Q:

How is ceramic tile made?

A:

Quick Answer

Most ceramic tiles are created through a process called dry pressing or dust pressing. The tile is crafted, dried, pressed and, after being covered in a glaze, is baked in a kiln. The press and kiln help give the tile its tensile properties.

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Full Answer

The tile is typically crafted using clay as the main ingredient, along with sand, feldspar, quartz and water. When the ingredients are mixed together and water is added, this creates the body slip that is used to differentiate the body of the tile from its glazed top. The body slip is then put into a dryer and heated to remove excess moisture.

After being removed from the dryer, the body slip is mostly powder. The powder is then placed in a large press, and the press pushes the dust into a set size and shape. The amount of pressure is what helps give the tile its tensile strength.

Once the tile has been pressed, the glaze can be added to give the tile color and texture. After the glaze has been added, the tile is ready to be baked in the kiln. The kiln heats the tiles at controlled temperatures that get as high as 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. The glazing and firing helps strengthen the tile and allows it to withstand heat, moisture and stains.

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