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Glazed or Unglazed: How to Figure it Out in Porcelain Tiles?

The architecture of a place is equipped with so many things that tend to enhance the beauty of that place, no matter if it is indoors or outdoors.Looking into the collection of tiles, you can come across many options, and each one has been designed keeping in mind the application’s requirements and its suitability for particular places.

The porcelain tiles have many finishes; you can have glazed and unglazed ones. Now, if you are looking forward to knowing ways to help you figure out whether or not the tiles are glazed, you will find this guide below helpful.So, let’s read below and familiarize yourself with the details.Or you want to know DIY Guide to Glaze Ceramic Tile at Home, please click to view.

What are Porcelain Tiles?

Porcelain tiles are quite popular in multiple cultures and are widely known for their shiny, smooth, and silky texture that ensures an elegant look. These tiles are made using clay and are fired at very high temperatures.These tiles are widely used in residential projects, creating kitchens, entry foyers, and bathrooms.

Porcelain tiles are used for flooring, walls, and even decorative purposes. These tiles are available in multiple patterns, finishes, shapes, and sizes

Porcelain Tiles

How are Porcelain Tiles Made?

Porcelain tiles are manufactured by searing clay at a hot temperature, which may range above 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, so porcelain is also a high-fire material.

Since they are made under very high temperatures, they are far more robust than ceramic and hence can withstand harsh conditions and therefore are suitable for outdoor flooring.

When finished, porcelain is hard and has a stone-like heaviness. It is porous and offers protection against humidity and moisture.

Types of Porcelain Tiles

Every porcelain tile has different characteristics, making it essential to choose them carefully. Porcelain tiles are available in multiple varieties and comprised of the following:

Wall Tiles

Wall tiles are also divided into exterior wall and interior wall tiles,Porcelain wall tiles are ideal for a living room, walls for bathrooms and showers, and many options and varieties exist. Porcelain tiles even offer a look of wood and even stone, giving a very nice visual appearance.

Floor Tiles

Porcelain tiles for flooring are very popular because they are waterproof and have a durable type of flooring. They even help you achieve the desired design and pattern in your bathroom and kitchen.

Mosaic Wall Tiles

Mosaics comprise small pieces made of porcelain tiles and are present on a mesh in a pattern. The mesh base gives it a design that makes installation easy, and these tiles are very eye-catching too. They are widely used in kitchen backslashes.

Glazed and Unglazed Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain tiles are available in two finishes, Unglazed and glazed tiles. Before you look forward to identifying whether a particular tile is glazed, you must know about the characteristics of both kinds.

Primary Difference between Glazed and Unglazed Tiles

The glazed porcelain tiles have a layer that looks like glass, bringing out the glaze in the tile. This glassy layer is added to the tile’s surface when the firing process occurs. The glaze always brings a sparkling texture to the tile, comprising different patterns, colors, and a gloss-like finish.The glaze added to the tile is a form of barrier protecting it against scratches and making it stain resistant.

On the other hand, the unglazed porcelain tiles do not have that glass-like texture; they are matter and natural looking. Unglazed porcelain tiles usually have a rough surface and are famous for their earthy tones.

Glazed Tiles

Process of Manufacturing

The composition of materials in glazed and unglazed tiles is almost similar, and they comprise a very fine clay with some other materials, which are subject to a mold first and then to high temperatures.

However, the glazed porcelain tiles have a layer of glaze on the surface added before the process of firing. In the case of unglazed tiles, this step of adding a layer of glaze is eliminated, and the tiles are subjected directly to firing.

Role Played by Glaze

The process of glazing on porcelain tiles adds a final texture and a very sparkling appearance to it. The glaze can also be subject to customization, and multiple types of finishing could be added, followed by different colors and patterns.

Glaze not only enhances the porcelain tiles’ appeal but also plays a very important role in ensuring that the tile is protected from water, moisture, and stains.Whereas the unglazed tiles offer a very natural look and make the area slip-resistant hence suitable for indoor as well as outdoor usage.

Finding Out Whether the Tiles are Glazed or Unglazed

If you are looking for ways to find out whether the porcelain tiles are glazed or unglazed, below we have suggested some of how you can conduct identification of whether the tiles are glazed or unglazed.

Visual Inspection of Tiles

The first way to identify whether a porcelain tile is glazed or unglazed is to conduct a visual inspection. You can examine the texture of the surface; when light falls on the tile surface, they shine and create a luminous look.

By touching the tile’s surface, you can also feel that it is finished with glaze. The smooth and sleek texture helps identify the tiles’ glazing.

Monitoring the Edges and Profiles of Tile

The glaze of the tile can also be identified by looking at the edges; when the glaze is applied on the porcelain tiles, every corner is covered, including the edges. Hence, when you look at it from all sides, you can identify whether or not it is glazed.


Varied Patterns and Layouts

The appearance of the tiles also features glazing in the form of colors and patterns, creating an artistic impression with detailing all over.

Test for Water Absorption

By conducting a water absorption test, the identification of tiles can be carried out to determine whether a tile is glazed. When you drop water on the tile’s surface, you can look at the reaction.

If the tiles are glazed, the water remains on the surface because the glazed tiles have water-resistant properties. To achieve accurate results, it is very important that such tests are performed in a controlled environment.

Considering the Back of the Tile

The back of the tile needs to be examined when you need to take a look at whether the tiles are glazed or not. The finish of the back of a glazed tile is always very different, and hence you can identify the finish of the tile.

Tips to Choose Glazed Porcelain Tiles

When choosing porcelain glazed tiles, there are some tips that could help you make a better selection, and these are discussed below:

Purpose of Installation

One of the most important things to first decide is the purpose of the installation of glazed porcelain tiles; you must know about the area where these will be installed so that you can make a better decision. Glazed tiles are suitable for walls, tiles, and even for backslashes. However, you need to analyze the foot traffic, exposure to moisture, and other important considerations that may have an impact on the durability of these tiles.We also have an article about How to Install Roof Tiles? Hope it will help you.


Appearance of Tiles

Glazed tiles are available in many different colors. Hence, when you choose these glazed tiles, you need to assess whether the chosen tiles align with your specific aesthetic appearance so that you can create an excellent combination.

Selection of Size and Color

When choosing glazed tiles for your interior, there is a need that you choose colors carefully; in case of making your space wider and appear prominent, you must select the lighter tones, and the darker shades will offer a cozy appearance to create a luxurious feel.

Level of Gloss

There are different levels in which the porcelain glazed tiles come, some are too glossy, and some are matte, so you have to choose the gloss level according to your interior. Too much of the glass makes the appearance backed with elegance, and matte tiles add a natural and subtle look.

Maintenance of Tiles

The process of maintaining and cleaning glazed tiles is much easier as compared to the unglazed ones; however, the glossy tiles even display scratches very prominently. So, make sure to keep this aspect in mind when choosing them.

Resistance Against Slipping

Glazed tiles are not suitable for areas subjected to moisture. However, you can get some slip-resistant options, so you may opt for glazed tiles with textured surfaces in this case so that you may ensure safety.

Long Lasting Option

Glazed tiles are widely known for their durable nature. However, they are prone to scratching and wear out after some time. So, when choosing areas with high foot traffic, opt for the ones which have a harder glaze and hence can withstand such conditions.


Glazed porcelain tiles are widely popular, but determining which options are the glazed ones is essential to decide which tiles you need in your project.The guide above must have made you familiarize yourself with this topic in detail, and this will help you with your decision-making regarding identification of glazed porcelain tiles.

Click here to know:How to Remove Scratches on Glazed Porcelain Tiles?

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