Ceramic body tiles are not as strong as vitrified body tiles. So, it is prone to quality issues. The most common issues are as under:
After production, the ceramic body tends to absorb moisture and bend. It is difficult to fix a bent tile.
i) Due to improper temperature, a tile during the firing process.
ii) Due to improper pressure is given to raw biscuits (body).
i) Most wall factories keep little plus bend. Which settles to be flat in a few days after cooling down.
ii) Some European equipment companies make DICO Planar. This helps to check flatness (bending). The factory just needs to enter the range of parameters. The planar machine will mark every single tile which goes beyond that limit.
Glaze surface is waterproof but what about the body? The ceramic body is more porous. Once you fix a tile, water can accumulate beneath the glaze layer. It gets locked-in. This leaves random watermarks on the surface & gives an ugly look to your walls.
Most quality tiles factories, these days, use waterproof engobe beneath the glaze layer. So the tile body will absorb the water but the watermark will NOT visible. Remember you need to ask for a waterproof tile to get one!
Scratches are more common on a glossy surface.
i) At the end of the kiln (out-table) tiles are sliding onto each other. Tiles are hot at this stage and prone to get deep scratches.
ii) During packing inside the boxes tiles can get scratches.
i) Apply backwash (a solution of calcium carbonate) during production on the backside of the tile. Small partials of this white powder give a smooth interface to avoid scratches.
ii) Connect the kiln out-table to the sizing area. This way tiles will not get deep scratches. Some factories like Coreal, Lavish, Colortile follow this practice to make good quality tiles.
Above quality issues, we can avoid in vitrified body tiles. But in the case of the vitrified body, we have seen dull edge polishing issue if a factory is not watchful to the polishing area.
Dull edge polishing
Reason: Polished vitrified tiles pass through the polishing area. During this abrasive head moves on a tile surface from end-to-end. Some factories used to do sizing (rectification) BEFORE polishing. This caused some part of the edge left unpolished.
Solutions: i) If they do sizing AFTER polishing this problem can be avoided to some extend. ii) the polishing head movement area should be little more than then tile’s surface. This makes sure polishing heads give equal pressure at the edges. This minimizes the issue.
Special consideration for some type of tiles
For body polished tiles (soluble salt, double charge or full body) below points should be considered:
- Whole quantity must be from a single batch. If this is not the case, you need to make sure at your end that the 2 batch tiles are NEVER laid on a single floor.
- Least contamination on surface. As the name suggests they do polishing directly on tile body (without a glaze). Body polishing clears off the surface. But also exposes body contamination (black spots)
- Ink-resistance. Glazed tiles are ink-proof. But it is not always true about body polished tiles.
How to make sure the right quality tiles are delivered?
Are you a buyer from India? Please give time to pay a visit to Morbi to check the goods which are ready to load. Remember to click the photo of the label on the boxes which says batch number and production date. Compare this information with the delivery of the tiles.
Are you an overseas buyer? Please appoint a person / company who deals in tiles quality checking (QC) at Morbi. After 2017 many people have started QC inspection agencies in Morbi. You can discuss with them and share your requirements. After the QC is done they will send you a comprehensive report of your ordered goods. If a manufacturer recommend you a QC person take that reference with grain of salt!
… and if things go wrong!
You did your best to make sure the factory send you right product. But after delivery realized there are inconsistencies in quality. Please don’t lay those tiles. Share with factory the pictures of label with batch number & production date. They should assist you in this matter.
Common questions about quality of Morbi tiles
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