What Is Tile Glazing?

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Tile glazing is a clear, reflective glass topcoating applied to tile to protect it from scratching, staining, fading and fire damage. The glaze is mostly used in residential buildings and is slip resistant and easy to clean. Tile glaze can give the tile a smooth or textured surface and is available in many designs and colors.

Function

  • The purpose of tile glazing is to protect the tile. It also causes the tile to repel water and makes the surface more slip resistant.

Types

  • Tile glazing is highly reflective and makes the surface very hard, smooth and slip resistant. The glaze is available in many different colors and designs. Some glazes can create different textures. Tiles and glaze can be made from various minerals such as zinc, mercury, copper, gold and silver.

In Your Home

  • Tile glazing is mostly used in residential buildings because it is easy to clean. The glaze protects the tiles from wear and tear and will extend the life of the surface. Glazed tile is great for use in kitchens and bathrooms, mudrooms, porches and patios.

Manufacturing

  • Tile glazing is made up of a thin layer of liquid, colored glass called frit that is applied at very high temperatures by spraying or pouring it on. Some glazing has mineral additives to enhance the finished look of the tile. After the tile is glazed, it must go into the kiln to bake at 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Tiles can be single- or double-fired depending on the type of tile being manufactured.

Benefits

  • Some of the benefits of glazing are that it protects the tile and extends the life of the surface. It seals out water and is easy to clean. The surface is slip resistant. Tile glazing is also available in many colors, styles, textures and designs. Glazed tile works well in high-traffic areas of your home.

The Difference Between Glazed and Unglazed Tile

  • Pick up the tile and turn it to the side so you can see it in profile. The body of the tile, called the bisque, is the largest layer. If you see two layers, the tile is glazed. If only one layer is visible, the tile is most likely unglazed.

Classes of Tile

  • Tile comes with different ratings which clarify what types of tile should be used in different areas of your home. Five classes exist that rate the scratch resistance and durability of the tile. Class 1 is for areas that have no foot traffic. Class 2 tile is used for light traffic areas. Light to moderate traffic areas call for using a class 3 ceramic tile. Class 2 or 3 tiles are most ideal for bathroom walls and floors, kitchens and most other residential applications. Class 4 ceramic tile is used for areas with moderate to heavy traffic such as offices, shopping malls, showrooms and restaurants. The final class, class 5 tile, is used for heavy to extra-heavy traffic areas like airports, subways, supermarkets and other commercial and industrial buildings.

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