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how are tile floors made?

Tile flooring begins as a series of raw materials quarried from the earth and then refined. For ceramic tiles, these materials include talc, clays, and other types of minerals, with cement tiles also drawing on cements and sands. The appropriate ingredients are mixed together to form the tile base, and then individual floor tiles are formed using one of four methods.

Making Tile Flooring

Ceramic floor tiles can be made by dust pressing, in which a semi–fine powder of talc, clays, and other materials are forced into a mold using very high pressures. Ceramic and cement tiles can be made via extrusion, in which the materials are pushed through a nozzle to create the tile shape, known as green tiles before drying or firing. Both can also be made by slush mold or wet pour, in which a wetter mixture is poured into a mold, or rampress, which is similar to dust pressing but allows for much larger tiles to be created.

The floor tiles are then hardened. Cement tiles are hardened by hydration, allowing the tiles to simply harden on their own. Ceramic floor tiles go into a kiln for firing at very high heat and glazing, if necessary.

Unglazed tiles are generally fired only once, with glazed tiles fired once more after glazing to set the glaze in a process called biocuttra or double–firing. There is also a process, known as monocottura, in which the tile body and glaze can be simultaneously fired, saving time and effort. The glaze is applied by either spraying it on or letting it coat the tile's surface using the waterfall method. Once the floor tiles are fired and cooled, they are ready to be shipped off to stores.

There are a number of different materials used to make tile flooring. You can choose cork, rubber and even glass tiles. Note that these tile types can be manufactured using post-consumer and/or post-industrial recycled products. Choose green tile flooring for your home and make a positive contribution to the environment.