Have you ever wondered how modern floor tiles are manufactured? Well, wonder no more. Here is a description of the process by Ceramic Industries.
There are two main types of tiles — ceramic and porcelain. Tiles are made from mixtures of clay and sand, which are dug out of quarries and shipped raw to factories. There, huge machines grind the material into a fine powder.
This is then mixed with water and other additives to make firm long sheets of tiles.
The process for making industrial porcelain tile and tiles for homes is the same. Andesite, a form of cement, is added to the basic tile mixture. The mixture is put through what looks like a large cheese grater. All air is removed from the mixture. It is then pressed into sheets, which are cut to size, then dried.
Ceramic tiles are made in mostly the same way. Water, not andesite, is added to the mixture. The wet mixture is pressed into tile shapes, then dried. Tiles are sprayed with a primer coating to help patterns stick. Patterns are then printed on the surface. Glaze is then sprayed on. Tiles are dried a final time. They are then fired in kilns at incredibly high temperatures, then gradually cooled. Tiles are tested before being packed for shipping.