Vitrified Tiles: Complete detailed guide for everything you wanted to know.

Published by Rachit on

If you are building your house and planning to work on the floor, you will come across vitrified tiles. Vitrified tiles are one of the most popular flooring options today.

If you want to use vitrified tiles for your home but are confused with other options like marble and ceramic tiles, this post will help you make a decision.

In this article, we will discuss all the details of vitrified tiles. Read this article to know how it is made, different types, advantages and disadvantages, place of use, cost, quality control, and selection process for vitrified tile.

Let’s start the discussion.

Italian marble looking vitrified tiles

What are vitrified tiles?

Vitrified tile is a ceramic tile that has low porosity. The word “vitrified” comes from the word “vitrified”, which means to convert an ingredient into a glass or something similar to glass.

These tiles come in a variety of shapes, designs, and colors, making them a perfect alternative to marble or granite.

Outside of India, vitrified tiles are known only as porcelain tiles.

 

How are vitrified tiles made?

The clay and material mixture is added to the batch mixture, water is added after mixing, and then the mixture is added to the ball mill which produces a homogeneous Slurry.

This slurry then undergoes magnetic purification and sieving that removes large particles. This mixture is then sprayed into the silo with hot air, which reduces the amount of water and produces excellent slightly moist grains of soil.

These soils are then moved to a pressing machine that shapes the body of the tiles. Called biscuits.

The biscuit is then passed through a dryer which removes the moisture completely.

They then go to the conveyor where the adhesive is sprayed on it and dried with a fan.

Then apply engobe and glaze to the surface. Then surface printing is also done as needed. Then the tiles go to the kiln where the tiles are heated.

The heating tiles are stacked and allowed to cool for a while. It is then passed to the cutting and chamfering machine to give it the perfect shape. Then they packed in boxes.

Do you want to know more about the vitrified tile manufacturing process? You can visit the Civil4m post that explains the manufacturing process from start to finish with a photo. Click here to read.

 

What Are the Different Types of Vitrified Tiles?

Different types of production processes are used to produce different types and properties of vitrified tiles and making the right choice among them makes all the difference.

Each type of vitrified tile is best suited for special needs, and therefore knowledge about different types of vitrified tiles can give you an idea of which vitrified tiles are best for you.

Take a look at the various vitrified tile options available below.

Glazed vitrified tiles (GVT):

Glazed vitrified tiles (GVTs) are manufactured on glazed surfaces and printed using digital technology. This is an expensive process, but the glazed body will add extra shine to the tile. They are also known as digital glazed vitrified tiles.

They offer incredible design possibilities, which is why a variety of artwork, designs, and surface designs are possible on these tiles. They also come in glossy, rustic, wood, and other matte finishes.

The glaze layer printed on the tiles is usually less than 1 millimeter, making them suitable only for areas with low or moderate traffic.

These vitrified tiles come in the following types:

Soluble salt vitrified tile:

When vitrified tiles are printed and then polished using screen printing technology, they are called soluble salt vitrified tiles. Today, this type of vitrified tile is not widely used.

Soluble salts are used to penetrate the tile surface during the manufacturing process and are given their color, design, and pattern.

Soluble salt vitrified tiles are the cheapest vitrified tiles available on the market.

However, one of the drawbacks of soluble salt vitrified tiles is that tiles can fade after a few years due to continuous wear and tear.

Nano Polished Vitrified Tiles:

These tiles are made by adding a layer of liquid silica to the tiles molten with soluble salt. This process fills the tiles with nano or micropores to make the tiles brighter than ordinary soluble salt vitrified tiles.

Polished Glazed Vitrified Tile (PGVT):

Polished glazed vitrified tiles are similar to glazed vitrified tiles with polishes on top to make them shinier.

They are not durable compared to double charged vitrified tiles. They are more expensive than GVT tiles.

 

Full body vitrified tile:

As the name suggests, these tiles have the same pigment in the body of the tiles from top to bottom.

Full body vitrified tiles run the same color throughout their thickness. Therefore, the tile never fades during its service life.

When you cut tiles and place them at the right angles to fix them at the junction of two walls, the edges of the tiles will be the same color. And this is a big advantage.

Therefore, these tiles are best suited for steps, window sills, and floor borders. Such locations demand a lot of cutting edge chamfering.

Full body vitrified tiles best suited for high traffic areas as scratches are barely visible.

Full-body vitrified tiles are more expensive than double charged vitrified tiles due to color printing technology.

Double charged vitrified tile:

Double charged vitrified tile is also one of the most popular types of vitrified tile today.

Double charge vitrified tiles are fed through a press that prints a pattern with a double layer of pigment, two types of paint are fade into the machine resulting in a 3-4 millimeter thick layer of a two-color pattern on the tile.

Double charged vitrified tiles come in a glossy and matte finish.

The best thing about these tiles is that they are very durable, do not require maintenance, have more design and colors, resistance to stains, do not accumulate dirt, and maintain their shine for a long time. Very suitable for high traffic areas.

Vitrified tiles - used in bathroom

Advantages and disadvantages of vitrified tiles

Advantages of vitrified tiles:

  • Vitrified tiles are available in many designs, sizes, colors, surface finishes, and thicknesses. Manufactured in a fully automated plant, so little difference in size and shade.
  • They have a glazed surface that makes the tiles more resistant to stains and scratches.
  • The water absorption rate in these tiles is very low. This prevents bacteria and fungi from growing on the surface of the tiles.
  • Vitrified tiles have a shiny surface. That is why it is easy to clean. Dust is easily visible and is easily removed by cleaning.
  • Vitrified tiles are more durable than ceramic tiles. Therefore it is used in any traffic zone.
  • Vitrified tiles do not require a long setting time during installation. 48 hours after fixing to the wall and floor or depending on the adhesive, you can start using the space. Also, the surface does not need to be polished like Italian marble or Kotta stone floors.
  • The color of these tiles does not fade due to exposure to sunlight. The surface shine of the tiles is retained for a very long time.
  • Now, these tiles are available in marble and granite look and finish. So you get marble and granite filling with tiles at a reasonable price.

Disadvantages of vitrified tiles:

  • Vitrified tiles require skilled labor at the time of installation because the tiles require precise cuts and clean joints.
  • The main drawback of vitrified tiles is their cost. They are more expensive than ceramic tiles.
  • If your tiles are damaged, you will not get any similar shade or colored tile after 1-2 years.  So always buy some extra pieces while buying. Additionally, the replaced tiles can be cut and removed from the grout line, causing damage to other surrounding tiles.
  • When the surface of the tiles gets wet, the tiles become slippery. Always walk slowly on wet vitrified tiles, otherwise, there is the possibility of collapse and accident. Non-slip tiles are also available but with very few design options.
  • Vitrified tiles use significant amounts of energy in the manufacturing process and produce more carbon dioxide. Therefore, they are not environmentally friendly products.
  • After 1-2 years, the grout in the tile joint becomes dirty due to the removal of dirt. Therefore, the grout needs to be cleaned or properly filled again after a few years.
  • At the time of transportation, the tiles must be properly cared for, otherwise the edges and corners may break or crack.

Vitrified tiles

Also Read: Different Types of Tiles and its use with picture

Also Read: How to install the tile: Step by step procedure for installation of tiles

Where vitrified tiles are used?

If you wish, you can use vitrified tiles everywhere. But the use of vitrified tiles is best in flooring. Vitrified tiles can be used at the home, office, commercial space, and elsewhere.

Vitrified tiles are a good choice for your living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, or any other place of your choice.

The living room and bedroom have very heavy furniture, so the floor you use should be able to take weight and pressure. Hence vitrified tiles are a good choice in that condition.

Vitrified tiles are moisture-resistant and the color does not fade easily. There you can use them in outdoor spaces such as a balcony, terrace, or garden.

 

What is the cost of vitrified tiles?

It depends on what kind of vitrified tiles you are going to select. The cost of vitrified depends on the size of the tile, thickness, surface finish, type of tile, and design or pattern on the surface.

Usually, these tiles are priced at Rs. 30–150 per sq ft.

 

How do I choose the best-vitrified tile?

Choose the correct size of tiles:

Now, there are many tile size options available in the market. Some of the sizes commonly available in the market are 600x600mm, 300x600mm, and 800x800mm.

In recent times, 1200x2400mm tiles are becoming popular for bathroom tiles as they require less cutting and less joint.

Always choose the size of the tiles according to the size of your room. If you have a large room, large sized tiles look great. Do not choose larger tiles for smaller rooms, as this will make the room even smaller.

Also, choose the size of the tiles that have the least amount of cutting, which helps reduce waste. It is advisable to draw the design of the tiles based on the size chosen before finalizing the size of the tiles. Choose another size when there are more cuts and you want less waste.

The simple rule of thumb for choosing tile size over room size is to select tile size in multiples of room size. For example, if you have a room size of 2.4 x 3.00 meters, the appropriate size is 600x600mm or 800x800mm.

Choose color and pattern:

Vitrified tiles are available in many colors and designs such as plain color, two-color, printed tiles, etc.

Always opt for light-colored tiles, which give a detailed look to your room. If you have a very large room, you can think of darker colors.

If possible, consider the interior work you are going to do for that room. Try to match the color of the tiles accordingly.

You can use darker tiles for your outdoor area or hallway where there is the possibility of more traffic. Dark tiles help hide dirt and surface cracks.

Vitrified tiles in outerside

Vitrified tiles in outside

If you are using tile for your roof, then there should be a white color option as it helps lower the room temperature.

If you want a natural form of marble or granite, the printed vitrified tile is for you.

Vitrified tiles - granite looking

Vitrified tiles – granite looking

Don’t go for one type of tile in the bathroom. Try mixing the bathroom tiles with some pattern or another color.

Choose the correct finish:

With the color and pattern, you should consider finishing the tile surface before final selection.

You can apply glossy tiles on the kitchen and bathroom wall because it is easy to clean.

Choose a matte finish or non-slip tile for your bathroom floor or laundry area.

Avoid carpet finishes in high traffic areas, as dirt accumulates easily and difficult to maintain.

Opt for better brands:

Always try to buy tiles from a good brand of manufacture.

Local or lesser-known brands are more likely to have poor quality tiles that have less strength and will bend or crack after a while.

Kajaria, Somani, Nitco, Simpolo, Asian Granito, and HR Johnson are some of the best brands in India.

 

Before ordering vitrified tiles, consider the following points:

There is always a slight change in color when making two different batches of tiles. Therefore, always put the total number of tiles in one order. This also helps in price negotiations.

Always order 8-10% more tiles than you need. These tiles are for future repair or any kind of transport damage.

Glazed vitrified tiles and fully glazed tiles may look similar on the surface. So please check the specifications before ordering for your home.

If possible, please check the quality of the tiles before ordering, here are some points you can check…

  • Check the tiles for shade variations. Just place the tiles in the lights and you can see that there is a difference in the shade.
  • Also, check the polish and gloss on the surface, it should be even at the edges and center.
  • Check the diagonals of the tiles. It should be the same for both directions. If the diagonals are different, you may have trouble laying the tiles.
  • Place two tiles together to check edge symmetry. There should be no space or similar spaces between the two tiles.
  • Lay the tiles on a flat surface or lay two tiles one on top of the other on the glazed surface and check that they are not bent.
  • Add a little water to the back of the tiles, if watermarks appear on the main surface, the tiles are not waterproof. This is because the body is more porous. This can cause serious damage after the installation as the glazed surface is waterproof but water can pass through the body and collect under the glazed surface.
  • Check if corner protection is used on tile boxes. This minimizes corner breakages during transport.
  • Check the surface of the tile for water drop marks, holes, or machine marks. Tiles should be free of such elements to maintain a uniform appearance.

Check all the above points from 5 to 6 tiles from different boxes from the same manufactured batch. If 90% of the tiles pass at the above point, then you can order that tile.

 

Maintenance of vitrified tiles:

Vitrified tiles require less maintenance. Sweeping or vacuuming first and then wiping with a soft cloth with a mild detergent and water is sufficient for daily care.

Rub the tiles with a soft towel to avoid watermarks and make sure not to walk until the tiles are thoroughly dry to avoid fingerprints.

Do not clean vitrified tiles with acid or strong detergent as it damages the surface of the tile (reduces polish or shine) and also damages the grout at the joint.

Avoid dropping heavy objects on the tiles. Vitrified tiles are durable, but sometimes they will crack or damage the surface.

Apply foot protectors to your furniture if possible, this will reduce the chance of scratches. Also, be careful when moving furniture, try to lift it, and then move it.

After a while, the grout between the tiles gets dirty. Use a grout cleaner once every two months. Also, check for damage, if any damage is found, you need to repair it immediately, and otherwise, the water may slip and damage the tile.

Also Read: Different Types of Tiles and its use with picture

Also Read: How to install the tile: Step by step procedure for installation of tiles

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

What is the life of vitrified tiles?

Vitrified tiles are highly durable and weather resistant. Easily lasts 10-15 years when used with proper care.

Are vitrified tiles slippery?

Only when there is a splash of liquid or wet. If the vitrified tiles are in completely dry conditions, they are not slippery. If you want to use it in humid areas, you can opt for anti-slip vitrified tiles.

Is digital vitrified tile better or double charged vitrified tile?

Double charge vitrified tiles are better as they are more durable and weather-resistant.

Can we use vitrified tiles for the bathroom instead of ceramic tiles?

Yes, but try using non-slip or matte finish vitrified tiles on the floor.

What kind of vitrified tiles is better, PGVT, or double charge?

Double charge tiles are better as they have a thicker top layer and more strength, making them suitable even for high-traffic areas.

Rachit

Civil Engineer

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