Tile Tuesday: Beauty & Knowledge
The second half of my adventure with Tile of Spain took us to Valencia, the location of Cevisama, annual trade show held to showcase the latest innovations introduced by the Spanish tile industry.
Attending Cevisama was an introduction to a whole world of possibilities! If you’ve been following Tile Tuesday, you already know that ceramic tile is a part of the Spanish culture dating back to Roman and Moorish times. Tile is nothing new but the uses and innovations in the ceramic industry certainly are! In the coming weeks we’ll talk about some of the big trends I saw that you can incorporate into your own kitchen.
Before we do that let’s cover some good to know, sometimes misunderstood, facts about tile. For your viewing pleasure I have inserted a little eye candy to keep you on your toes!
WHAT IS IT?
Ceramic tile is a perfect balance of the classical elements of earth (clay), air, water and fire. All are involved in its creation. All tile is made of either red or white clay.
CERAMIC, PORCELAIN OR BOTH?
One big question I get regards porcelain vs. ceramic. Guess what? Porcelain tiles ARE ceramic tiles. There is only one technical difference. A tile must have a water absorbtion rate of .05 to be classified as porcelain.
Typically porcelain tiles are denser, less porous and as a result more durable than other ceramics. You can also get them “rectified” which means crisp sharp perfectly squared edges that mean a tight fit with minimal grout lines.
IS PORCELAIN THE SAME COLOR ALL THE WAY THROUGH?
In the past I believed that a porcelain tile was the same color all the way through so that a small chip would be no big deal but I learned that is not always true. You CAN get something called “through-body porcelain” which means that if the tile is not glazed, the color and texture are consistent all the way through the tile. However porcelain tiles can also have surface glazes and textures that are not “through-body”.
WHERE DOES IT GO?
Tiles used for exterior applications are porcelain but not all porcelain tiles are recommended to be used outside. Generally you can put just about any type of tile on the wall but you’re much better off with porcelain on the floor for durability. Remember, although beautiful, glossy finishes are always more slippery than honed, or matte finishes. Got it? Good. Since you made it all the way to the end, I have a special treat for you.
Next Tile Tuesday: Uncovering Valencia with Tile of Spain, perhaps another video slideshow??
Gloria is a kitchen and bath cabinetry designer with AKBD certification from the National Kitchen & Bath Association. She has also served on the Florida Treasure Coast Chapter's Board of Directors as the VP of Communications. Her work has appeared on This Old House as well as in Florida Design Magazine, K+BB Magazine and the Palm Beach Post. She is co-author of The Complete Idiots Guide to Remodeling Your Kitchen, Illustrated, as well as a freelanced writer contributing occasionally to the Sun Sentinel in the area of kitchen design. She is a proud member of the Blanco Design Council and the illustrious Brizo Blogger 19.