Expert's Advice

Ceramic Varieties:


The gamut of ceramics can be broken into a few different, distinct classes. Before making decisions about facades you will experience day in and day out, it's important to understand the differences between these categories of clays: namely, ceramic pottery or tiles, porcelain, earthenware and stoneware. Typically, all are formed from similar inorganic materials, but in varying amounts.

•    Ceramics: the earliest ceramics were composed of clay, formed into pottery ("ceramic" actually comes from the Greek word for pottery) and fired for strength; nowadays the product's base material can be formed from a number of inorganic, non-metallic materials, including clay
•    Porcelain: typically stronger than clay-based ceramics, porcelain is a type of ceramic formed from a small amount of kaolinite, which helps form glass during the firing process, and other materials like feldspar, quartz, and alabaster.  Some porcelain wares could be pegged as stoneware
•    Stoneware: considered more opaque than porcelain, stoneware is dense enough to stand up against a steel point; the ceramic ware normally comes glazed and can be broken down into subcategories, including traditional stoneware (inexpensive and quite dense) and fine stoneware (traditionally art ware and tableware, which can be used for food storage or cooking)
•    Earthenware: one of the oldest pottery materials, earthenware is composed of ball clay, (clay in its mineral form, made of kaolin, quartz and feldspar). Depending on its mineral composition, earthenware is available in red, white and buff-coloured
Time-tested Ceramic Versus Modern Porcelain.

Many of Keramin's customers ask what the difference is between ceramic, porcelain (porcellanato in Italian) and GRES. Our answer has to do with the life or durability of the tile, and we urge our clients not to be too concerned with the two terms, as porcelain is actually a type of ceramic.

While conventional ceramic tiles are formed from a mix of clay and other earthen substances, either left unfinished (as in the case of terracotta tiles) or glazed for a more polished surface, fashionable porcelain GRES holds up better against the elements. Their finish can be made to perfectly reproduce natural stone and even wood, and can be used for both indoor and outdoor facades. Ceramic tiles, on the other hand, are rarely used for outdoor areas of high foot traffic, as they tend to absorb more water and chip more easily.

Porcelain GRES tiles are made from fine porcelain clay, which has a greater density than ceramic clay and is therefore more water resistant. Keramin product is heavily regulated by the Ceramic Center in Bologna, Italy, the official Italian regulatory body that issues ceramic requirements. These standards ensure our customers receive only the best of the best. Fired at extremely high temperatures—much higher than those used to fire ceramic tiles—Keramin porcelain and GRES tiles are virtually unbreakable.   

That's not to say, however, that ceramic tiles are a thing of the past. In fact, their interior and exterior applications are still quite abroad. While porcelain and  GRES strength is near to impenetrable, there are certain qualities of classic ceramics, including aspects of a tile's colour and texture, as well as how the tile ages, that simply cannot be reproduced by porcelain and GRES. Our staff can help you determine which tile type, including granite and wood-look tiles, will best suit your project.
Classic Ceramic Style

Keramin’s Modern Design Center annually charms out award-winning. Our designers and artists are constantly on the forefront of design, bringing practical, fashionable and innovative solutions to our customers. Ceramic tiles bring a distinctive refinement to any room and, over time, can achieve an often hard-won patina, a quality for which even the best interior designers can only be patient.

Glazed or Unglazed:

It's up to you whether your tiles come into your home or commercial space glazed or unglazed. The latter offers a solid colour throughout, and is praised for its natural feel. It also guarantees less slip on floor facades. Glazes are applied to ceramic bodies before they are fired, offering better seal and crack-resistance, while also giving surfaces a more polished, refined appearance.
Keramin’s Ceramic Collections

Keramin unique class of ceramics, with its wide assortment of tones and textures, has remained a cut above industry competitors for decades. Our ceramic tile collections quickly create an intriguing palette for any room, yet don't overwhelm a project to the exclusion of all other points of interest.

Exceptional craftsmanship meets the classic simplicity of ceramic in Keramin collections. Modern Epha brings a collected sensibility to a room through, while Nice's floral embellishments, with copper and gold tones, project a sophisticated charm—even if added only as an accent.
With more than 40 ceramic collections and new innovations being added annually, our product catalogue is rife with variability and potential ceramic combinations.

Our showroom specialists will assist you when it comes to selecting the right tiles for your project, but here are some important tips to keep in mind when purchasing:


•    floors vs. walls: many industry experts recommend using smaller tiles for projects involving surface countertops (i.e. the bathroom and kitchen) and walls, while larger tiles are recommended for flooring
•    outdoor facades: tiles destined for an outdoor design project should generally have a 3% or less absorption rating, meaning the tile will stand up to freezing conditions (porcelain GRES has an absorption rating between 0 and 0.5% which makes it ideal for outdoor projects)
•    slip hazard: when installing ceramic tiles on floors, it is often best to choose tiles that don't have slick surfaces – slippery finishes such as bright glaze – as this will help reduce slippage. An unglazed ceramic tile will work well for any flooring project.
•    batch: asking for the same lot and shade when ordering from a catalogue will help guarantee uniformity for your project
Because ceramic tiles come in an assortment of dimensions, surfaces and sizes, the industry uses a rating system, outlined by the Porcelain Enamel Institute or PEI, to measure a ceramic tiles susceptibility to wear and tear:
•    Class 1 tiles are suggested for interior walls and counters only, and not for any flooring project that will see foot traffic
•    Class 2 tiles are suggested for areas with "light traffic", meaning interior walls, and bathrooms (including bathroom floors)
•    Class 3 tiles are slightly more durable than Class 2, being recommended for countertops, wall facades, and interior home floors (both bathrooms and bedrooms), but are not suggested for any type of commercial flooring project
•    Class 4 tiles can stand up to moderate and slightly heavy traffic, including a home's foyer, as well as residential and commercial floor applications
•    Class 5 tiles are the strongest tiles and can be used anywhere; they are considered excessive for residential application, as these tiles are often used for design projects involving extra heavy foot traffic, such as schools, banks, airports, and other public institutions.

We Install Tiles, Floor Tiles, More

 

Visit us now and enjoy 30% DISCOUNT on all tile prices as well as FREE DELIVERY across Toronto (with NO minimum purchase required).

Our showroom is located at:

4400 Dufferin Street, Unit B2, Toronto, Ontario, M3H 6A8, View Map on Google

Tel: +1.416.667.0101, Toll Free: 1.877.667.0107,

Email: office@keramin.ca, Share on Facebook