There are so many alternative types of tiles for floors and we must choose the type of tile to be used with great care. The appearance of a finished building will be very much influenced by the flooring material used and at the same time, the floor material should suit the type of building for which it is chosen. Expensive tiles do not go well with low cost buildings and similarly cheap tiles do not suit prestigious buildings. The following are some of the factors to consider while choosing ceramic tiles for your buildings.
1. Water Absorption
The body of ordinary clay tiles can have an absorption capacity more than 10 percent of its weight and a low modulus of rupture. On the other hand, for stoneware tiles produced from a mixture of clay and special silicon materials, the water absorption will be low in good tiles; it should not be more than 2.5 percent.
2. Quality and Thickness of Glaze
The quality and thickness of glaze used are very important factors in choosing the glazed floor tile. It is good to remember that bright colors used for ceramic need a body with high expansion coefficient and this can be achieved easily only in a porous and relatively low strength ceramics. Hence, with such backings, very bright colored tiles do not wear out very well in heavy traffic areas.
3. Wall and Floor Tiles
Until very recently, the most glazed clay tiles made were suitable for walls. Floor with people walking on it have traffic and hence, floor tiles should have better wearing surfaces. Even in floors, we should distinguish between places of light traffic as in dwellings and places of heavy traffic such as shopping centers, railway stations, pathways etc. the flooring material chosen should match the traffic. While choosing glazed tiles for floors, much care should be taken to examine the quality and thickness of glazing. Otherwise, the flooring will deteriorate in a short time.
In addition to ceramic tiles there are many alternatives for floors like marble, terrazzo. The material and pattern of tiles chosen should always satisfy aesthetics.
The floor material should satisfy its function. In a computer room, we generally go in for a resilient floor like PVC or linoleum floor. Similarly, we will prefer wood flooring for a dance floor. In bathrooms, we usually use marble floors. In workplaces, like kitchens, the floor should not be brittle.
The floor material should match the cost of the construction envisaged. For high class building like kitchens, we should use top class tiles.