When it comes to flooring, ceramic tile is a substance of choice for designers and homeowners for not only are they available in an unending array of colors, finishes and designs but are also considered environment friendly. As due to their long life span, tiles need to be replaced less often which means less waste in landfills as well as reduced energy requirements for new product manufacturing, transportation and installation.
Apart from durability as ceramic tile does not absorb odors or releases chemical in the air this leads to enhanced indoor air quality (IAQ). Moreover for the sake of comparison in contrast to other flooring materials, ceramic tiles do not contain toxic chemicals or coatings and doesn’t harbor harmful, dust or dust mites like carpets, besides if laid with VOC (volatile organic compound) free mortars and grouts it offers a green flooring alternative. Also tiles unlike wood, carpet or natural stone floorings do not require high maintenance or chemical protective finishes such as polishing, shampooing, stripping or waxing. In fact ceramic, porcelain or higher grade vitrified tiles are all made from natural clay usually found in close proximity to the factories, eliminating destruction of natural resources like wood or hard mining for natural stones thereby preserving environment. It may not be at first readily recognizable, but ceramic tile is a surprisingly sustainable alternative to traditional flooring materials. As glazed tile offers a surface that cannot be penetrated by contaminates, for this reason, no chemical cleaners are needed. Only mild cleaners or even just warm water can clean tile sufficiently thus avoiding flushing of dangerous chemicals in the water system.
Besides the inherent green character another advantage of these tiles is that they come in a wide variety of designs to accommodate a wide variety of uses, such as indoor or outdoor use and can also be finished in many different ways to simulate wood, natural stone, leather etc that has helped reduce the usage of natural substances, contributing to the preservation of environment. Interior designers too tend to support the trend as natural stone look alike such as Italian marble custom ceramic oil burner finish vitrified tiles are quite popular with clients as they combine the beauty of marble with the strength of vitrified tiles, further contributing to preventing quarrying of stones as well as carbon footprint resulting from transportation. Another popular surface finish is Wood which offers less expensive, durable and easier to maintain replacement for natural wood or laminated wood floors. Not to mention homeowners get the look and feel of real wood, without the need for cutting down trees. Furthermore with the advanced technology of digital printing ceramic tiles can now be custom designed and replicate surfaces virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.
Nowadays ceramic tiles are made with lead free glaze finishes that add to its green properties, also the latest ‘Nano Coating’ technology used by some manufacturers offers high dirt and stain resistance making them longer lasting and low maintenance. While some other new age tiles with their unpolished surface offers high Solar Reflex Index (SRI) that provides low thermal conductivity thereby reducing the electricity consumption in the buildings. However the most recent addition is the recycled content tiles that utilize 20%- 70% recycled content. These tiles come in two varieties that is ceramic and glass. The recycled content glass tiles contain up to 100 percent recycled glass which needs less energy for production and are also appreciated by many designers because of their translucent iridescence giving a special decorative quality. Designers offer another interesting way of recycling ceramic tiles which is by using broken waste tile pieces as mosaics to create imaginative design patterns on walls and floors.