A vitrified tile is a ceramic tile with very low porosity. It is an alternative to marble and granite flooring. Vitrified tiles are often used outdoors due to their water and frost resistance.
Vitrified tiles are made by hydraulic pressing a mixture of clay, quartz, feldspar and silica, which make a vitreous surface. Thus creating a single mass makes them hard with low porosity.
A lot of natural stone designs (like marble and granite) are available under category of Vitrified tiles, which makes them real low-cost alternative of natural marble and granite in terms of strength, design and quality.
Double loading porcelain floor tiles (double charge, twin body tiles)
Double loading porcelain floor tiles, generally known as Double Loading Tiles, is an upgrade to the glazed porcelain tile in terms of the durability and crazing resistance, although full body porcelain tiles and industrial tiles can be considered in the higher durable category than double loading tiles..
Double loading tiles have higher durability because of the technique used in its manufacturing. The double loading tiles have two layers of clay. The base layer is the basic colour and the second upper layer consists of the coloured raw materials, which are provided to the feeder (the machine before the tiles are given shaped in a hydraulic press). The colour depth is almost 4.5mm, i.e. 50% of tiles thickness. The manufacturing machine of double loading tiles provide the random designs of the colours and thus every tile manufactured is unique in itself. They look really beautiful on flooring and provide higher durability levels. The water absorption with Double loading porcelain tiles are less than 0.2%.
Double loading vitrified tiles are scratch and frost resistance, the colour and texture of vitrified tiles last a life long and never fade away with time.
Multi charge vitrified tiles
Due to the fact that the double loading vitrified tiles have design limitations, the alternative is multi charged vitrified tiles. Nowadays, with modern techniques complex patterns and more colours can be produced, and these tiles are called multi charged vitrified tiles. These tiles are fed through a press that prints pattern with a double layer of pigment; they are 4.5 mm thicker (50% of tiles thickness) than compared to other non-vitrified tiles. The results are a long-wearing tile surface, which never fade its colour and texture with time.
Full body vitrified tiles
As described above, full body vitrified tiles have higher durability and wear resistance than any other tiles. This is mainly because of the uniform colour and design throughout the thickness of tiles body. The colour pigment is in the entire body (thickness) of the tiles. Any damage or scratch is not visible, because of uniform design throughout the thickness of tiles body and gives an ideal choice for high traffic zones, but the production process considerably increases the cost. On other hand uniform designs throughout the body gives the design constraints. That’s why designs in this class of tiles are mainly simple and in one colour. These tiles are best suitable for parking places, garages, terraces/balconies, and for all commercial purposes.
Tiles with different surface finish:
Nano polished vitrified tiles
If you apply a layer of liquid silica on vitrified tiles then it fills the micro (nano) pores on the tiles surface and makes it smooth. These tiles are called nano polished vitrified tiles.
Matt porcelain glazed tiles / glazed vitrified tiles (GVT)
These are glazed surfaced vitrified tiles. They offer a vast variety of designs, art work and surface textures like wood grain, bamboo, slate or stone. This tile is now printed through digital printing technology.
Polished porcelain glazed tiles / polished glazed vitrified tiles (PGVT)
They are similar to the GVT tiles in their glossy form, so they have a very glossy surface finish and overall a good finish.
Glazed wall tiles
Glazed wall tiles are ceramic tiles that have a high absorption (around 10-12%). One side of tile is glazed. They are perfectly suited for interior walls where the tiles are not often exposed to water.
Digital wall tiles
The term digital tiles technology refers to the tiles’ design that is printed onto the surface. Today, images that are created from photographs using a computer program are then applied to the tile by use of ink jets, much like modern office printers. With such technology usage, the designs are more exciting and attractive than ever. Any design can be printed on the tiles as per customer requirement, even your photo, too. We use the special German made printing machines, in order to have the best quality.
Glazed and unglazed floor tiles
Glazed floor tiles are coated with a glossy finish which often contains colour, texture, or design and is fired at significantly high temperatures.
Unglazed floor tiles do not have the same surface as the colour forms from the body within the tiles. It can be the natural colour from the clay or other minerals and can be added to the mixture before forming and firing the tiles. Because the colour extends through the complete tile, these are great for high traffic areas as they do not show wear as easily.
Below is the description of composite materials, which are nowadays very modern and trendy. These are alternatives to natural stones, and need zero maintenance after installation.
These composites are environmentally friendly and inexpensive, too. Below are the overviews....
Quartz composite is a man-made composite rock, which consists of 93% natural quartz. After the diamond, quartz is the hardest material on earth. The property of quartz is almost similar to granite. They are non-porous, and have a closed water resistant surface, and therefore do not have to be impregnated. They are also scratch resistance. Zero percent water absorption of quartz composite makes them suitable for the use in your bathroom, for washbasins’ wash tables, on edges near to the bathtub, window platforms, or kitchen work platforms.
As the quartz is not completely heat resistant, it may crack at a very high temperature. As the resin in the composition of quartz melts at high temperatures, visible heat damage to the surface (e.g. trace of a hot cookware) may occur. We strongly recommend using heat isolating materials when placing hot objects on the surfaces in order to prevent damage to the surface.
A wide range of colours and man-made technical properties of quartz provide unlimited options for furnishing the kitchen, making it suitable for those who would like an alternative to granite and natural marble at low cost.
They are delivered as a finished product, and can be directly installed. So cutting and polishing costs can be saved by ordering the exact dimensions, as per requirements.
Engineered marble (cultured marble)
Engineered marble (cultured marble) is a very new concept in the flooring and tiles industry. This type of marble is made from marble chips (several sizes), marble dust, colouring pigments and recycled natural stone. These materials are crushed and mixed with resin. This mixture is then heated and pressed. Many textures are made with the mix of more than one raw material; it's just like baking a 7 ton cake. In fact, they are man-made, and that is why they are so cheap compared with real marble. Since they are produced using a mould, they will always fit perfectly to your shape and size requirements. The same design and texture can be achieved in every production.
They are cheaper than natural marble as well as easier to install. And because they are already polished once, they don't need to be polished again after fitting on the floor. It is a type of flooring tile which is very hard, has very low water absorption (almost 0%) and is resistant to acids, oil and other liquids. That is why you need very little maintenance costs. On top of that, they are very easy to clean and also stain and scratch resistant.
Natural marble is softer and more porous than granite, which means that it is rather easily scratched and stained especially if used on the floor. Natural marbles differ in design and texture, and it’s difficult to get the same texture in a different slab. Natural marble requires great caution and more care.
If you are looking for inexpensive marble alternatives, engineered marble perfectly fits your requirements.