homebase porcelain tiles actually ceramic

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gp2
gp2 Posts: 39 Forumite
I was just told by our tiler that the tiles i purchased from homebase're actually ceramic (with biscuit layer), but homebase claims they are porcelain both on website/instore and on the tile package. I am not happy, it's really misleading, though it looks like nothing i can do because it's already laid half way, but be aware if anybody wants to buy over there.

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  • ormus
    ormus Posts: 42,714 Forumite
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    porcelain is just a type of the ceramic group.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceramic
    Get some gorm.
  • lfc321
    lfc321 Posts: 635 Forumite
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    edited 11 November 2009 at 1:21PM
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    Of course porcelain is a type of ceramic, but it has certain characteristics. Strictly speaking porcelain should be vitrified all the way through (so doesn't have a "biscuit layer"). That's what makes it translucent. This is because it is fired at a much higher temperature than earthenware (for example). So true porcelain is much harder, and impermeable.

    The problem is that defining porcelain is tricky. Things which aren't true procelain are often described as such, and it sounds like that's the case here. Really it would be more accurate to say that it has a porcelain-like surface (which is probably a glaze). Haven't seen these tiles myself, but that's what it sounds like.
  • gp2
    gp2 Posts: 39 Forumite
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    according to my tiler, porcelain's one piece, while ceramic's many layers. Porcelain's durable and more difficult to lay coz it's harder.

    In terms of price, porcelain's usually dearer than ceramic, though i know there are some very expensive ceramic as well.
  • gp2
    gp2 Posts: 39 Forumite
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    the tile which's in question's homebase pietra oyster, but i was told there are actually a lot of so called homebase porcelain are questionable.
  • lfc321
    lfc321 Posts: 635 Forumite
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    edited 11 November 2009 at 1:57PM
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    I don't know much about tiles, but it sounds from this site that the definition of 'porcelain' in the world of tiles is pretty vague. http://www.tileandstonetips.com/porcelain.html

    But your tiler is right - true porcelain is 'one layer' (i.e. vitrified all the way through). It doesn't need glazing to be impervious - it is naturally. With other ceramics it is the glaze which makes it impervious, and it sounds like that's the case here.

    Does it make a difference in this case? They might not be quite so hard, but they may still be a pretty durable type of ceramic (with a durable glaze). And it's not like a porcelain jug or something where one of the big attractions is that the light shines through it. Agree with your point - it would be better if things described as porcelain really were. It sounds from the link above, though, that this is standard industry practice, not just Homebase.
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