Choosing the right tiles for your new home can sometimes be stressful! Mainly because most people in Singapore feel that tiles are expensive and installing tiles into a new home is a decision that will stick with you forever.
This is why we have come up with a list of items that you must know before making your tile selection!
This is a detailed read, if you prefer viewing a shorter read, check out our tile comparison table by clicking here!
Type of Tiles – Choosing the Correct Type of Tile
There are several different classifications of tiles. Allow us to walk you through what you need to know!
Full Body Homogeneous Porcelain Tiles
These tiles are also sometimes referred to as ‘Through Body Tiles’ and ‘Unglazed Tiles’, or in short, ‘Full Body Tiles’, or ‘Homogenous Tiles’.
Full Body Homogeneous Porcelain Tiles refers to the tile having a consistent composition of materials throughout the entire body off the tile. The front, back, and sides of the tile should be of the same colour and texture.
Such tiles are known for their strength, durability, ability to withstand heavy traffic, low water absorbency, and its resistance to chemicals and stains.
Therefore, Full Body Homogeneous Porcelain Tiles can be used anywhere, be it in internal (indoors) or external areas (outdoors). Even if a part of the tiles surface has been chipped off, you will still see the colour and grains of the tiles body, which is the same as the surface of the tile.
Suitable Areas: Anywhere, including your car porch!
Half Body Homogeneous Porcelain Tiles
These tiles may also be referred to as ‘Double Loading Tiles’.
Half Body Homogeneous Porcelain Tiles refers to the tile having a consistent composition of materials only from the surface of the tile till about half the thickness of its body.
Such tiles are a fantastic economic solution to Full Body Homogeneous Porcelain Tiles, as its material is not consistent through the full thickness of the tile.
While it is very similar to a Full Body Homogeneous Porcelain Tile, it is still inevitably slightly weaker.
Suitable Areas: Anywhere, except areas whereby the tile will be exposed to heavy mass. However, test reports regarding the Modulus of Rupture or Breaking Strength of the tile can be a good gauge to whether or not the tile is suitable.
Glazed Porcelain Tiles
This refers to having a glaze (also known as a layer or a coating) applied to the surface of clay porcelain tiles. This glaze is a digitally printed design or pattern (for example, timbre look or marble look designs) that cannot be achieved with the production of Full Body Homogeneous Porcelain Tiles, as it is nearly impossible to achieve such an exquisite design and still have a consistent composition of material through the thickness of the tile.
There are two kinds of Glazed Porcelain Tiles, Glazed Porcelain Coloured Body Tiles and Normal Glazed Porcelain Tiles.
The Coloured Body version uses a clay porcelain body that is of the same colour as the digitally printed surface. For example, if it is a brown timbre look tile, the timbre design is printed on a brown body.
The Normal version is simple a glaze applied on a white clay porcelain body.
The only fear of using a Glazed Porcelain Tile is the worry of whether or not the surface will wear off. Unlike Full Body Homogeneous Tiles, the material and grains are not consistent throughout the thickness of the tiles.
Glazed Porcelain Tiles are recommended for residential or light commercial usage. However, in recent years, the glazed technology has evolved tremendously in the leading Italian factories. This has resulted in Heavy Duty Glazed Porcelain Tiles and such tiles to be more commonly used in external areas (outdoors) where there is a considerable amount of heavy traffic.
At Malford Ceramics Pte. Ltd, all Glazed Porcelain Tiles are suitable for heavy duty purposes.
Tile manufacturers rate the suitability of their Glazed Porcelain Tiles to your desired areas of application with a PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) rating:
PEI 1: Suitable for walls only.
PEI 2: Suitable for residential areas where they will be walked on by soft soles only.
PEI 3: Suitable for all residential areas only.
PEI 4: Suitable for all residential areas and light commercial areas only.
PEI 5: Suitable for all residential areas, light commercial areas, and medium commercial areas only.
Glazed Ceramic Tiles
Similar to Glazed Porcelain Tiles, Glazed Ceramic Tiles refer to having a glaze applied onto a clay ceramic body.
The main difference is that a clay ceramic body is far more porous than a porcelain body. Meaning to say, a Ceramic Tile has a higher level of water absorption.
That being said, Glazed Ceramic Tiles should only be used on the walls, or dry areas with non-heavy traffic.