Get Educated: Types of Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tiles are thin slabs that are generally used to surface floors and walls. They are made from clay compositions and other inorganic raw materials, that are ground and/or slipped, moulded and subsequently dried and fired at adequate temperatures to make them acquire the required properties in a stable way.

Ceramic tiles may be unglazed (UGL) or glazed (GL). Unglazed tiles undergo a single firing; glazed tiles have a vitreous coat applied between the first and second firing (double firing) or before the only firing (single firing).

The following names and descriptions take into account the objective criteria that may be used, such as technical information, duty or other, as well as the most commonly used commercial terms. However, no standardised nor generally accepted definitions and denominations are available for the different types of ceramic tiles, for which reason it may be necessary to elaborate when using the names suggested, especially in the cases where it is so indicated.

The following pages include descriptions of several types of ceramic tiles, with information on their characteristics, most frequent use, production, appearance, standardised classification, etc.

Ceramic Tile Selection

PEI Classifications
CLASS 0 - Tiles technically unsuitable for floors
CLASS 1 - Residential and Commercial wall and bare foot traffic 
CLASS 2 - Wall and Residential bath floor, soft soled traffic 
CLASS 3 - All residential floors and Light Commercial 
CLASS 4 - Medium Commercial, Light Industrial and Institutional, moderate soiling 
CLASS 5 - Extra heavy traffic, abrasive dirt, chemically more resistant