In recent decade, tiles for flooring finishes have extensively replaced marble. It has been 10 good years of evolution for tiles in market of Pakistan. However local manufacturing and production of tile is not satisfactory and considerable trend has been towards imported tile. Tiles are being imported from Spain, Italy, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Iran, UAE and other countries. Tiles most commonly used for flooring purposes are imported from China in sizes of 24in x 24in and 32in x 32in. Tiles with larger sizes such as 2ft x 4ft and 4ft x 8ft are also being imported but are very costly. Similarly tiles used for walls in washrooms, kitchens etc are also being imported in different sizes such as 12in x 24in, 12in x 32in, 10in x 36in. Following illustration shows most commonly available sizes for walls imported tiles:
There have been quite a few renowned names manufacturing tile locally which includes Sonex, Master, Shabbir ceramics and others, but the reasons for trend shifting towards imported tile are:
- Availability of more designs, shades and patterns at economical rates as compared to local tile
- Full body and more durability in imported tile
- Imported full body tiles are not permeable to water
- Availability of various sizes in imported tile is more as compared to local tile
- Imported unglazed full body tile have higher slip resistance and higher impact resistance as compared to local tile.
Types of tiles
Ceramic tiles are made by heating & firing clay. Once clay is heated to required extent for gaining required strength, color or texture as per desired design is applied over fired clay tile. The process of applying texture is called glazing process and it can apply infinity combinations of colors and textures to tile. Such tiles are mostly not full body tiles as they only have a very thin layer or a digital print of texture only over fired clay tile. Ceramic tile can have both glazed and unglazed texture. Unglazed ceramic tiles are useful for wet areas as well as outdoor areas exposed to severe heat in summers or severe cold in winters. Ceramic unglazed tiles are more scratch resistant as compare to glazed ceramic tile.
Difference between porcelain tiles and ceramic tiles is that porcelain tiles are heated at much higher temperatures making it more dense and moisture resistant. Hence making a tile much more durable, least porous and more stain resistant. Porcelain tiles are very suitable for indoor and outdoor floorings and are available in both glazed and matt (unglazed) textures. Full body tiles are only available in porcelain in which color and texture runs consistently throughout the body of tile unlike earlier discussed tile in which only a thin layer is coated like a digital print over the face of heated tile.
In our coming blog, we will explain types and trends of tile in market these days and a video tutorial for technicalities involved during installation of tile shall also be posted on our youtube channel.