Ceramic Tile technically called Non Porcelain Tile is made from a mixture of clay that are pressed into shape. Tiles have either a glazed or unglazed surface. Glazed tiles have a special ceramic coating that is applied to the body of the tile and then fired under tremendous heat. If glazed, the glaze on the tile doesn't go all the way through, so if a tile gets chipped, the inside color will show through. Glazed tiles may tend to get scratched on frequently used countertops, but are ideal for walls. Both ceramic and porcelain glazed tiles are available in high-gloss, matte, and abrasive slip-resistant finishes. For floors, make sure to choose a finish that won't be too slippery or show scratches easily. Ceramic tiles with bright reflective surfaces (bright glaze finish) are not recommended for floors as they can pose a slip hazard and have poor abrasion resistance.
Appearance - These are hard tiles with either a glazed or an unglazed surface. The look changes according to variety of textures and colors available.
Suggested Uses - Ceramic tiles can be considered for every room in your home, indoors or outdoors. They are very popular as both wall and flooring tiles and you can even use them for entryways, benchtops and splashbacks if you wish. However, if ceramic tiles are installed outdoors as patios or walkways, they should be unglazed. Glazed ceramic tile can easily be chipped and scratched in outdoor conditions. Unglazed tile has the same color and texture throughout the tile and can weather the rough climates more easily. Since the ceramic tile is more resistant to heat, it can be used in the hottest desert conditions.
Usage suggested as per Tile Ratings -
When selecting ceramic tiles, you need to consider the job they are intended for to ensure they are suitable. Most tiles are rated - 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 for the following uses:
Class 1 - Floor coverings in areas that are walked on essentially with soft soled footwear or bare feet without scratching dirt (eg., domestic bathrooms and bedrooms without direct access from the outside).
Class 2 - Floor coverings in areas that are walked on with soft soled or normal footwear with, at the most, occasional small amount of scratching dirt (eg., rooms in the living areas of homes, but the exception of kitchens, entranceways and other rooms which may have a lot of traffic).
Class 3 - Floor coverings in areas that are walked on quite often with normal footwear and small amounts of scratching dirt (eg., halls, kitchens, corridors, balconies, lobbies and terraces).
Class 4 - Floor coverings in areas that are subjected to considerable traffic with some scratching dirt so that the conditions are the most severe for which glazed floor tiles are suitable (eg. entrances, work rooms, restaurants and exhibition and sales rooms as well as other rooms in public and private buildings not mentioned in Classes 1, 2, 3).
Class 5 - The maximum resistance achieved for glazed tiles against footwear traffic and resistant to staining agents. Specifically designed for heavy traffic commercial applications and locations.
Pros - Hard-wearing and very durable; dent, scratch, and stain-resistant; never needs waxing or sealing; never needs refinishing; comes in many shapes, sizes, styles, textures and colors for every decor; affordable; hygienic and very easy to clean.
Cons - Hard and cold underfoot, which can lead to back and leg fatigue if you're standing on it for a long time; slippery when wet; pretty unforgivable when a glass object is dropped on it; and while the tile itself is easy to keep clean, the grout is prone to discoloration. When laid in frost prone areas, water is easily absorbed into the ceramic tile, where it freezes as the temperature drops in winter and cracks the tile.
Care - Sweep regularly. Damp mop with a mild detergent or vinegar-based solution, and rinse with warm water. For a high shine, wipe dry with a soft cloth.