A great flooring solution for the home, inside or out is porcelain tiles – not the boring tiles of yesteryear. These new high definition porcelain tiles are made to look like many different materials; even close up are indistinguishable from the real thing. With the advent of high definition inkjet technology a variety of designs are now possible on porcelain.
Since the advent of digital ink technology, manufacturers have mimicked stones, wood, and cement looks. Today they are getting really creative; these days, porcelain cannot only be digitally printed with high-resolution patterns to mimic texture, but true three-dimensional options are available. Porcelain tiles can mimic stone looks like marble, granite, limestone, and others. There are also porcelain look-alikes for wood, concrete, and even fabric. This process creates tiles that are varied and have minimal repetition. With high definition technology, tiles can be manufactured in larger lengths and with greater variety of patterns than in previous years when rollers were used to create patterns on the tiles.
With the advanced manufacturing technology, the length of the tiles can now be 72 inches or more to more accurately imitate natural wood flooring. Variable size tiles are also available from some manufacturers to further give it a wood-look appearance.
The color of porcelain tile is not just on the surface but runs down through the tile, so if there was a chip, it would be less noticeable. The porcelain flooring is harder than many stones, such as granite, but costs less than the real stone. Many porcelain products are stain-resistant, scratch-resistant, freeze-resistant, fire-resistant and mold-resistant.
Porcelain is often confused with ceramic tile, which are both clay products. However porcelain tiles are made from finer, denser clay and fired at a higher temperature to create a harder and less porous tile, which will not easily stain. If something is dropped on it, it will not crack; although what’s dropped on it may. These tiles can be used inside or out, while ceramic tiles are best used inside the home. Porcelain tiles are more practical than some other materials, such as wood, particularly in high traffic areas; they don’t need much maintenance and can be cleaned with household soap.
Porcelain tiles are also environmentally friendly. They are made with recycled clays and the water used is recycled. They have a long product lifecycle and are made with a majority of natural clay and naturally existing minerals.