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Vitrified Tiles: Your Ultimate Guide for Lasting Beauty

If you’re looking for new tiles, consider vitrified tiles. Many people prefer them, especially for areas that get wet or cold. Choosing vitrified tiles means investing in something that will last for years.

Vitrified tiles are similar to traditional ceramic tiles but contain silica and clay. When silica and clay melt together in the vitrification process, they create a glass-like substance in each tile. This substance helps the tile keep its shine for many years.

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Today, we’ll examine what makes vitrified tiles special and the types available. We’ll also discuss why they are the top choice for homes and businesses.

Table of Contents

What Are Vitrified Tiles?

Vitrified tiles are very strong and durable because of a special process used when they are made. This process, called vitrification, heats the raw materials to temperatures over 1200°C. Because of this heat, the materials melt together and become a solid, non-porous mass.

Vitrified tiles don’t have any tiny holes, which means they don’t let water, stains, or chemicals get through. This feature makes them an excellent choice for places with many people walking around, such as kitchens and bathrooms.

There are three types of Vitrified Tiles

  • Double Charged Vitrified Tiles
  • Full Body Vitrified Tiles
  • Glazed Vitrified Tiles
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  • Double Charged Vitrified Tiles: Great for daily use because they resist scratches and don’t let dust and dirt build up. Cleaning them is easy; they hold up well against rain and snow. These tiles are thicker than usual, by 3 to 4 mm, because they are made by joining two tiles together.
  • Full Body Vitrified Tiles: Best for places like commercial buildings and areas where lots of people walk. They are the same color throughout and resistant to scratches and damage. You’ll mostly find them in places used by businesses.
  • Glazed Vitrified Tiles: Come from the highest quality ceramic tiles with a glazed coating. This coating lets them be customized easily. They are perfect for stopping stains, scratches, and wear, making them suitable for homes and businesses. Whether it’s a hotel lobby, a living room, a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen, or a hospital waiting room, these tiles work well.

Double Charged Vitrified Tiles

Double Charged Vitrified Tiles are a special kind of ceramic tile. They get their strength from a unique process that fuses two layers of tiles together. The name “double-charge” comes from this process of combining two layers, not from what the tile looks like.

To make these tiles, manufacturers use two different colors of clay. They press these clays together to create a pattern on the tile’s surface. After that, they fire the tile at a high temperature. This firing turns the tile into a glass-like material, making it durable.

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Full Body Vitrified Tiles

Full Body Vitrified Tiles differ from double-charged ones because they have a consistent composition all the way through. This means the color and texture you see are on the surface and run throughout the entire tile. The uniformity makes them especially durable and ensures that even if the surface gets worn down, the appearance remains largely unchanged.

Glazed Vitrified Tiles

Glazed Vitrified Tiles (GVT) merge vitrified tiles’ durability with the glazed surface’s design flexibility. This glazed layer adds various design options, allowing these tiles to look like natural materials such as wood, marble, or stone. They can also feature more detailed and artistic designs.

Therefore, GVT is a popular choice for those wanting both the strength of vitrified tiles and the ability to customize their space’s appearance.

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Advantages of Vitrified Tiles

Vitrified tiles offer several benefits that make them stand out from other tile options:

Composition

Vitrified tiles combine clay and silica, creating a material that becomes glass-like and shiny when heated at high temperatures. Unlike ceramic tiles, they are non-porous and do not require an additional layer of glaze.

Durability

These tiles are stronger and more durable than natural granite or marble. They resist scratches and stains well. Their colors remain vibrant, even under strong sunlight, thanks to their color permanence. They are suitable for various settings.

Vitrified tiles are very easy to install, with no need for polishing or waiting time once placed. These tiles are ready for use just two days after installation, offering a quick and efficient flooring solution.

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Thickness

With a 10-12 mm thickness, vitrified tiles match the substantial feel of natural granite and marble. This similarity adds to their appeal for those looking for a durable yet attractive tile option.

Quality

The high quality of vitrified tiles is worth noting. Each tile is carefully inspected before it is packaged and sold, ensuring that they meet high-quality standards. Manufacturers make sure that the tiles are consistent in size, thickness, and color. For those desiring a natural appearance, there are options that mimic the shades of natural materials.

The commitment to quality and variety makes vitrified tiles a reliable and attractive choice for home flooring.

Disadvantages of Vitrified Tiles

Hardness

While the hardness of vitrified tiles makes them durable, it also means they’re unforgiving on anything fragile that might fall on them. This can lead to breakage of glassware or ceramics more easily than softer flooring options.

Coldness

Vitrified tiles do not retain heat well, making them cold to the touch. This can be uncomfortable in colder climates or during winter months without underfloor heating.

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Slippery Surface

The glossy finish of vitrified tiles can be pretty slippery, especially when wet. This poses a risk of falls and injuries, making them less suitable for areas like bathrooms without proper anti-slip treatments.

Installation

The installation of vitrified tiles requires expertise and precision. Poor installation can lead to issues like cracking over time, uneven flooring, or even loose tiles. This makes the installation process generally more expensive and time-consuming than other flooring options.

Cost

While vitrified tiles have various prices, high-quality options can be quite expensive. The initial cost of purchase, coupled with the cost of professional installation, can make it a significant investment.

Repair and Replacement

If a vitrified tile does crack or chip, replacing it can be challenging. Matching the exact pattern and color with the existing tiles can be difficult, especially if the tiles were discontinued or not from a recent batch.

How to Use Vitrified Tiles in Small Rooms

Choose Light Colors

The color of your tiles significantly affects how spacious your room looks. Light-colored vitrified tiles, such as white, beige, cream, or pastels, can make a small room seem bigger by creating an illusion of more space.

It’s best to avoid dark colors, making the room feel smaller and more cramped. When choosing tiles for a small room, picking the right color is crucial.

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Choose a Glossy Finish

Vitrified tiles are available in various finishes, including glossy and matte. For small rooms, glossy tiles are beneficial because they reflect light, adding depth and making the space appear larger.

While matte tiles offer a more subtle aesthetic, they can make a room look smaller and cozier. However, it’s important to note that glossy tiles might need more cleaning to maintain their shine and prevent smudges.

Lay Tiles Diagonally

Installing tiles diagonally, instead of parallel to the walls, can enhance the perception of space in a small room. This approach introduces an element of depth and elegance and visually enlarges the area.

Whether you choose small or large tiles, each has its advantages. Small tiles can create the illusion of a larger room, while larger tiles reduce the number of grout lines, making the space appear more open and streamlined.

Choose Larger Grout Lines for Small Tiles

If you’re using smaller tiles or a mosaic pattern, opting for larger grout lines can be brilliant. Larger, contrasting grout lines can visually separate the tiles, creating a distinctive look to give the impression that the tiles are larger than they actually are, adding depth and character to the room’s overall design.

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Get Rid of Clutter

To make a small room feel bigger and more open, keeping it free from clutter is essential. Use storage options like cabinets or shelves to organize and hide belongings. A tidy space looks larger and more inviting.

Improve Lighting

Good lighting can significantly increase the perception of space in a small room. Combine natural light with artificial lighting sources, such as ceiling, wall sconces, or recessed lighting, to effectively brighten the space. If possible, add one or two large windows to enhance natural lighting and make the room feel more spacious and airy.

Ensure Visual Continuity

Choosing the right floor tiles is crucial for maintaining a consistent look and feel across your space. Vitrified tiles that match the room’s style and color scheme can create a seamless visual flow, especially when you extend the same flooring to adjacent areas. It helps to make the entire area feel more connected and expansive.

Vitrified tiles, with their versatility and aesthetic appeal, are excellent for creating a cohesive look that enhances the sense of space.

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FAQs

How do vitrified tiles differ from ceramic tiles?

A: While both are made from clay, vitrified tiles undergo an additional process of vitrification that fuses silica and clay into a glass-like substance, making them less porous and more durable than standard ceramic tiles. This process also gives vitrified tiles a glossy appearance.

How do you maintain vitrified tiles?

A: Vitrified tiles are low maintenance. Regular sweeping and mopping with mild detergent are sufficient to keep them clean. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or pads that could scratch their surface.

Are vitrified tiles slip-resistant?

A: The glossy finish of some vitrified tiles can be slippery, especially when wet. However, anti-slip versions are available for areas like bathrooms and kitchens where slip resistance is crucial.

Can vitrified tiles be repaired if they are damaged?

A: While vitrified tiles are known for their durability, if a tile is severely damaged, it is best to replace it. Matching the tile for replacement can be challenging, so keeping extra tiles from the initial installation is advisable.

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