Vitrified Tile: A Strong Alternative
Vitrified tiles can be overlooked as an option. This type of flooring is durable and attractive looking.
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Hardwood floors add a great deal of elegance and charm to a home. However, these types of floors are very delicate. Hardwood floors require a great deal of care and maintenance to keep them looking great. For people who cannot spare a lot of time to give them the required care, vitrified tiles can be a suitable option.
Vitrified tiles are also attractive, but very tough. They are much harder than natural stones, and pools of water cannot damage them unlike hardwood floors.
What are Vitrified Tiles?
Vitrified tiles are made by combining 40% clay and 60% silica in a process called vitrification. This manufacturing process makes them extremely hard and non-porous, which is a great advantage over natural stones like marble. These stones are porous and need a great deal of care. Vitrified tiles are virtually maintenance-free and good abrasion resistance, which makes them very suitable for use in high traffic areas.
The Various Advantages
There is another huge advantage vitrified tiles have over most other floors. The designs on vitrified tiles are printed with soluble salts which are have pigments that penetrate to a depth of 2 to 3 mm below the surface of the tile. In essence, the design is present at depths of up to 25% of the tile’s thickness. The high hardness and abrasion resistance of vitrified tiles essentially means that the design is permanent for all practical purposes.
In contrast, some floor polishes exist over the surface of the floor and have little abrasion resistance. On the other hand, vitrified tiles are not available in a great variety of shades – at least not in as many shades as natural stone tiles are.
Other Advantages of Vitrified Tiles
Vitrified tiles hardly expand or contract with changes in moisture and temperature; for instance, unlike other floors like wood that may be used for a joint free application. Instead of a joint free application, it may be better create uniform gaps between tiles by fixing them using spacers and then filling the space with grout. It would especially be recommended when the tiles would be exposed to extremes of temperature – either very hot or very cold.
Vitrified tiles are virtually maintenance-free, and may be swept clean. However, it would be better to take a few steps to ensure that they keep looking great for several years or decades.
A Guide to Cleaning and Care
Using a floor mat at the entrances to minimize abrasive dust being carried in by people is recommended. Using a mat is preferable for any floor you may choose to have – whether stone or wood.
You may want to avoid using cleaners with harsh chemicals to clean the floor. Since vitrified tiles are extremely hard and non porous, a damp mop may be good enough to clean the floor.
You may also want to clean the grout joints a couple of times a year. Also, keeping the grout joints in good shape by scraping out cracked, loose or powdery joints and refilling them would be a preferable to do once in a while.