Ceramic is a natural material, widely present in the Italian tradition. Not just kitchen utensils or pots; furnishing with ceramic is possible and also very widespread.
Furthermore, the manufacture of ceramics, as you know, has ancient roots and is based on simple natural raw materials.
That said, the result of continuous research made in the field is a modern and performing material that responds ‘present’ to the needs of a market evolving market where beauty is required to be accompanied by qualities such as efficiency and safety.
Then there is the question of practicality: the fact that ceramic coatings lend themselves to being easily mounted, and in any condition.
Furthermore, ceramic is among thehealthiest and most hygienic construction materials because hypoallergenic and free of organic toxic substances.
Finally, all this without forgetting the aesthetics and the almost infinite expressive potential of ceramic coverings.
ORIGINS AND FUNCTION
Ceramic (from ancient Greek κέραμος, ‘kéramos’, which means “clay”, “potter’s earth”) it is an inorganic material, non-metallic, very ductile in its natural state, rigid after the cooking phase.
Ceramics has a very ancient history that begins with prehistoric populations arriving and reaches the present.
It is a clay compound inorganic, which can be cold moulded and which, once fired, keeps its shape.
In fact, various objects are produced with ceramics, such as dishes, decorative objects, building materials (bricks, tiles and tiles), wall coverings and floors in homes.
Furthermore, specific ceramics are used in coatings with high heat resistance due to their high melting point.
The color of the ceramic material varies according to the chromophoric oxides contained in the clays (iron oxides, from yellow, orange, red to brown; titanium oxides, white to yellow). It can be glazed and decorated.
In addition, ceramics is usually made up of different materials: clays, feldspars, (sodium, potassium or both), silica sand, iron oxides, alumina and quartz.
Such a complex composition determines the presence of flattened molecular structures called phyllosilicates.
The shape of these, in the presence of water, confers to clay a certain plasticity and makes its processing easier and more profitable. A terracotta or clay artefact is called fittile.
At last, precisely for this reason ceramic proves to be a versatile material suitable for different uses, especially when it comes to furniture.
Ceramics can be classified first of all on the basis of the nature of the pasta.
Compact paste ceramics are characterized by low porosity and high strength. to scratches and impacts. It also has excellent waterproofing qualities. Porcelain and stoneware (widely used for floors) belong to this category.
Porous ceramics, on the other hand, are characterized by a soft, absorbent mixture, ductile mixture. They have a low scratch resistance. Think of the crockery, majolica and pottery.
Furthermore, given that the ceramic is produced thanks to a clay-containing mixture, we can distinguish them according to whether the production takes place through artisan or industrial processes.
When you choose production craftsmanship:
- first of all, selection and refining (seasoning);
- washing (to disperse soluble salts);
- purification and modeling (through molds).
- at last, drying and cooking.
The latter serves to eliminate residual salts and to obtain the vitrification of the tile. Then the tile is glazed and decorated. There is also the possibility of coating it with glassy materials and enamels.
When, on the other hand, we talk about industrial production, processing takes place by respecting these phases:
- first of all, single firing;
- extrusion and casting;
- in conclusion, enamelling and annealing.
Before choosing in which area of the house to insert the pleasant warmth of the ceramic is good that you choose the right size.
Tiles, square or rectangular slabs? The shape of the ceramic must be carefully studied so that it is in harmony with the environment.
CERAMIC TILE FORMAT, RECTANGULAR OR SQUARE
The format rectangular or square (usually 60×60), is ideal for convenience and durability.
For floors or walls in rooms such as the kitchen, ceramic tiles are easy to clean and also beautiful to see thanks to different processes, colors and decorations.
This category also includes hexagonal tiles, one of the design trends of 2020.
CERAMIC SLABS, THE LARGE FORMAT
Walls, outdoor furniture, floors; talks about furnishing with ceramics, the large formats are the latest design inspirations.
Large sizes are ceramic slabs that vary between a square shape of 80×80 centimeters up to a maximum size of about 3 meters.
Resistant, light, flexible and ductile, in fact, they are an impactful and highly customizable furniture solution.
Finally, the wider shapes prove to be the perfect ally to give new life to a bathroom that needs to be modernized or to a laundry room that you want to transform into a small modern space.
But why should ceramic tile be preferred over other alternatives?
First of all, for the hardness which makes it very resistant to breakage, capable of withstanding high loads without deforming, even when subjected to impacts, and for its inability to react with other substances which in fact causes it to be insoluble and unalterable in contact with water and with most chemicals.
DURATION OVER TIME
In addition, the ceramic tile has two of the indispensable requirements for a finishing material.
First of all, the durability, guaranteed by the strength of the tile-substrate bond, which is expressed in its ability to resist stress from the external environment.
In addition, the second requirement concerns functionality, related to its chemical inertia which makes it less exposed to the risks of deterioration, more resistant to dirt and also easier to clean.
Last but not least, the aesthetic criterion: choose the ceramic tile, in fact, allows you to be able to range between a wide range of colors and decorations .
Furthermore, thanks to the use of glazes, the available chromatic variations are very numerous and, in fact, even in those without coating, which, being linked to the substrate, present a restricted range of shades of color.
Even the decoration is connected to the presence of the enamels that thanks to modern manufacturing techniques, they make any type of ornament possible.
For example, among the unglazed tiles, porcelain stoneware allows the creation of interesting visual effects: screen printing, decorated inserts, satin motifs.
Finally, the choice of formats is wide; the most common are square tiles but polygonal and complex profile (Moorish, Provencal) are also available.
Combined with the characteristics of lightness, the easy installation of the white-body ceramic coating makes it ideal for wall use.
In fact, cuts and holes can be made easily and quickly, reducing installation times and costs.
EASY TO MAINTENANCE
Furthermore, a great advantage of ceramic coatings is thatwith minimal effort they maintain their appearance unaltered.
In fact, starting from the cleaning operations, which in most cases only require a cloth moistened with hot water and a normal detergent.
They are also resistant to water, chemicals and stains. The porcelain stoneware, then, thanks to its particular processing, is impermeable to any type of liquid – oil, wine, coffee in the kitchen, as well as perfumes, nail polishes and creams in the bathroom – and resistant to most aggressive chemical cleaners.
HEALTH AND HYGIENE
The white body coating and porcelain stoneware are among the healthiest construction materials that can be used in construction as they are completely free of toxic substances of an organic nature, such as volatile compounds (VOC), formaldehyde, PVC and other derivatives of Petroleum.
In addition, their compact, non-porous and absolutely waterproof surfacesthey are not suitable for retaining mites, bacteria, fungi, molds and other irritants that cause asthma and allergies.
In addition to the health benefits, there are other parameters that make ceramic surfaces the smartest choice in all conditions of use.
Inert when subjected to high temperatures, they also resist fire: they are not flammable, and in case of fire they facilitate extinguishing operations because they reduce the spread of flames.
In fact, from fire to lower temperatures, porcelain stoneware slabs continue to guarantee maximum safety.
The very low percentage of water absorption (0.5%) ensures that they resist frost without the risk of cracks, cracks or detachments of material.
This makes them the ideal solution even in the high mountains, in places like ski resorts, or at the most extreme latitudes.
LOW ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Finally, ceramic is a natural and nature-friendly material, which ranks among the most ecological options available among the materials for surface coating.
In fact, it respects the environment in all phases of the production process, from the extraction of raw materials in selected quarries to industrial production, carried out according to energy and water efficiency criteria.
Do not neglect the disposal, completely recyclable.
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