Overview: Ceramic Tile for Floors, Walls, and Countertops
CERAMIC TILE CONSTRUCTION
The construction of a ceramic tile is quite simple. The bisque is the body
of the tile, made of clay. The glaze is colored glass, which provides the
design and surface finish of the tile. These two components become
permanently fused together in the firing process.
Looking at the back of a tile, you’ll see that some tiles have darker
bisque than others. These are “red body” tiles . . . as opposed to those
with a “white body.” They are simply different kinds of clay chosen to
produce a certain visual effect; there is no difference in performance.
You may also find some tiles labeled as “glazed porcelain” that have a
stronger, denser and less porous bisque than typical ceramic tile.
Ceramic tiles are made to suit different applications: mainly floors,
walls and countertops. The Armstrong Ceramic Tile Collection offers all
three types, recommended for indoor use only.
Our floor tiles are suitable for any room in your home. Kitchen tile
countertops are a beautiful complement to ceramic tile floors, wall tile
displays, or ceramic tile in hallways and foyers. Many styles are even
appropriate for commercial applications. Furthermore, our ceramic floor
tiles can also be used for wall and countertop installations.
The wall tiles in our collection have been carefully designed to
coordinate with our ceramic tile floor products. Unlike floor tiles, wall
tiles are suitable for walls only. Made lighter in weight for better
adherence and simpler installation, they are not designed to withstand
It takes high-quality tile to make high-quality ceramic tile floors, wall
tile applications, and countertops. If you’re considering other brands of
ceramic tile, recognizing the signs of lesser-quality tile will help you
avoid making a poor choice.
You may see picture framing, when the design doesn’t go all the way
to the edge of a tile.
Poorly printed designs may appear fuzzy or unclear. And undesirable spots
in the surface of the tile indicate that small holes developed in the
printing screen during manufacturing. These are indications of old
Finally, a dark line running through the edge of the tile – known as a
black core – indicates impurities in the clay that can weaken the tile.
Several factors contribute to the final price of ceramic tile: the
originality and quality of the artistry; the complexity of the
manufacturing process; and the precision of the visual image.
Higher-priced tile should generally provide a more detailed execution of
originality. In other words, your eyes and aesthetic sense should tell you
if the tile is worth it.
After you’ve decided on the ceramic tile's function, quality and the price
range you need, what’s most important to your final decision is how well
the tile expresses your vision of home.