too often we attempt to take some shortcuts because we are sure that will save some money. One of the most common shortcuts taken with flooring is to go with a discount provider that sells and installs the project, and who often leaves the buyer with unsatisfactory results. Naturally, this can make it likely that a property owner ends up spending even more to get the job done properly, and it could all have been avoided by simply turning to a quality vendor.

Going with Flooring from Pucher’s

Since 1928, property owners in the Cleveland, OH area have turned to Pucher’s for their flooring needs. Today, it is one of the wisest choices that could be made because the firm has decades of experience, a commitment to top of the line customer service, and an extensive array of flooring options.

For instance, you can get the most popular types of carpeting from the most trusted manufacturers, but you can also explore options in ceramic tile, laminate, vinyl, wood, and cork flooring options too. They even have high-quality area rugs as well.

Additionally, Pucher’s makes design consultation options readily available. That means that anyone confused, overwhelmed, or simply new to the process of choosing flooring and having it properly installed can turn to their expertise and knowledge.

The Complexity of Flooring

This may be oversimplifying the matter because flooring is something that demands a great deal of time, thought, planning, and attention. After all, how do you begin to measure for an installation of laminate? How do you know just which type of carpet, and which colors to choose? What about choosing the right flooring for the type of traffic that makes its way through the room?

There are those questions and dozens more to consider. Thankfully, Pucher’s has a strong team of truly experienced and talented designers who ask their clients all of the right questions in order to guide them towards the ideal choices. While they get flooring that satisfies their decor and design preferences, the flooring from Pucher’s also lives up to their needs and their goals.

Just consider, you may be renovating a home to be as eco-friendly and green as possible. Some carpeting is not that earth-friendly, and you may be entirely unaware of the best brands or materials for your goals. The Pucher team can review all of their eco-friendly, renewable, or even recyclable flooring choices and make absolutely certain the client gets all that they had hoped.

What to Expect

This means that you can anticipate getting good choices and tons of support when you choose Pucher’s flooring choices, but you also get the many benefits that this firm offers. Free measures, expert design support, a remarkable “no regrets” guarantee, free quotes, and a vast array of flooring choices are what Cleveland area clients have come to expect. This is one of the reasons that around 80% of the firm’s business is from “word of mouth” instead of standard advertising and marketing.

So, if you are in need of a worry free flooring installation, but are confused by the choices, the installation process, or the wide range of options, you can turn to flooring from Pucher’s. They are the type of firm that your friends and neighbors would recommend because of their quality and expertise. Because flooring is something that takes such a high amount of traffic and wear and tear, and because it is a major component in our homes, it is best to get quality support and to go with a firm known for providing the best product and services at the best prices.

Flooring That Can Survive Flooding

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Due to the wet weather we have had in NE Ohio in recent years, many homeowners (including us) have run into problems with flooding (usually basements).  It seems like this year has been particularly bad.  In fact, our Berea store flooded this summer for the first time due to the unusually heavy storms we had.  We can’t control the weather, but let’s look at some practical flooring options that can help homeowners who live in a flood-prone area.

Carpet

Carpeting is a popular choice for basements because it is so warm & insulating and makes your basement areas more liveable.  But carpeting can be a real challenge after a flood.  The good news is that it can be saved , IF you act quickly!  The problem is actually the carpet pad, which absorbs a lot of water.  Water underneath the carpet creates the perfect breeding ground for mold. Once mold develops, it’s over.  So, your best move is to call professional cleaners ASAP (but no later than 24 hours).  They have powerful equipment that can quickly extract water, remove the carpet pad and dry the carpet ASAP.

However, if your carpet did not make it and you still want carpeting in the basement, you might consider carpet tile.  It is easy to install and is very family-friendly.  In case of flooding (or spills, pet accidents, etc.), simply remove the affected tiles, have them cleaned and re-install them.   The great news is carpet tile is becoming more popular today and is available in a variety of styles & colors.  It’s not just for offices anymore!

Wood & Laminate Flooring

We wish we had better news for you here.  Because they are porous, wood & laminate floors are often permanently damaged in the event of flooding.  Engineered wood & laminate flooring CAN be used in basements because they are less dense and more moisture-resistant than solid wood.  However, we would not suggest installing these floors in your basement if you live in an area that is flood-prone.

Ceramic & Porcelain Tile

No problem here. Because they are made of stone, these tiles only absorb about 1-2% of standing water, making them one of the most waterproof floors available.  Plus, they are fantastic solutions in southern climates because they keep homes nice and cool.  If you live up north like we do, you might consider installing radiant heating underneath the tiles; or you can try…

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)

This product is one of our favorites and is especially good in any area where moisture is a concern.  They are waterproof (if installed with waterproof adhesive) and can handle standing water for a limited time.  If any of the tiles are damaged, simply cut the damaged tiles out and replace them with spares.  Plus, LVT is extremely durable, easy to clean and warmer and softer underfoot than ceramic.  If that weren’t enough, LVT tiles are gorgeous and available in a variety of realistic wood and stone looks (check out Mannington Adura, pictured above).

Key Takeaway:

Coming home to a flooded basement is no fun (we know).  Homeowners can mitigate the damage, cost and stress by choosing flooring that is not only durable and low-maintenance, but water-resistant and easy to replace.