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Ceramic Flower Planters & Pots

In this article we’ll talk about planters, especially focusing on the ones made from ceramics since they’re very popular options, however they also have their drawbacks, which is why we’ll compare them to some of the other popular materials that you can find when you go to places like Home Depot.

What is a Planter and What Purpose Do They Serve?

The planter, as you might have guessed is a great place for you to add those plants into that you are so meticulously taking care of, but it doesn’t just have a functional purpose. They’re also typically made for their decorative properties and can either be placed inside or outside too depending on where you want to store them.

They are available in different materials, and one style may be better suited for your home than another. While this article will focus especially on the ceramic ones, we’ll also be talking about the other options available to you, not just in terms of material but also in terms of style and how to best make it fit with your lifestyle.

If you’re living in a small apartment, you naturally won’t be able to install a massive ceramic planter without sacrificing very valuable space, so if that’s the case, you will naturally want to make sure that the plants and corresponding container are the best possible choice for you.

There are also instances where the ceramic planters might not be your best option, and we’ll talk about that too.

Choosing the Right Size and Type for Your Project

It’s always an important consideration to actually consider the location you’ll be putting it in. If it’s going inside, not everyone might be equally happy about placing a concrete structure there that can just seem very visually invasive.

The different materials also come with different price tags. You can get both ceramic ones that are very cheap, but if your budget allows it, there are really beautiful high-end ones too, and the price tag will reflect it.

Perhaps the most important consideration is how big the container should be, and that will be determined by what you’re planting in it. You should make sure not to plant things that require a significantly bigger container than what it is you’re planning on getting. Traditionally, plants will prefer more space, which is better in terms of not limiting root growth.

there’s a mixture of options available being imported from a mixture of countries including Vietnam, Malaysia and China, and if you go to a store to pick them up, they’ll be able to tell you if they can withstand frost or not.

When you’re getting a really big planter, it will also draw a lot of attention in a garden, and it’s therefore not a choice you can make without taking into consideration the other things in the garden. When you’re remodeling your home, you’re also aiming to do it in a way that complements all your other decisions in your home so that the project increases the resale value of your property. While you can choose something that adds contrast, it shouldn’t be that it looks ugly next to your other garden features.

If you’re buying a planter that will be standing there all year, you should also remember that the colors will be changing with the seasons, and that could influence your decision.

For the size of the container,  you should be thinking about what you’ll be planting in it and whether you wish to keep your opportunities open to plant bigger things in it at a later stage. A planter with no drainage hole can cause root rot, whereas still-standing water is an easy way to invite the mosquitoes to visit you, which isn’t fun either.

There are also a lot of plants that don’t require the pot to be completely full of soil, and when combined with things such as mulch instead, you’re making the planter lighter and more easy to move, and it also helps in terms of drainage.

Type of Planters

Ceramic isn’t the only type of planter for you to choose from, in fact there are both a lot of different materials and styles, some of them which we will go through in this article. Some homeowners swear by one over another, and it will depend on how highly you value the different factors, which recommendation we would make to you.

Plastic

Let’s start out by looking at another popular alternative – plastic. This is often the second option that people will go to, but yet you’ll also find homeowners that would never voluntarily choose this for their plants.

Let’s look at how the materials compare. At the end of the day, you’ll need to also consider the type of plant you’ll be planting. Your needs will inevitably be different if you’re doing vegetable gardening in them than if you’re simply doing it for decorative purposes.

Different plants have different needs when it comes to moisture, which in turn should affect the frequency of your watering, if you’re not letting mother nature handle for you.

Unglazed ceramic has an advantage and that is that it’s porous. What that means is that  it’ll be easier for it to shed excess water, and this choice can therefore be an advantage if it rains a lot and you aren’t too sure if the drainage if sufficiently good. When you get these, you should also more carefully watch the moisture level in the container so that it doesn’t become too dry in periods without a lot of rain, and remember to water at those points too. Roots will also have an easier time growing in unglazed ceramics.

You should beware that while this is the case with the unglazed material, the glazed one won’t have the same advantages, and these have a lot of the same features as plastic ones in the fact that they’ll keep moisture longer and the air circulation will be worse too. If you have plants that require a lot of water, and you’re not very good at making sure to water them, then you can probably guess what our recommendation is.

Plastic does have a bunch of advantages, including being lighter, which also makes them easier to move. There’s a bunch of different styles available, however, they can also end up simply feeling too ‘plasticky’, which is not a look desired by everyone. With it you get two other important advantages being that they have a lower price tag and they’re also more difficult to break. Bump clay against something in an accidental manner, and you might no longer have one piece of clay, but rather two – yes, it can break upon impact. Plastic doesn’t chip either, and while glazed ceramic doesn’t easily get stained, unglazed ceramic could get stained.

The additional weihgt of clay makes them more stable, but harder to move, and once you start getting big ones, they’ll weigh a considerable amount and weight could become a determining factor if you’re expecting harsh winters. Since clay’s thicker, it helps keep the container warm for longer, which could prove important for the root system.

The plastic pots will usually have a limited lifespan, but they don’t leave sharp edges if they crack and they can therefore also be considered the more childproof option. n the other hand, they’re also likely to change color when exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods of time. It’s generally a good idea to avoid plastic when you’re going to grow edible things in it because certain types of plastic could leak nasty things into the vegetables.

Metal

A lot of the different metal materials made for planters have the downside that rust is a concern you might have to deal with. There’s often a plastic liner so that the rust stays out of the planter.

Corten Steel Planters

Corten steel is in fact rusted metal, and they will definitely visually add to your garden when matched properly. In fact, corten steel is also used for siding, but you might want to be cautious since the material has been known to leave rust marks after it has rained, and you may therefore wish to consider where you place the container.

Wood

As well as wood siding, the material is also commonly used for planters. The disadvantage with the material is that it will usually stand a tough time against the elements if simply left outside untreated for extended periods of time. For instance, cedar siding needs staining every 2-3 years to keep it protected, and the wood that is used for a planter is no different. If left untreated, it’s prone to rotting over time. There’s often a liner added on the inside to help protect the material from the otherwise constant moist exposure from the soil.

Stone

While stone is beautiful, it’s also a porous material, and that means that it can easily start changing color over time as a consequence. They’re also incredibly heavy.

Fiberglass

Being a more expensive option than plastic, they do however have some advantages in that they’re more durable and won’t start losing their color nearly as fast either. They commonly resemble other materials too and are light-weight which is an advantage when you wish to move them.

All Weather Planters – Freeze-Proof Planters that You Can Leave Outside Year Round

Remember that we said there might be circumstances when you will want to avoid ceramic planters? Well, there’s a reason for it. They’re not the ideal choice for all scenarios because they have the vulnerability of being porous, means they’ll absorb a certain amount of water if they haven’t been glazed.

What that means is that the water that is now inside the pores freezes when it’s cold, and freezing water expands. With it, you will very likely see your planter not making it through the winter.

The good news is that you can also get porcelain ones that in theory should be able to withstand the harsh elements which is what frost is. The reason we say should is because there are a lot of times when ceramic has been mislabeled as porcelain, and it doesn’t actually have the advantageous properties that come with choosing this option, which tends to also be more expensive.

To better understand the differences between porcelain and ceramic, we urge you to read the article that is linked to within that sentence. We’ve also written extensively on the topics of ceramics floors and porcelain floors, which are also articles that you might find interesting.

Basically, to summarize the differences between the two materials, it comes down to the materials ability to withstand water and exposure to it, with porcelain’s ability being better. What that means is that the material needs to have a water absorption rate below 0.5% to actually be considered porcelain.

Still, why are you saying that the porcelain planters should be able to withstand frost and not that they are in fact able to do so?

The reason why we’re cautious in our wording is that it is often mislabeled. Porcelain is not a protected title, and a lot of the imported stuff especially does not have the properties that it requires to be deemed porcelain according to the US standard groups, so you could end up with a planter that absorbs more water than it should be, if it actually was the right material, and then it cracks in the cold.

If you actually get porcelain, they should be sufficiently water-resistant to be able to be placed outside year-round. When in doubt, ask the seller if it’s the case or not.

There are, however, material that we have previously mentioned that can be used year-round, even if it freezes. Do remember that it’s not even all plants that will be able to withstand the cold whether, but at least the container will. Therefore make sure that it’s not just the container but also the plants itself that is frost-proof. If you don’t mind having to move the container inside during the winter, or when you expect the first frost to hit, ceramic is definitely a potentially beautiful option.

It wouldn’t be fun if you go out onto your deck or patio simply to find out that the containers didn’t make it through the night. The best potters that can withstand the frost include fiberglass, wood and plastic. Metal is usually also able to live through it, but you will want to pay close attention to them and ensure that there’s no sign of rust. Galvanized ones have better protection against this, but it’s always a good idea to look out, just in case.

Ceramic is actually not the only type of planter that will often suffer in the cold. Terra cotta and concrete are also materials that will need to be taken inside if they haven’t had sealants applied to them, or you might soon find them cracking. It’s the same reason why concrete driveways need repairs. The water will seep into the small cracks and expand as it freezes. When it thaws, it once again leaves space for more water, and after repeated freeze and thaw cycles, you’ll see the holes getting bigger and bigger as a consequence.

Ceramic Shower Tile: The Decorative Option You Need!

Finding the right materials for your bathroom remodel is an important step, and a lot of homeowners consider ceramic shower tile for that process.

Why? Well, that is what we are going to be talking about in this article. While it’s not the cheapest option you can go with, when you want to create a shower that stands out, ceramic tile can help it do just that.

As well as being a great material for showers, ceramic floors and wall tile is also common in higher end bathrooms. When you’re feeling ready to proceed with your project, we can also help you with a range of services including connecting you with the most relevant tile installers in your area.

It’s also vastly popular to install in the bathroom because it works really well with radiant flooring heating, a lot better than other materials such as wood that besides being bad at handling the moisture in the bathroom also doesn’t work well with this type of infloor heating because it insulates too much.

Those are just some of the reasons why ceramic shower tile is so popular.

Should You Consider a Walk In Shower?

Walk in showers provide a couple of advantages. They can both provide a majestic look to any bathroom, which you will get to experience every single time you get out of bed in the morning, and they also provide safety since they’re easier to get into, just the same way that walk in bathtubs are, and they can therefore beautifully be paired with a home remodeling project intended for seniors because the risk of falling is decreased not having to climb over a large step first. If you’re remodeling your home for seniors, it’s obviously also important to think about installing grab bars and other measures that can help with safety, We recommend you read our specific article on the topic to get you started.

Besides being a safer option, the walk in shower goes really well with a desire to create a minimalistic and contemporary feeling in your home with their seamless transition to the rest of the bathroom. There’s only on thing to say – we’re fans of this type of shower installation!

What Are Some of the Material Considerations You Need to Think About?

When you’re choosing the material for a shower, you don’t just blindly go out and pick the first material you see and like. It’s a thought process that deserves serious consideration, and you need to think about the following factors in the process.

  • Durability – first of all, you want the material that you choose to actually be durable and handle the amount of stress that it is exposed to, which includes the high level of humidity and water from when you’re showering.
  • Slip-resistance – some materials are very slippery, and making them wet can just make them even more so. Some types of tile will also get really slippery when wet, so it’s important to make sure it isn’t the case with the tile you chose. It’s especially the case when you have kids or old people having to use the shower.
  • Consider smaller tiles – the advantage of installing smaller tiles, such as mosaic tile, is that there’s a larger amount of grout relative to the overall size of the area. Grout provides great slip-resistance, and that way it will be a little bit less important that the tile itself isn’t slippery.
  • Water-resistance – you don’t want the water from the shower head to actually make it underneath the material, which just becomes a place where mold grows. Mold is not only unhealthy to have in your house but remedying it can be expensive. Besides making sure that the tile itself is water-resistant, you need to make sure that the grout is in good condition since it’s often the weaker link, and grout that is in bad condition should be repaired or replaced. You can also get it sealed so that it is better protected.
  • The visual options – even if the material needs to have all the above qualities, it should also be something that you actually like looking at.
  • Maintenance – some materials come with more maintenance than others, and this is especially an important thing to be looking for when you’re installing it in a place that has as harsh conditions as the shower does.

If in doubt, you can always ask the ceramic installers for their opinion on the material you’re choosing to go with. Good companies should set their own interests aside and provide you with the recommendations that actually make sense for you. What that means is that it’s not their profit that comes first but rather making sure that you’re actually getting what it is you want to be getting, within the budget that you have available.

That is why we’re not just talking about ceramics in this article, but rather all your different options.

Ceramic Tile: Its Pros and Cons

Given that this article is focused on ceramic tile, we’ll start off by introducing its pros and cons.

Pros

  • Good return on investment – installing tile, especially if you have a high-end home with nice appliances and finishes, is almost required, and it in fact helps increase the value of your home too if it’s installed well and the right considerations were made in the process. That means you’ll be able to recoup the vast majority of the money you’re putting into the project from the increase in the resale value of the home. That’s great news!
  • Ability to create beautiful, custom designs – not only is tile available in thousands and thousands of different designs, but you can even get custom work done should you want it, and that can include everything from actually getting the tiles printed with the design you desire to have intricate cuts and patterns made.
  • Different textures can help make it more slip-resistant – the ceramic tile world has come a long way since its introduction thousands of years ago, and you are now able to not just get a lot of different designs, but also different textures, which can all help in creating a feeling that makes tile that looks like wood actually feel more like the real thing too.
  • Endless design options – while the manufacturers will be able to offer better prices if they produce more volume, if you don’t like the design of one tile, there are a lot of other manufacturers ready to provide you with alternatives, meaning there are literally thousands of different designs.
  • Radiant floor heating – we mentioned that previously in the article, but this is a flooring material that goes really well with that type of heating system, and it’s even a very efficient way of heating your home too, which will save you money too.
  • Ability to cut it to fit with the ceramic patterns you want – while cutting it isn’t easy and is best left for the professionals, it is possible to have it done. It is, however, more difficult to cut porcelain tile because it’s more dense.
  • Replacing a single tile is possible and not too difficult – if a tile cracks, you’ll need to replace it to make it look like new once again and fortunately the whole process rather easily done by a pro.
  • Very little maintenance needed – it’s typically sufficient that you just mop the floor.
  • Stain and water-resistant – with the protective glaze being added to the porous tile, you end up with a final material that is in fact very water-resistant, a feature which we previously mentioned is extremely important for obvious reasons.

Be sure to check out our comparison between ceramic and porcelain tile also if you are in the process of deciding between the two options.

Cons

  • The material isn’t cheap – ceramic tile not only comes in different designs and textures, but it also comes in different grades intended for different purposes. For instance, some types might work brilliantly for the wall but aren’t sufficiently strong to support foot traffic. The more durable and custom types of tile will also be more expensive than wall tile.
  • Cracks in the material will show – if you get glazed ceramic tile and you chip the outer layer, it will show the body of the tile, and even if it didn’t crack, you still might be tempted to replace the whole tile. This isn’t a problem that you’ll be experiencing if you rather install porcelain because its color goes all the way through.
  • The installation is not an easy DIY job – if you were thinking you were going to be spending your weekend figuring out this project all by yourself, you might want to reconsider because that’s not going to happen. The installation, especially for the heavier option, porcelain, is most easily done by someone that has years of experience with the trade.
  • Improper installation will show – the material is not just heavy and therefore difficult to operate, but if you get it installed improperly, you’ll also be able to see it rather easily, once again a reason to go with a pro.
  • Wider grout is easier to clean than more narrow one – if you are in love with the look of tile and therefore basically don’t want the grout to be visible, you’ll find out that a thicker grout line is actually beneficial when it comes to the ease of cleaning it.
  • A prefab shower is cheaper – when you’re really on a budget, there are better options to go with than this, but its upscale look more than compensates for it.
  • Grout is subject to mildew growth – when you get a prefab shower, there’s not the same risk of mildew developing because there isn’t grout that causes problems.

A Quick Glance at the Differences Between Ceramic and Porcelain

While most people aren’t quite sure what the actual differences are between the two materials, they do have important differences that make them more suitable for one purpose than another. Both materials are the consequence of clay that has been fired in a kiln, but the original materials will be slightly different in their composition.

The two materials are also fired at different temperatures and for different lengths. As a consequence the porcelain material becomes less porous after having been fired using higher temperatures, and that means it becomes more water-resistant also.

Because of its better water-resistance, it’s the preferred material for outdoor purposes (if water enters the pores, and it freezes, the water will expand and the tile will likely crack as a consequence). Meaning that it’s better to install materials outside that are simply not porous, especially in areas that will get severe winters with a high chance of frost.

Because the color is consistent all the way through the tile, porcelain is also better if you don’t want to have to replace chipped tile.

An Additional Touch to Make Your Shower Even More Remarkable

Another important consideration, especially if you’re spending the money to make your shower stand out by using ceramics, is by adding a glass enclosure. Rather than visually closing off the space by using a non-see through material, the glass makes the shower a natural extension of the rest of your bathroom.

It also helps keep the space well-it by not limiting the movement of light, and if you want to take it a step further, you can either install a window or a skylight too. The shower can also either be created as a screen or instead a full-enclosured area.

You should also consider whether or not you wish to have doors in the shower or not. In all your decision making you need to find out if you’re hoping to get privacy as a consequence of the installation, or whether you don’t mind, which can be advantageous if more people will be using the bathroom at the same time. If you do want privacy, choosing a solid wall is a more popular option. You may also have other limiting factors such as a lack of space, that can naturally limit what you’re capable of doing with it.

Other Materials to Consider

A very popular alternative to adding ceramic to a shower is to rather install a fiberglass one-piece unit. It can also be used together with ceramic tile. These units eliminate the problem that occurs with tile – there is no grout and therefore no seams. Being porous and constantly exposed to water creates an issue for the grout, so if you’re on a budget as well as concerned about the amount of maintenance, these are popular alternatives.

While they’re more convenient to install when the bathrooms originally being made, they can also be retrofitted.

More often than not retrofitting this will be difficult if it doesn’t fit through the door, which is often the case, meaning that the wall would either need to be taken down to be able to get it in place, or it’s installed along with new home construction before any walls are erected. You can probably imagine that projects that require ripping out a wall to get the materials in place quickly start running up a serious price tag.

They have the additional disadvantage that they won’t keep looking new. It’s not uncommon for them to become significantly more yellow over time, and scratches may also start to appear. While it might look good originally, higher-end construction is usually better off going with other materials.

Natural Stone and Marble

These are absolutely stunning materials to consider, but before going for them you should know that there are significant disadvantages in doing so. You generally associate marble with being an absolutely stunning material, and that’s also true. For some time at least.

The disadvantage with these materials is that they’ll need a good amount of maintenance to keep their original beautiful look. The porous surface will start soaking up all the things that’s being dropped on it, including staining materials, soap and water, and as a consequence it often won’t keep the beauty it once had. If you do decide to go with this material, protecting it with a sealant is an important step, although this sealant will only stay good for so long and will usually need to be reapplied every year for protection, and often even twice a year. How fun is that? If not, it’ll start changing color really fast.

You should also know that once the damage is done and it has started changing color,  you’ll find yourself having a really hard time rectifying it, and it might not even be possible. Additionally, it’s an expensive material option to go with, and a low quality material will just be prone to getting damaged a lot earlier than its high quality counterpart.

Acrylic Sheet

The most common variations that these are available in include white and off-white. These often come with built-in shelves and offer great water-protection too. They do come available in more decorative options than simply white, and they can be purchased so that one single piece can cover the entirety of a shower wall. They can also be retrofitted more easily than fiberglass, because you don’t have to take out a wall to get them through.

Ceramic is more scratch-resistant, and as a consequence it also stays easy to clean even after years of usage, unlike acrylic. They’re installed with the use of caulk, rather than grout, and while you may think that’s good, it more easily attracts mildew and won’t stay beautiful for long. If water makes it behind the caulk, it can be hard to detect, and you’re quickly standing with a problem where the water is causing water damage and if this isn’t handled in a timely manner, the problem only gets more severe and more expensive to repair.

Choosing the right material for your shower should always include the knowledge of how those materials will act, and we hope that this article has given you some ideas, and perhaps prepared you for your shower project. Ceramics is definitely a very decorative option to go with, and one with so many beautiful tiles available that we’re sure that you will find some that works for you too.

Ceramic Throwing Potter’s or Pottery Wheel

If you’re at all interested in the creative process of making pottery, you’ve likely heard of a potter’s wheel or otherwise also commonly referred to as a pottery wheel.

There are two common ways to make pottery, although pottery throwing has probably become the most popular, as opposed to handmade pottery. A potter’s wheel is a device that helps you in the process of creating the beautiful shapes that you want your ceramic ware to turn into.

Trimming the excess body is also a thing it’s able to do, or to help add decorative elements to the pottery. It’s been around for a long time, and they have helped making pottery creation a lot easier and faster too. In fact, they’re known to even have been used in the old world.

If you’re only just getting started making pottery, but you already have a potter’s wheel, we encourage you to read this guide on ceramic throwing.

The most common methods that were used pre-potter’s wheel included beating and coiling. Coiling is the process of creating rolls of clay and layering them on top of each other and you then slowly get the shape you desire when it gets built up. It can be used to make different forms, and as the coils are added on top of each other, they’re connected and smoothened to create a more a more consistent surface.

What Are the Advantages of Using One Over Making it Handmade?

There are a couple of advantages using a potter’s wheel rather than making pottery with your hands. To justify the fact that they easily have a price tag of $1,000, it can only be justified if they actually bring significant advantages. Well, for one they are a much more efficient way of making pottery. A potter can simply make more pottery using this method. You can probably imagine that having to make rolls of clay and stacking them on top of each other is a process that takes a significant amount of time with the different rolls having to be made individually.

The second benefit is that you can create things that have a much more consistent look too. While you’re able to create things that are fairly round doing so by hand, they’re likely not going to be as consistent and round as is the case when you make thrown pottery.

Thirdly, using a potter’s wheel, you can create pottery with thinner walls too than is possible if you make it handmade.

What is the History Behind Them?

Coiling was the method that was traditionally used to make pottery, and rolls of clay were pinched together, but being that it is a very labor-intensive. What they used to do before the introduction of this wheel is that the clay would be placed on top of large surfaces that could otherwise be spun around, rather than having to walk around them. This was commonly done by building it on top of leaves or mats, but having to physically turn it obviously did not offer the same convenience as making a wheel do the work, since both hands would still need to be in use.

Creating something that could automatically turn the pottery is therefore just a natural thing to follow from it. What followed was called tourneys or slow wheels, and they could be powered by either foot or hand, although it’s not certain how widely used they were, although they did help make it faster to produce pottery.

Around the 3rd millennium BC, an important improvement was invented – the fast wheel. The energy generated from kicking created a centrifugal force on the basis of the flywheel principle, having the clay stand on top a rotating stone. With this invention came what we today know as throwing pottery.

Rather than making and stacking coils, it now became possible to put a lump of clay on a rotating unit and press a hole in the middle instead. By strategically pressing the clay, different shapes could be made from a single piece of clay. It’s also easily distinguishable from handmade clay.

Although being a more primitive version, potter’s wheels have been around for more than 5,000 years with the oldest one found being from about 3,000 BC, although there have been findings of pottery dating back further that would suggest it being used for an even longer period of time.

Pottery Kick Wheels

Before pottery wheels became what they are today, kick wheels were the common, and they are even sold to this day. You can see one in action right here and see how it works.

Rather than having a motor do the actual work, it’s your kicking that does it. One of their advantages is that the lack of motor means there’s usually very little maintenance required for them. They also will last for a long time being as simple as they are, all you  simply have to do is kick it to make it spin, and it doesn’t matter what foot you feel more comfortable using either.

There are also potters out there that will choose it because they think it provides them with a relaxing sensation to sit and have to kick the wheel around, and that it even feels more authentic than simply getting a motor to do much of the work. What you need to know is that they’re not very movable objects because of how much they weigh, so if that’s important to you, you should look at a motorized one instead. The lightest one we found when we were looking weighed 270 lbs which you obviously cannot simply bring with you where ever you want.

In comparison, you can easily find motorized versions that weigh less than 80 lbs which, although not light, makes it significantly more mobile.
What is a Potter’s or Pottery Wheel?

Pottery Wheel for Beginners

If you’re just starting out with pottery, you may not yet be willing to spend what it takes to get a quality pottery wheel, but that’s not an issue. There are ways that you can go about actually getting a pottery wheel cheaper than the $800-$1,000 that you will be spending, even if you go to the cheap section of Big Ceramic Store.

First off, you can head on over to eBay where you simply search for them and you can find some for $200-300 instead, which is clearly a lot cheaper. We can’t ensure that they’re quite as good, but it’s the simplest way you can get one without paying too much and not having to put in a lot of effort yourself either.

DIY

Alternatively you can make a DIY pottery wheel. There’s a bunch of guides available on the internet that explains how to go about it. We’ve talked about them in this article also. If you have either a treadmill, washing machine or ceiling fan motor that you’re not using, the guides that you need are available on the internet.

If you’re making it with the ceiling fan motor, here is everything you need.

  • Ceiling fan
  • Bucket
  • Plywood
  • Paint
  • Peanut butter jar
  • Power cord
  • Some lumber
  • Screws
  • Wire knots
  • tools to make the project

With those things together, you can put one together yourself for $50, although it does require the use of tools, and if you’re not traditionally a handyman, you might not have those lying around at home. With that being said, we hope that you go out and create some really beautiful pottery as a consequence!

Using a Treadmill for Your DIY Pottery Wheel

Treadmills are often bought with the ambition that you’re going to change all your habits and start exercising more. However, often reality is a little different. Maybe you just never got the level of inspiration you were hoping for, or work kept you busy. When you come to the realization that you’re just not going to use the treadmill as you thought, there’s a different purpose it can be used for. That is making you a pottery wheel instead. Rather than trying to figure out how to do it yourself, you can just go ahead and use this guide.

Don’t feel sufficiently inspired by that one? Then there’s yet another guide that you can make use of right here.

Getting Started With Pottery

When you have actually gotten the pottery wheel and you feel ready to get started, we encourage you to view this video on getting started, and how you go about pulling the clay in order to create the shapes that you want.

Wheel Throwing Ceramic Pottery

We’ll talk about the different things included in ceramic pottery throwing on a wheel in this article to help you get started with your first pottery project.

What is a Pottery Wheel?

We’ve made a section that is dedicated to the potter’s wheel, and we suggest that you read it if you’re more interested in the history of the machine. Otherwise, this section is dedicated to what it does, and will only briefly touch upon some of the aspects covered in that other article.

When you’re trying to create round ceramic ware, like vases, a potter’s wheel is commonly what is used, although it can also be hand-shaped instead, which is in fact the traditional way of making Raku pottery, although the Western style adopted the use of a potter’s wheel for the purpose. For your information, Raku is a specific way of firing ceramics, and although it rarely has a functional purpose, it can help create beautiful, decorative pieces for your home.

Besides being used for creating the shape, the wheel can also be used when applying incised decoration, often in the forms of rings with different colors.

In comparison, handmade methods that were otherwise previously used include beating and coiling, although the use of the wheel helped make much more uniform pieces. The use of the wheel even goes back to and is known to have been used in the Old World.

It works by spinning the clay and different techniques such as jolleying and jiggering are then used to shape the clay. Jolleying is the technique used for cups and other hollow ware, while jiggering is used for things such as plates.

Slow wheels is the earliest type of potter’s wheel, and came into existence around 4,500 BC, although its usage was probably limited due to its simple design. The first designs were so simple in their designs that they mostly worked as a way to keep the potter from having to walk around the clay.

It wasn’t until the development of the fast wheel that the traditionally known thrown pottery came into existence, which created a centrifugal force with its introduction. The introduction of this type of wheel also allowed for the creation of pieces with thinner walls, making it easily distinguishable from the handmade stuff, and it also vastly increased the productivity too.

It was originally powered by kicking the flywheel with the foot, which helped free up hands to work on the clay, although that has been replaced by a motor over time.

Techniques Being Use

There is no one right or wrong technique, although the technique is usually pretty typical. A moist amount of clay is thrown on top of the wheelhead or bat, which is generally either made from plastic or wood. By attaching it to the bat, it’s more easily removed once it has been formed.

Before adding it, the clay should be even, after which it is forced to the center using your hands. The spinning piece of clay will keep putting pressure on the hand until it is in the middle, and you then start off by pressing the thumb into the center of the mass, although in press downwards, it’s important that you do not go all the way to the bottom and actually reach the bat, which would create a hole in the piece. To make the hole bigger, you slowly move the finger twards you, which will cause expansion of the hole.

When you have at some point reached the desired shape, a cheese wire can be used to free it from the bat. It can be trimmed by inverting it and using a sharp tool for the purpose.

If very large pots are needed, there can be as many as two people working on it at the same time to achieve the result.

Here’s a very good descriptive image from Pinterest that helps describe the process and  make it easier for you.

How to Make a Pottery Wheel

You don’t need to actually go out and buy a potter’s wheel. If you fancy doing so, you can simply make your own and probably even save some money in the process. While you can make one yourself, it obviously won’t be the same as if you went out and bought a professional one. If you’re just starting out and you’re not really ready to actually put a lot of money towards one, this can be a great start. It can also be a great way to get kids curious.

If you’re switching between different colors of clay, some potters also like having different wheels, because it means that you’ll be cutting down significantly on the amount of time you spend cleaning. And cleaning’s not always the most fun, when you’re just feeling like being creative.

Using a Treadmill

Are you one of those people that has a treadmill standing around and it’s now just gathering dust, because you just don’t use it like you were hoping you would. Well, it can be turned int a pottery wheel instead, that’s the great news. Instructables has a great guide on how to make one. The instructions have been carefully prepared making it easy for you to follow them and getting your very first pottery wheel at home. It includes everything from getting the motor ready to installing the wheelhead at the end.

If you think the one that they have on there is too big and bulky, you can check out this one instead, which is easier to use.

Washing Machine

A treadmill is not the only thing you can use to make your very own potter’s wheel. Other things such as a washing machine that you aren’t using can work too, see how right here. They managed to spend no more than $106 on the project.

Ceiling Fan

Did you think that a treadmill or washing machine were the only repurposed motors that you could use for the project, then think again. In fact, you can think about the fact that with a bit of creativity, you could be using a ceiling fan the same way this user made a wheel for as little as $50. That’s impressive!

What you need is just a ceiling fan, a plastic bottle and a bucket and you’re good to go. This is how Lou did it. He’s also covering the necessary safety precautions you need to keep in mind and how to deal with them. The video is not just great, but other users have also contributed their own ideas as to how to improve the design.

How to Throw a Bowl

If you’re still a beginner at the craft, one of the first things you might want to try and make is a bowl. Rather than try and explain it in writing, we think that this video does very  good justice at the art. It has everything covered for you to get started and get your potter’s wheel spinning some magic.

When you’re just getting started, we also recommend this course on getting started that is just great.

How Does a Ceramic Kiln Work and What is it?

Since our website talks a lot about ceramic tile, and we correspondingly have helped a lot of homeowners get connected with the corresponding contractors, we only thought it was a good idea to also spend some time talking about what a kiln, and how it works.

These ovens are used to finish ceramics in, by heating them to desired temperatures to complete processes, drying them and causing them to become denser and harder. A range of different things are all made in kilns that range from bricks and tiles to pottery, including Raku.

They’re not new, in fact they have been around for thousands of years. Before they were first discovered, around 6,000 BC, pit firing was used.

What is a Kiln?

Kilns are an important part included in the process of making ceramics, such as porcelain tile, although not limited to it.

The exposure to the high temperatures inside the kiln will stop physical and chemical reactions. The firing will also mean that clay can no longer be recycled after having been fired. Different things will affect the way the clay finally turns out, including the preparation of it, its composition and the temperature and length of time it’s fired.

Glazes are often added to ceramics in order to make them better withstand the different elements they’re likely t be exposed to. Glazed ceramics is a lot better than unglazed in terms of water-resistance which is important if they’re event meant to be used for bathroom floors.

After the ceramics has been fired a first time, liquid glass may be added to it, and upon going back in and being fired, this will fuse with the clay. Alternatively, a sealant can be applied to ceramics, thereby better protecting the porous material against water. A third firing can be used for further decorative elements being added.

The length of the firing, the heat and the mixture of material going into it will reduce the size of the pores, making it less susceptible to water damage, but also causing it to shrink a little bit. The size of the pores, and therefore the  water absorption rate is what determines if you have normal ceramics, or whether it is porcelain.

What is the Difference Between Ceramics and Porcelain?

What most people don’t know is the fact that normal ceramics and porcelain are in fact very similar things. As porcelain hasn’t been regulated, the suggested definitions come from standard groups that try to help consumers gain better insight into what it actually is they’re buying. Their definitions of porcelain have the thing in common that the material has a water absorption rate below 0.5%, meaning that when the material is lowered into water, it absorbs less than 0.5% of its own weight in the process.

A Tunnel Kiln and the Intermittent Kiln

A tunnel kiln is a long oven in a continuous form through which the ware is transported. Unlike the intermittent kiln, the tunnel kiln doesn’t have the same temperatures at the ends as it does in the middle. On the other hand, in an intermittent kiln, the clay is simply placed inside of it, and the structure is closed. The temperature is then raised to the desired level. With traditional ware, it is left to slowly cool, although Raku is taken out and cooled off rapidly.

Electric or Gas Kilns

Kilns are traditionally either gas or electricity fired, with natural gas and propane being common types of fuel for them as both types of ovens are easy to control the temperature of.  The electric ones are also more common for smaller places such as schools. Although there’s no open flame, which is what helps create the reductive, gas can be introduced for that purpose.

Temperatures Used For Firing

Potters want to get that perfect color, no matter if they’re just starting out or have been working with pottery for a long time, and the temperature will affect the color of the pottery. Even if you feel like the hardest part was actually creating the creative work and shaping it, now is when it really matters.

Glazes are not created equal, and what that means is that they will melt at different temperatures, which affect the temperature you will need to ensure. Rather having the glaze fuse with the clay, it may simply run off if it becomes too warm in the kiln for that specific type of glaze. Too low temperatures, on the other hand, will not give satisfactory results either.

For typical earthenware, those made of low-firing materials, maturity is reached at 1940℉, although it can vary slightly. Cone 04 is the average that’s being used and it produces a orange-yellow color as a consequence. Earthenware is usually glazed to protect it.

Kaolin is usually what is used for porcelain, although they’re commonly mized with other types since it makes it possible to fire them at lower temperatures and still obtain the desired result, but the purity of the clay is what determines the firing temperature. The temperature range at which it does best is between 2380℉ and 2455℉, at which point it turns white. Glazing can be added to it, although the availability is somewhat limited.

Painting Ceramic Tile Floors: How to, Best Paint, Can You Do it?

Did you think that the only way that you could revive your tile is by replacing it? Well, we’ve got good news for you!

While it’s a project that’s easily handled by a professional house painter, you probably made it to this page because you’re curious to see what the process is like. We’re still here to help you if at least you want to see what a pro would charge you for the job (and even if you get quotes, there’s no obligation for you to go with any of them). Just follow the link that we included earlier in this section to find out how to do it.

Why You Should Consider Painting in General

While you can start with a full on bathroom remodel if there are more elements that you wish to change, a simple paint job can take your tile from a nasty 80s appeal to an actual classy, elegant place that you want to spend time in. It’s much cheaper to do it like that when you’re trying to sell your home to make sure that it actually appeals to today’s home buyers.

Can You Paint Tile? What You Need to Know

Yes, you can in fact paint ceramic tiles in your bathroom, but there are things you to know before you get started with the project. We’ll cover them below.

Most tiles have added what’s called ceramic glazing to them.  What exactly is that? It’s liquid glass that is added to the material in the firing process, and when it goes into the kiln (the oven used for firing the tiles), this glass fuses with the tile, and it creates a protective shield, which has different purposes. You probably already knew that ceramic tile is known for being pretty stain resistant and water-resistant too. Well, that’s because of the glaze that is added on top of it. Without it, ceramics is actually really quite porous, if at least you don’t go for porcelain tile.

So, tile without the glaze is really quite porous meaning that it will soak up liquid and spills, and which is why it will stain. While you can also get unglazed ceramic tile (which will have a protective sealant added to it every couple of years), the most traditional variation is the one that has been glazed. Since the whole point of the protective layer is to keep things from staining it, you can imagine how it wouldn’t be ideal to simply paint on top of it. The glaze needs to be removed first.

It’s also why it’s generally preferred that you don’t do it with tile that is exposed to a lot of water because you’re removing a lot of the protective coating that has been helping it with its many properties making it very easy to clean and durable, and replacing that protective coat with paint instead, and while paint does help protect it, it’s not quite as good as fused glass. You can refinish a bathtub, but you need to make sure the process is done properly and that you also choose the best paint for the purpose, one that provides good protection against water.

When you’re painting tile, you’re also painting the grout, and that will create a more uniform look, where you might’ve originally chosen the grout to add some contrast to the bathroom. In the process of painting, that will now go lost.

The success of your project comes down to mainly two different factors – making sure that you prepare the tile for the paint, and choosing the right kind that will last for a long time.

Preparing the Tile

Tile is not the only surface that needs to be prepared for painting. You probably know that a primer needs to be applied in other cases so that the paint stays there better. There are 3 steps in that process, that includes properly cleaning the area, sanding it and then removing all the particles before starting.

Cleaning it

The first thing you will want to do is make sure that the surface is completely clean before you proceed with any of the following steps. That means there should be no soap scum, mildew or dirt anywhere. To achieve this use an abrasive cleaner to get rid of all those nasty things that might have accumulated over time. When that’s been done, wipe it down so that there’s no residue from the cleaning. You will want to make sure you do a good job with this since it will make the following steps easier. When it’s been cleaned, it now needs to dry before sanding.

Sanding it

It’s now time to sand the area in preparation. Using an orbital sander is the easier way to go about it. Use 220 grit sandpaper and sand it lightly. You’re doing this because you want to scuff up the surface so that the primer can do its job. Sanding can also help with the stuff on the floor that seems impossible to remove in other manners. If you try and sand it by hand, you’ll see yourself getting tired before you get done with the process. If you insist on doing the project yourself, you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle by getting an electric sander. They’re also fairly easy to operate.

Removing Dust

Now it’s once again time to actually clean the floors since it has likely left a lot of dust from the sanding, and this will only make the paint job worse if not removed. Vacuum everything that’s been left behind, and get a heavy-duty stripper in addition.

Follow the instructions on the stripper you choose and mop the floor with it. Do not be afraid to put some serious muscle behind doing this because a cleaner floor will also be one that the paint is better able to stick to, so you really can’t clean it excessively.

Is a Tile Cracked or Grout that Needs Repair?

When you’ve done the previous steps, and especially if the tile was installed a long time ago, it’s not uncommon to be in a situation where grout needs to be either repaired or replaced. You can entirely regrout it, although that will undoubtedly take you a lot of time, because it’s first a matter of removing the old grout also, but you can also go the easier route and use paintable caulk to make sure that the grout is consistent, unbroken and provide the protection against moisture between the tiles that it provides.

Applying Primer

The primer is where the paint will stick to, and that means it need to be good quality too. Since you’re often doing this job in a place where paint is having a hard time, you won’t want to go for a cheap option here, but rather one you know will actually do the job. Make sure that it’s applied according to the manufacturer’s specifications and that it covers all the areas that will be painted. That can mean you might both need to use a brush for those hard to get to places, like the grout, and then a roller for the bigger surfaces. Do it strategically. Start at the end of the bathroom, working your way towards the door so as to avoid having to step in the wet primer before it has dried. That way you don’t leave marks on the floor, and you get a better result from it.

The Actual Painting

The same way that you used to apply the primer, you will want to use for the actual painting since it can be hard to get to the grout even if it has been primed, using both a brush and a roller.

Should You Seal it?

This is usually voluntary, and might not be needed if you have gone for a really high quality paint made to withstand the abuse that the floor is going to be exposed to. If you don’t go for porch paint, you should seriously consider doing so to increase its durability. It can also be a question of how much you actually plan on using the floors. The seal is great, and probably needed, when a lot of wear is expected, but if it gets damaged, it will show more easily, whereas if the painted floor gets damaged, it’ll be a little bit easier to repair.

When you choose to seal it, you should let it cure, the same way you would let it cure if you were instead applying Polyurethane to wooden floors. You should also be aware that the curing process will lower the air quality in your home with the VOCs in the air that are being let out, and taking additional steps to improve the ventilation can be a good idea. The different sealers will also have different instructions on how long you will need to leave the floor before you can start using it, and in the beginning, it’s best if you are careful in the way you treat it, which can mean no exposure to things that would damage it, like shoes.

Use Protective Rugs

There are several reasons why you might want to put rugs on the floor in your bathroom. For one, it will make the surface less slippery, which is a good idea if you either have kids or you’re remodeling the home for seniors. It’s just a good protective measure.

The Paint You Need to Choose

Ceramic tile floors are exposed to a lot of wear, especially when installed in either the living room or kitchen, and you will want a type of paint that can add the protection that is needed. You can often go for the same type of paint that would be used on patios, since the conditions they need to be able to handle have a lot of resemblance. Again, there are instructions on the paint can on how to best go about it, but you’ll likely need to apply several layers.

You can typically either go for latex paint, which often requires two topcoats to do a good job. Alternatively, you can use epoxy for it, but this isn’t the ideal choice to go with if you’re very specific in the color that you want since the selection isn’t great.

If you have a small passion for DIY projects, it’s one that you can try doing yourself, although it can easily be done by a pro. It’s one of those projects that can completely revitalize your bathroom, if you really used to think it was just horrible.

Ceramic Tile Uses

Ceramic tile has come a long way from its humble beginnings to now having the ability to create custom tile, exactly the way you want it. Its versatility has led it to become one of the most praised building materials that go into your home.

You’re no longer limited to a sole color. You can get exactly what it is you want, and that includes tile that looks like wood. Yes, it’s amazing! The technology behind that is called inkjet, and it has opened up so many possibilities for creating a custom look, and enjoying the look of one material that looks like another, with the advantages that come along with installing tile.

Yes, you can now get that wooden look when you’re installing a shower. You would never be able to actually install wood in a shower because it would start deteriorating extremely quickly because of the exposure to water. While tile isn’t perfect, it’s really great. It should be known that it can feel cold underfoot why a lot of homeowners choose to combine its installation with the installation of a radiant floor heating system.

Things to Consider Before Making Your Choice

Before you proceed to buy and install the tile, you will want to make sure that you’re actually installing the right type. If for example you plan on installing it outside, you need to know that those are exposed to a lot more wear than the ones installed inside.

While tile is generally a very practical choice of material, it would be a shame to install a material to simply have to replace it because you didn’t think about the fact that frozen water expands, and what that means is that if water penetrates a tile and then freezes, you’ll quickly end up seeing the tile break. At this point it’s inevitable that you will need to replace it.

You will also want to make sure that you accurately estimate the amount of wear that it will be exposed to. For instance, if you’re installing it as flooring in a commercial setting, you’re looking for different properties than if it’s used for ceramic wall tiling.

The PEI Rating of the Material

Material that is intended for floors will take a serious beating every single time you walk on it. For instance, Raku ceramic tile would never be sufficiently strong to be used for floors, and it would simply crack as soon as you started walking on it. It does make great, decorative pieces including vases and many other different things.

So how do you know if the material has the durability that you would be needing? You can start looking for something that is called the PEI rating. What it does is that it measures the hardness of the tile, where tile that is installed on the walls naturally don’t have the same durability requirements as do ones installed in industrial or commercial settings.

This is how the scale goes, and the corresponding usage that is advised on the basis of it. If you’re ever in doubt as to whether you’re choosing the right tile for the purpose, we encourage you to seek out the advice of professionals that give you the advice you deserve.

PEI 1 – Are you installing it on the walls in your home? Great, then this option is enough. Otherwise you’ll want to go with something more durable than it.

PEI 2 – This rating can also be installed for very light foot traffic applications too. What does that mean? Well, things where there’s no heavy objects that will accidentally be exposing it to potentially damaging impacts, which for example can be in the bathroom. It can also still be used for walls.

PEI 3 – The material is starting to get more durable and these tiles can tolerate more wear and while still being for residential purposes only, they can be installed in living rooms, halls and bathrooms. Places that will be exposed to slightly more foot traffic than simply will be the case in a bathroom.

PEI 4 – Being able to tolerate moderate to heavy traffic, you start being able to use this for more serious purposes and it can even be used for commercial purposes when the wear isn’t too harsh.

PEI 5 – when you need the strongest tile, this is it. You shouldn’t start seeing this break, and it can even be used for heavy commercial use too. Make sure to always consult with the sales staff, if you aren’t sure if you’re choosing the right durability. Contractors will also generally be happy to provide their recommendations, hoping to earn your business in return.

Uses Around the Home

Because it’s so beautiful and practical, there’s almost no place in the home where its addition wouldn’t help beautify the space. You can combine the materials in so many ways with the thousands and thousands of different tiles available. If you need that additional push in order to get convinced that you should start on such project, all you need to do is head over to Mercury Mosaics and fall in love with all their different mosaic options. Believe me, it’s not the cheapest tile you’ll be able to get, but it is beautiful! So if aesthetics comes first, and budget second… Or fifth, then their many different tiles could be exactly what your home needs!

Here’s a quick list f places where the material is used in your home, to make sure that you didn’t by chance miss one.

Floors

If you’ve ever walked into a truly beautiful, high-end bathroom, you’ve probably been walking on top of tile. The many different options can be matched with exactly the ambiance that you’re creating. However, it’s not just in your bathroom that you can use this on the floors. The mudroom, kitchen and entryway are also places where it can be used. If you’re turning a garage into a room, you can even use it there! With its ability to stay easy to clean and not attract dirt, as well as being durable (assuming you get the right option for the purpose), it’s a truly versatile option, ready to go anywhere in your home.

Your Kitchen Island is a Place that Most Homeowners Don’t Think About in the Process

Everyone doing kitchen remodeling is talking about backsplash installation, however most people don’t think about the fact that the kitchen island can also be decorated. They’re often overlooked despite the fact that they play such an important role in your home. Well, we want to bring focus to them so they can get the attention they deserve. Below you can see how the tile from Mercury Mosaics was installed to install beautiful contrast to a kitchen that was otherwise predominantly white in color. Rather than letting the white color dominate the whole room, the contrast is beautifully done here.

Backsplash to Protect the Walls With Your Culinary Adventures

Backsplash installation is an important part of any kitchen improvement project.

The backsplash serves an important purpose. You’ve probably realized that it isn’t always the most clean experience when you’re either cooking or doing the dishes. Things will easily go all over the place in the process. Ew! Well, with the installation of tile you don’t have to worry anymore since it’s very, very easy to clean. It also serves the role that it will significantly improve the look of any kitchen when the tile for that purpose has been chosen wisely. See  below one way that it was installed in a very contemporary kitchen. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably drooling a little bit right now!

Creating a Focal Point With Stove-Splash

While the above image shows how a consistent look can be created throughout the wall in your kitchen using mosaic tile, but your options don’t end there. While it’s easy to clean, the look itself might be a little bit too clean for the taste of some people. You can either change it up by creating an accent or otherwise creating a finishing touch. Contrasting tile may be an option, or you can go a little bit more retro the way it was done underneath. It’ll add a lot of personality, but if you’re trying to sell your home, you might want to consider something that is a bit more clean in its appearance with broader appeal also since it will help increase the home’s resale value more also.

Either way, it’s definitely a source of inspiration for how you can install the tile in different ways. Is the look for everyone? Definitely not! But if it’s right for you, that can be enough.

The Fireplace

Are you having a fireplace installed? Then what better opportunity to make it the center of attention once someone goes into your living room? This is yet another place where tile can be added to really make it stand out. Your fireplace does not simply need to be this boring place that just serves a functional purpose. It should be lighting up the space and drawing people to the living room. Not all materials will be able to handle the temperatures needed around a fireplace, but tile can.

Here’s yet another example of how you can use contrasting colors to definitely create an interesting space that will draw the attention of your guests and get them speaking.

Walls of Your Bathroom

You’ve probably previously heard the advice that you shouldn’t use excessive amounts of tile if you’re trying to save money during a bathroom remodel. Well, if that’s not your main goal, you can use it to either compliment or contrast the floors by installing it on the walls of your bathroom. This is yet another place where it can be a huge advantage that the wall material is easy to clean. You don’t even need huge amounts of tile in order to create an interesting accent that can break up the feeling in the room. Rather than it being a place you simply go to take a shower, it can now be a room that you look forward to go to in the morning.

Although there is some color variation in the tile used below, it’s not too daring, but complements the rest of choices in the bathroom very well.

An Interesting Shower Niche

Shower niches can not just be made to be an interesting visual addition to any bathroom, but they also serve a big purpose. In the photo above, you see how they’re allowing the shower’s users a place to put all their things, and when you see this, how can you really not want this to be your bathroom?

Ceramic tile has so many different uses in your home, and we’ve covered some of the most important ones that homeowners choose. How are you planning on using the material to compliment your home?

Glazed vs Unglazed Porcelain & Ceramic Tile

What does it mean that ceramic tile has been glazed, and is it better that it’s glazed or unglazed?

Did you know there are also different types that you can choose that have different purposes and will leave a different finish?

In this article we’ll try to cover all the possible questions you may be having. If you’re in the process of deciding whether you should go for glazed or unglazed tile, we hope that this article will help clear things out for you. Since we have a lot of people coming to us asking us about the differences between ceramic tile and porcelain tile, we’ll also cover those aspects in the article. You can also read the respective articles on their topics by pressing the links that we included.

When you’re ready for it, we’ll also be more than happy to help connect you with the most relevant ceramic tile installers in your area to bid on your project, completely free of charge for you. In the end, if you don’t like their quotes or decide not to go with them after all, that’s completely up to you as there’s no obligation.

What is Glazed Porcelain and Ceramic Tile Flooring?

porcelain-tile

When you start looking around to purchase one or the other kinds of ceramic tile, it’s inevitable that you don’t either see them saying glazed or unglazed in relation to the product, and it’s important to know what it actually is so that you can make a more qualified purchase.

When you’re buying tile, you should know that they come in two forms, either with or without glaze on top of them. The bisque is the main part of the tile, on top of which the glaze is added. The glaze is basically a protective coating, which consists of liquid glass that is baked with the tile in the kiln, and during the process it sticks to the bisque. One of the reasons why this is added is because it will contain a range of decorative elements, and since the tile is inherently porous, the glaze adds a protective layer that not only protects against water but stains as well.

Colors

Various minerals such as silver, gold, copper, mercury, zinc and others are what add the colors in the glaze, and while you may have seen the beautiful material before, you might not have known that it’s in fact a liquid glass covering that was added. Iron oxides, chromium and more are used to make the finish you desire.

The vast range of colors that tiles are offered in is a direct consequence of the ability to glaze the tile. While you may love your tile’s look, if the glaze gets damaged in any way and it affects the integrity in the tile, you can’t simply repair it. That specific tile will need to be removed and a new one put in.

Glazing in itself doesn’t refer to a surface being glossy, which is what a lot of people think of when they hear the term, although it is often to give a high-gloss look. The term refers to the actual coating, the substance that is added. Net time someone uses it to make a description of the tile, you know that it isn’t correct since glazes can be matt also.

How much oxygen is available during the baking process that takes place in the kiln will also have a big effect on the color that the tiles turn out. Copper can either turn out turquoise or bright red depending on the conditions in the kiln.

The Temperature of the Kiln

Since you’re dealing with liquid glass that is being added on top of tile during the baking, you will want to make sure it has the right temperature during the process. Without sufficient heat it won’t properly fuse with the bisque, and too much heat could cause it to run off and end up in undesired places instead. The amount of oxygen inside the kiln can also affect the temperature that is needed.

Where Are Glazed Tiles Used?

There’s both a bunch of residential and commercial places where glazed tile is used. The most common residential purposes it has includes countertops, kitchen floors, backsplashes, bathrooms and decorative wall elements.

When safety is the biggest concern, which it can be in commercial places, unglazed may be preferred.

Benefits of Glazing

There’s a reason why people buy glazed tiles. You can see all the advantages below:

  • It allows for all the beautiful colors and designs that you can find.
  • Stain-resistance – covering the pores means that your tile won’t get stained if you drop something on it that would otherwise have stained it.
  • Fire-resistance – while it’s not the glaze as such that provides the fire-resistant features, these tiles are fire-resistant, which should be obvious from the fact they go into an oven that would otherwise have set them on fire.
  • Fade-resistance
  • Basically maintenance-free – while you owe it to your tile to wipe up spills, this option has barely any maintenance when compared to other flooring options.

Why You May Wish to Go For Unglazed Material Instead

The glazing of the material adds a range of beautiful colors to the material, but it also traditionally increases the cost when compared to the unglazed alternative. It’s also more slippery than the unglazed version.

While not a drawback of glazing, tile in general is not the cheapest flooring option you can go with, so if you’re on a strict budget there simply may be other materials that you might be prefer looking into before this one.

You should also know that if you crack the glaze sufficiently deep, you will see the underlying tile below which will have a different color, and it could leave a noticeable mark.

Unglazed tiles have their purpose too and are often used in commercial settings where a lot of traffic is expected. This includes everything from hotels to airports and everything in between. The only way these tiles won’t be matt is if they have been polished, which will create a highly-reflective surface as a consequence.

How is Ceramic and Porcelain Tile Made?

Once the clay and other elements have been formed in the desired shape, it’s left to dry and it is then put into a kiln which fires it at very high temperatures. The amount of time it is in the kiln as well as the temperature will affect the water absorption rate of the material, which is how it is determined whether what you have is ceramic or porcelain.

For it to be considered porcelain, the water absorption rate must be below 0.5%. What that effectively means is that when the tile is boiled and left in water after having been in the oven, it should add 0.5% or less of its own weight from the submersion into water. When the tile weighs more than 0.5% more after that process, it’s not considered porcelain, if you go by the definition used by most standard groups.

A lot of the benefits that porcelain has, it has because of its lower water absorption rate, and they’re the same as those that glazed ceramics would have.

Which Type of Ceramic Are You Buying?

Since porcelain is basically ceramic with a lower water absorption rate, we want to provide you with a warning. There are a lot of the materials out there that claim to be porcelain that aren’t. We know – it sucks but there’s nothing to do about it!

Porcelain isn’t a regulated title so your best option when it comes to going out and wanting to buy porcelain is to make sure you’re actually buying a tile that carries the PTCA Certification Mark. It’s a voluntary certification but it will help ensure that the manufacturer has gone through rigorous testing of their tile in order to live up to the requirements they set forward, and that you will get the desired consequences from it too.

What You Need to Know About Grout

So the tile itself has now been well-protected with the coating, however there’s still the fact that between the different tiles is the grout which doesn’t have the same protection, is a porous material and is therefore exposed to the risk of mold and mildew. When installing ceramic or porcelain, this is the weakest link, why adding a sealant to the grout will also help make sure that it in fact doesn’t become a problem. Adding this sealant to the grout also helps make sure that it doesn’t get stained either.

green glazed tiles

How to Clean Glazed Porcelain Tile

The good news is that the material is extremely easy to clean and you will usually find that all it takes is the help of a damp mop. Otherwise, you may look for a mild cleaner for porcelain is what you will need. What that means is that it has to be non-acidic to avoid it harming the finish that was added.

Glazed vs Unglazed Porcelain & Ceramic Tile

For unglazed tiles, the same color of the tile goes all the way through the body of the tile, and while the glazed tile isn’t likely to show a lot of marks from wear, the unglazed one won’t show any. When you use unglazed tile, chances are you will need to apply a protective sealant in order to keep the material from getting stained.

If you’re not planning on reading anything else in this article, you should at least read the comparison below.

Type of tile Unglazed Glazed
How Thick is it? These are usually both thicker and more dense In comparison, these are traditionally not as thick
Slip-resistance The less-smooth surface provides better protection against falling Glazed tiles are easier to fall on
Danger of getting stained Since the pores aren’t coated, ceramic tile will absorb liquids that contain colorants The liquid glass added on top makes sure they don’t get stained even if you spill something.
What it looks like Earthy as a consequence of not having additional colors added to the clay. Whatever color or finish you may want.
How it’s made Nothing is added on top of the tile during the baking. A sealant may be added afterwards. The liquid glass coating gets fused with the bisque.

How to Tell if Tile is Glazed or Unglazed

As mentioned above, the only way that unglazed tile will be glossy is if it has been polished, and that’s an easy way to tell if it’s one or the other.

Their Performance

When the tile has been fired at higher temperatures and for longer, this tend to affect the color of the tile too, as well as its durability. Since some glazes require higher temperatures to properly fuse, that will also mean that you end up with stronger tile. As such, the general rule of thumb is that the darkness of the glaze is an indication of the durability of the tile, while it is not to say that lighter tiles aren’t durable, they might simply not be AS durable.

In addition, how matte the finish is will also affect the durability with the more matte ones being more durable also. Whatever project you’re looking to have the tiles installed for will require that you find the tiles that best serve their intended purposes. When you’re simply looking to have decorative tile installed, the requirements for their durability is significantly less than that of flooring tile.

When it comes to flooring tile, you will also need to consider their PEI rating. The PEI rating basically lets you know how durable the tile is and therefore what it can be used for, where grade 1 is only intended to be put on walls to look beautiful. Grade 2 can be used for bathrooms or kitchens, but it is still only one grade higher. When you start expecting a little bit more wear of the material, which will naturally happen when you have kids or pets, grade 3 is necessary.

This grading system goes all the way up to grade 6, which is the most durable.

If you’re ever wondering what an appropriate choice would be in your situation, you should reach out to pros and ask for their opinion too. They can give you advice on everything from glazing to PEI ratings and durability.

Ceramic Cone Temperatures

If you’re looking to buy a kiln, one of the things you might want to do is buy one that is capable of handling higher temperatures than what you currently think you’ll be needing. By doing so, you’re sure that you’ll be able to satisfy your creative urges no matter if they change slightly from your current plans.

A lot of potters will need to fire at cone 6, although 8 is also common. In those cases, it might be a good idea for you to go with a kiln capable of firing at cone 10.

You should also be sure to protect your eyes when looking at the clay with a welder’s mask to avoid damage to your eyes!

Cone # Color Fahrenheit Celsius
22 Dull Red 1113 600.6
21 1136 613.3
20 1176 635.6
19 1260 682.2
18 1323 717.2
17 1375 746.1
16 1458 792.2
15 1478 803.3
14 1541 838.3
13 1564 851.1
12 Cherry colored red 1624 884.4
11 1640 893.3
10 1653 900.6
9 1692 922.2
8 Orange 1752 955.6
7 1802 983.3
6 1831 999.4
5 1913 1045
4 1941 1060.6
031/2 1975 1079.4
3 2015 1101.7
2 2047 1119.4
1 2080 1137.8
1 Yellow 2108 1153.3
2 2125 1162.8
3 2133 1167.2
4 2168 1186.7
5 2184 1195.6
6 2233 1222.8
7 2263 1239.4
8 2306 1263.3
9 2335 1279.4
10 White 2382 1305.6
11 2398 1314.4
12 2420 1326.7
13 2454 1345.6

Ceramic Floor Tile: Pros & Cons, Installation Cost, Types & More

What is ceramic tile floor and why is it such a popular material to use around the house? We’ll walk you through its different pros and cons, the different styles you can go with and make sure that you make the right decision.

 

When you feel like you’re ready to move forward with your project, we’re also ready to help connect you with the most relevant ceramic tile installers so that they can bid on your project and make sure you get it exactly the way you want it. They will work with you to better figure out the details of your project before doing so in order to ensure they properly know the scope of the project.

What is Ceramic Tile?

With thousands of different designs available since there are many different

Places Where Ceramic Tile is Commonly Used

It’s a very versatile type of material and while often being used for floors, there are other places where it’s also being used which we have included here for your inspiration.

Bathroom Walls

Have you ever had to deal with messy walls in the bathroom? You’re not quite sure how they got to be so, but yet they’re currently looking way too messy. You will never again be thinking that cleaning your bathroom walls is a hassle. With tile keeping them looking beautiful will be a breeze. It can also help in creating some contrast to the other fixtures you have installed in there.

Make a Distinctive Shower Niche

This shower niche shows a great example of how ceramic tile can be used to create some contrast. No longer do you need those awkward temporary solutions to hold the things you wish to have with you in the shower. This is the stylish way of doing it.

The Shower Walls Itself

When you’re installing a shower or having it done, there’s a bunch of design considerations you will need to do. As you can see from the picture above, it’s not just the shower niche that will look beautiful when adding selective contrast to the rest of the design, the shower itself can also look great when tile is installed in it.

You can experiment with the shower walls themselves or simply keep it to the shower niche, all depending on your personal preferences. It might even just make it slightly easier for you to get out of bed in the morning knowing there’s a beautiful shower design waiting for you.

Remodeling Your Fireplace With Tile

Your fireplace remodel no longer simply has to be a boring insert in a wall. With the help of ceramic tile, you can make your fireplace the focal point in your living room.

Photo credit: mercurymosaics.com

Add Some Contrast With the Kitchen Island

Kitchen islands are a great way to add contrast during a kitchen remodel. If you have managed to add a lot of uncontrasted white to your kitchen, an addition of something with more contrast can help your kitchen stand out.

Kitchen Backsplash

Kitchen backsplash serves the same purpose as the potential tile you might be considering installing on your bathroom walls. It not only helps in adding potential contrast and make the space more beautiful. It also helps make the space easier to clean. You don’t want your artistic abilities limited in the kitchen just because you’re afraid of making a mess. There’s a myriad of different design combinations that you can choose between.

Floors Throughout the Home

And finally… The reason why you’re here. Using ceramic tile for your floors. They can add exactly the feel that you want to your home, and they can be installed everywhere form the kitchen to the bathroom. Get ready to read more about its many advantageous features.

Ceramic Tile Flooring Pros and Cons

So just how come this flooring option is such a popular one when there are so many different options to choose between? Some places, such as your bathroom, require waterproof flooring options since they’re constantly exposed to high levels of moisture, while your living room may be better suited for a soft flooring option instead.

We’ll walk you through the different pros and cons of ceramic tile right here.

Pros

People choose the material for its advantages, but the advantages themselves are also what makes the material better suited for one area of your home than another.

  • Glazed ceramic tiles are extremely durable – the protective layer added during the glazing will make them stain and water-resistant. The way they’re naturally created also means they’re good to  use in places with high humidity such as bathrooms.
  • They’re a very durable type of material – while they can crack if exposed to serious impact, as long as that doesn’t happen, you can have a type of material that ends up looking great for more than 20 years when you choose ceramic tile.
  • Replacing a cracked tile is not too difficult – you may end up in a situation where a tile cracks because you dropped something heavy and sharp on it. When that happens, don’t be afraid. It’s not too difficult for a pro to come out and help replace it.
  • Limited need for maintenance – did you just spill something on it? Luckily for ceramic tile flooring is that it’s extremely easy to maintain and clean.  You just wipe or mop and the thing that was spilled will be gone. Sweeping or vacuuming is everything you need to do to keep it clean every day.
  • Stains can usually simply be removed using heavy duty cleaners – while the material is very great at keeping stains away, it could happen that one shows up. If that’s the case, simply use a heavy duty cleaner according to the specifications of the manufacturer and you’ll have tile looking new again.
  • The many design options – these tiles are printed with numerous different designs on them and there are even companies such as Tile By Design that offer custom made tiles too. Custom tiles will obviously be more expensive than ones that were mass produced, but that’s also just a way that you will be making your home stand out.
  • It adds value to your home – when done strategically, you will be able to recoup most of your investment in tile, and also have the benefit of it simply looking beautiful too until you decide to sell your home. It’s not the cheapest material, since tiles usually start at $5 per square foot, although there are cheaper ones. It’s more expensive than carpet installation, but is also a completely different material with different properties to it.
  • It’s great for people dealing with allergies – if you’re suffering from allergies, it’s incredibly important that you get a material that isn’t working against you. Materials such as carpets are horrible when it comes to allergies. Dust is more likely to collect inside of them, and it will be a lot harder to keep the air quality high as a consequence.
  • The under-foot feeling can help reduce your energy bill – that’s great during both summer and winter!
  • Bacteria and fungi prefer other surfaces – along with allergens, the risk of fungi is not as likely with ceramic tile as it is with carpet.
  • Good material for high-traffi areas –

Cons

Ceramic tile also has certain disadvantages that are worth noting.

  • It’s not a soft floor – while the fact that it is a hard flooring has the advantage of being easy to maintain, it’s not going to be the most comfortable material to walk on. Other floors have the advantage that you can use padded underlayments to make them softer, but that’s not an option with ceramic tile. If you have certain places in your house where you most absolutely want a softer type of flooring, tiles are simply not what you want to install there. While you can add things on top of it such as area rugs, that will also inherently change the way it looks and you’ll no longer have that unobstructed view of the beauty that the tile provides.
  • Cold under-foot – if you like walking around barefoot but the temperature of the floor is a problem for you, ceramic tile may not be ideal for you either. In the winter you will feel how cold it can get and if you have cold feet in general, other options may simply be more comfortable to walk on.
  • It should generally be professionally installed – the tiles are very heavy to handle and can crack if mishandled which makes it more ideal to have it professionally installed. The installation also includes grouting, mortar and different tools that the common homeowner may not have access to in their garage.
  • The weight could be an issue with your current home – before the installation happens, it’s very likely that the contractor will need to check that the subflooring and floor joists are in fact able to handle the project because of how heavy the material is.
  • Cracked tiles is a concern – if you drop something and it lands in an accidental way on the material, the tile may crack. If you’re clumsy and tend to drop things, this option may not be for you. Because of how hard it is, it’s also not a material that is recommended if you’re remodeling for seniors because of the inherent risk of falls. There’s simply nothing to shield the fall and the damage will be more severe as a consequence.
  • It’s not kid-friendly either.
  • You need to keep spare tile in case replacements are needed – if a tile cracks, you will want to keep spare ones around as it may otherwise be difficult to get tiles that look the same.

Glazed Ceramic Tile

If you thought the term “glazed” used in relation with glazed ceramic tile refers to them being glossy, you’re not alone as it’s a common misconception. Rather, it’s the coat that is applied on top of the tile. It usually consists of  liquid glass or enamel. The different coatings will also have different characteristics. Some of them are more glossy, while others are more matt.

Unglazed on the other hand is when no such coating has been applied. You might not have guessed it, but the coating is in fact applied before the firing process, where the tile goes into a kiln. When it goes in there, the coating will stick as a consequence of the firing process.

The advantage to adding this coating on top is that the tile will have great water-resistance

Glazed vs Unglazed Ceramic Tile Flooring

Unlike glazed tile, unglazed one will not have the same protective layer, which means that they’ll need protection in a different way, or they’ll easily stain when liquid is dropped on top of them. That requires applying a sealant when they have been installed, and unlike a glazing, this sealing will need to be redone every so often, so it also increases the level of maintenance that you can expect.

Unglazed ceramic tile also has its uses. The fact that it hasn’t been glazed will make the material more slip-resistant, which is extremely convenient in commercial settings where heavy foot traffic is to be expected and where falls could even be a liability issue. The unglazed tiles also tend to have earth-toned appearances, which can be appealing for outdoor spaces or homes with a more Mediterranean feel to them.

For paver or decking, they can also be preferred because of the above-mentioned attributes.

Whether you should go for one option or the other depends on what it is you’re trying to achieve and what look and feel you want. If better slip-resistance is important, you might want to consider unglazed ones.

Glazed tiles have an infinite amount of design options, where unglazed ones will be more earthy. Glazed tiles are also less dense, where unglazed ones are both denser and thicker too.

What is The Difference Between Ceramic and Porcelain Tile?

Porcelain is another type of tile that homeowners typically consider for their various floors, and it’s a type that we’re often asked about also, especially in relation to traditional ceramic time – hence this section on what the difference is between the two.

In the equation, you’ll be thinking about what best suits the needs that you have. How do you get the option that is both more practical and durable between the two related to your specific needs? Porcelain has its own set of characteristics that could make it a better choice for you.

They have a lot of similarities, but they definitely also have a lot of differences worth noting.

The first one we’d like to point out is that porcelain tile is more dense and less porous when compared to ceramic tiles, and that also makes it more water-resistant. Being denser and less porous makes it more durable too, and that means that it can withstand more wear and when simply comparing durability will seem like a better fit for both indoor and outdoor environments. That’s also why it’s worth considering for places with a lot of wear, such as commercial settings. Porcelain is fired at higher temperatures which is where it gets its additional strength from.

They’re also less likely to have problems with scratching or chipping. So why is ceramic tile still so popular? Well, for one it’s significantly less expensive.

Benefits of Porcelain

Here are all the different benefits associated with porcelain:

  • It’s more water-resistant because of its density.
  • More stain-resistant too – when it’s been glazed it’s practically impossible to actually stain it.
  • Maybe the most durable flooring option you can go with – when you’re choosing a porcelain tile that will be exposed to extreme traffic and heavy equipment, you will want to look for ones with no less than a 5 PEI rating. The higher the PEI rating, the more durable it is.
  • Less frequent need for repairs since they’re so resistant to both stains and cracking – while you will still want to keep spare tile in case something happens to one, it’s significantly less likely that it will become necessary than with ceramic tile.
  • With the porcelain tile, the protective finish layer goes all the way through whereas it only covers the top with ceramic tile.

Disadvantages of Porcelain

The disadvantages of porcelain is also the reason why a lot of people choose traditional ceramic tile instead.

  • Installing porcelain tile flooring costs significantly more – it’s definitely not the cheapest option you can go with. In fact it’s a very expensive option and it’s not an economical one. Ceramic tile can still offer most of the same advantages as porcelain, but installing porcelain is commonly 25% more expensive and it’s not uncommon that that number climbs to 50% higher than ceramic.
  • Porcelain is even heavier than ceramic tile – while ceramic tile is heavy, porcelain is heavier, and that creates certain structural challenges as well as making the installation more difficult too. It also makes it especially important to make sure that there’s enough structural support for the weight.
  • The cutting process is more difficult than with ceramic tile – that will also make the installation more difficult, and it’s why it’s only recommended that you get a pro to install it for you.

Porcelain vs Ceramic Tile Flooring – The Verdict

When choosing between the two materials, it often comes down to either budget or weight being a problem.

What People Fail to Realize With Both Ceramic Tile and Porcelain – the Grout!

If you have gotten excited about the prospect of installing ceramic tile flooring, it’s still important to know that there’s a vulnerable area that you need to be aware of, and that’s the grout. How does that impact you? Well, you might have highly water-resistant material that covers the absolute largest part of the floor, but without securing the borders with grout, water will still be able to seep through.

The grout should be periodically inspected as damage to this material isn’t unlikely and when it’s time to repair the grout, that should be done diligently. Even if you make sure to remove spills, the grout is the weakest link and can be affected by moisture and humidity. Mold and mildew could start forming as a consequence, so you will still want to be careful that you make sure the grout is doing its intended job.

How to Select Tiles for Your Living Room, Bathroom or Kitchen?

There’s an abundance of different options you can choose between when it comes to finding the right solution for your kitchen, bathroom or living room which is why we’ll be spending some time focusing on the different factors that you should be considering when selecting the right option.

Is it a Problem if it’s a Hard Surface?

The Moh’s scale indicates how hard the tile is, and while it might not bother you if you don’t plan on walking or standing on it for a long time at a time, it could become more of an issue with places where you’ll be walking a lot. The Moh’s scale rating will also impact how easy it scratches.

The rating is generated with serious laboratory testing and is issued by the Porcelain Enamel Institute. Class III is a good option for normal foot traffic and can work for countertops as well, although it’s not recommended for kitchens or places with significant amounts of foot traffic, and definitely no commercial traffic.

Class V is the highest class and will be able to handle the heaviest traffic. This is also what you will want if scratch-resistance is high on your list or if it’s for commercial purposes.

How Porous is the Material?

The more porous the material it is, the more easily it will absorb whatever is spilled on top of it if it isn’t properly sealed, and this will also cause stains. You want very water-resistant materials in areas that have a lot of moisture.

There are different classifications when it comes to how porous a material is: non-vitreous, semi-vitreous, vitreous and impervious. For bathrooms, you will want material labeled as impervious.

Consider Your Budget

While we might all want to have porcelain installed, it simply may not be within your budget.

Is Slip-Resistance Very Important?

Tile isn’t traditionally very slip-resistant but with advanced production techniques and coating that can be added, it can become more slip-resistant. The presence of kids, elderly or others where slip-resistance is especially important requires that you use a flooring material that provides more protection.

Alternatively you can consider installing slate instead of ceramic tile, although you can also just install smaller tile because the additional grout will help in making them less slippery.

Is Your Concern to Create a Look That Feels Bigger?

You probably heard it before – if you want to make a space feel larger, you will want to install brighter colors. That also goes when it comes to tile. A lack of natural light might mean that installing lighter tile is especially important. The colors you will be looking at here include cream, white, sand and beige.

Go with grout that doesn’t stand out and choose larger tiles as that will also have an enlarging effect.

Double-Fired Tiles

Bicottura, when you see that word, you know that you’re dealing with durable tiles because the way they’re made is slightly different. What happens is that excess water is first removed where they’re placed in the kiln, however the first round does not include having the glazing added to them.

The glazing is only applied after they get out of the kiln for the first time. This makes sure the tiles are even more durable than if the glazing had been applied the first time around.

Ceramic Tile Sealer

There are different ceramic tile sealers available, but it’s also important that you’re aware of the reason why you might use them. What they do is that they’re a liquid coat that is added on top of a porous surface, and thereby helps protect them against a range of things including wear from walking and spills.

The Two Different Types You Need to Know About

There are two different types of sealers – penetrating and surface ones. The penetrating sealant will enter the porous areas, thereby protecting it and the look of the tile won’t be changed as a consequence of having this added to it.

The surface sealant on the other hand may change the look of the tile by creating a protective top layer.

Does Porcelain and Ceramic Tile Need to be Sealed?

The most important advice we can give you is to always follow the recommendations of the manufacturer, as they know best what will be needed for the specific type of surface you’re dealing with.

Secondly, you should know that porcelain and ceramic tile doesn’t generally need to be sealed because it has already been glazed. If it hasn’t been glazed, both ceramic and porcelain will need sealed, and it should be done before grout is installed.

If not done before grout is installed, the grout could potentially end up staining the tile, so the sealant helps ensure that doesn’t happen during the installation process. Make sure that you’re always following the recommendations of tile contractors before you seal the material.

How to Seal Porcelain and Ceramic Tile?

When you have determined that you should in fact seal your ceramic or porcelain tile, you can follow the video below to find out how to do it. The sealant you ended up purchasing will also have instructions on it on how to apply it the right way, and those should always be followed.

What Does it Cost to Install Ceramic Tile Installation in Your Home?

The cost of your ceramic tile installation will depend on a range of different things, which is why the best opportunity for you to truly understand what it will cost is to get it done is to work with a professional company and ask them for quotes. The cost below is done on the basis of a 64 square foot space, like a bathroom. The cost of a project like it will usually range from $1,200 to $1,400.

Cost Breakdown for Tile Installation

  • Making sure the floor can handle the additional weight and preparing the area: An assessment of the floor and its support is needed. Repairs or replacemnent of either floor joists or plywood could be necessary. If 6 plywood sheets need to be replaced, the associated cost is on average $135.
  • The cost of labor: The labor cost is usually determined as a result of the space that needs to have tile installed, and you can generally expect to pay $5-$9 per square foot. The cost per labor would therefore be $350-$630.
  • The tile material: The cost of tile will be determined per square foot, and it generally starts around $5. In order to ensure that you have spare material for possible cracked tiles, purchase an additional 15%. The total material cost would therefore end up at around $700.

Factors That Increase the Cost

  • Removing old flooring will usually tend to increase the cost.
  • Getting custom tile or creating intricate designs created can also increase the cost of the installation.
  • Unglazed tile will need to be sealed to better protect the tile, and that will increase the cost.

Vinyl Flooring that Looks Like Ceramic Tile

While we all may want the look of ceramic tile, there’s also the option of going for vinyl flooring that looks like it.  You can get the realistic look of tile without having the disadvantage of the high cost and the cold feeling under your feet.

When you go for vinyl flooring, you also won’t be getting a material that easily cracks when something is dropped on it, which is an additional reason why a lot of homeowners have become fond of vinyl both as a flooring material, but also as a siding material.


Photo credit: armstrongflooring.com

The image above shows why some people would rather install vinyl flooring instead of ceramic tile.

Ceramic Tile vs Hardwood Flooring

With the expected cost per square foot to install tile being flooring being somewhere between $8 and $10, and the equivalent cost for installing hardwood flooring being $8 per square foot, the cost to have the two materials is pretty much the same.

Mind you that those are averages and your personal choices could very well affect the cost you end up paying.

There are, however, reasons why people will choose one type of material over another. One of the benefits of choosing ceramic tile over hardwood flooring is that it has less maintenance that’s required. Wood floors will need to have Polyurethane applied to them whereas glazed tile won’t need any additional sealants.

Hardwood won’t crack the same way that ceramic tile if something is dropped on top of it. The problem with solid wood is that it won’t fare well in humid climates and should be avoided in bathrooms, although engineered wood can better stand the harsh humid climate.