From raw material to refined clay
The journey begins with raw materials, primarily clay, sourced directly from the earth. This clay is mixed with other natural elements like sand, feldspar, and water, creating a malleable mixture. This homogenous mix is then subjected to a process called pug milling to remove air and refine its consistency.
Shaping the tiles
Once the perfect consistency is achieved, the clay mixture is ready for shaping. Tile flooring can be formed by a variety of methods:
- Extrusion: Pushing clay through a mold to get the desired shape.
- Pressing: Using hydraulic presses to shape the clay into tiles.
After shaping, tiles undergo a drying process. They're placed in large driers to eliminate moisture, ensuring they retain their shape and integrity.
Bisque firing: the heart of ceramic creation
The dry tiles are now ready for the kiln. In the bisque firing process, ceramic tiles are exposed to extreme temperatures (about 1,900 degrees Fahrenheit). This first firing removes any remaining moisture and sets the foundational strength of the tile.
Glazing: adding beauty and function
A defining characteristic of many ceramic tiles is their glossy finish, attributed to the glazing process. Tiles are coated with a liquid made of various minerals and metal oxides. Not only does this glaze impart a beautiful sheen, but it also adds a protective layer against stains, making tiles easier to clean.
The final firing
Post-glazing, tiles undergo a second round of firing. This helps seal the glaze onto the tile, fortifying it further and ensuring the finish is resilient and lustrous.
Visit us for top-quality tile in Rockwall and San Antonio
From earthy clay to a gleaming piece of ceramic tile, the journey is a mix of art, science, and tradition. When you choose ceramic tile flooring for your home, you're not just opting for a design solution; you're also investing in a product of refined craftsmanship.
Understanding this process adds depth to the appreciation of ceramic tile flooring's enduring charm. For homes and homeowners, it offers a blend of aesthetic appeal, functionality, and history.
CW Floors and Lighting is proud to offer a wide selection of tiles in Rockwall and San Antonio. We serve San Antonio, Denton, Rockwall, Dallas, and Fort Worth from our showrooms in Rockwall and San Antonio.