Vitrified tiles has changed the business scenario of Morbi. There are currently 76 companies in Morbi which are manufacturing vitrified tiles and number of companies are about to come soon. So one can imagine the demand of this type of tiles in Indian market.
This word ‘Vitrified Tiles’ may seem to be a jargon to you but it is simply a type of tiles with very low water absorption.
Less water absorption property makes vitrified tiles acid/alkali/chemical resistant, impairs a greater strength & makes it stain resistant. Industry standard water absorption rating for vitrified tiles is <0.5%.
Vitrified tiles are made with dust compression method so it becomes harder, denser & less porous than normal ceramic tiles. It is then fired at very high temperatures exceeding 1250 degree centigrade resulting in an extremely hard, dense, homogenous tile. Vitrified tiles are then polished to a very high finish using exactly the same equipment as is used to polish the Granite and Marble. Since vitrified tiles are less porous then ceramic tiles, they are also easy to clean.
As with all type of tiles shade variation will occur with different production batches of vitrified tiles. It is important to ensure that sufficient tiles are ordered to complete the project.
The evolution of vitrified tiles in Indian market made several sub categories as below…
Soluble salt: Vitrified tiles that are printed with screen printing technology and then polished are called soluble salt vitrified tiles.
Pros: + cheapest type of vitrified tiles in Indian market.
Cons: - The design of soluble salt tiles is subject to fade away after use of few years.
- Less design options because of technology limitations.
Nano polished vitrified tiles: If we apply a layer of liquid silica on vitrified tiles then it fills the micro (nano) pores on the tiles surface and makes it smoother in feel. This type of tiles is called nano polished vitrified tiles. Nowadays most of the factories in Morbi offer nano polishing for soluble salt tiles so fewer pores are visible and tiles looks more shiny & smooth.
Double Charge (DC): This is a type of vitrified tiles where the press feeds two colors on the tiles bisque and makes a thick layer of design on top of it. So such design layer becomes 3 to 4 mm thicker. This makes double charge vitrified tiles ideal choice for heavy traffic commercial projects.
Pros: + DC tiles have very long life compared to traditional soluble salt tiles.
Cons: - Due to technology limitations the design patterns are limited.
Full body vitrified tiles: This type of vitrified tiles has color all the way throughout the body (thickness) of the tile. Because of this cheeping or scratches are less noticeable in this type of tiles. Full body vitrified tiles are formed with the paint mixture pre-added while making the body.
Pros: + Design will NEVER fade because it is spread in entire body of tiles.
+ Ideal flooring which can resist heavy traffic areas such as shopping complex, airports etc.
Cons: - Very costly compared to other type of tiles.
- Only few tiles companies in Morbi make full body vitrified tiles because every new design need new mixture for body preparation.
- Limited design selection available.
Glazed Vitrified tiles (GVT): Some companies in Morbi (like Italica) manufacturers vitrified tiles with glazed surface; it is called Glazed Vitrified Tiles (GVT). Main advantage with GVT is it offers option of making any type of design/art work that is only possible in this type of vitrified tiles. Many type of textures (like wooden, bamboo, slate or stone) are possible in GVT.
UPDATE about GVT: Recently because of digital printing technology over vitrified tiles there are more design options possible in GVT. Probably more vitrified tiles will be now printed with digital technology.
Pros: + The glaze layer on top of vitrified tiles offers us to print any designs. Further because of digital printers the designing possibilities became infinite.
+ GVT tiles are the best for any kind of requirement. Marble patterns, wooden patterns or anything you can imagine is now possible in GVT.
Cons: - Because of digital technology the cost are higher. We predict that it will come closer to other type of tiles in short time.
Sizes of vitrified tiles that are manufactured in Morbi:
600 mm x 600 mm (options available in soluble salt, double charge, digital)
600 mm x 1200 mm (options available in digital)
800 mm x 800 mm (options available in double charge)
1000 mm x 1000 mm (options available in double charge, digital)
Some companies like Vrundavan ceramics also makes 300 mm x300 mm heavy duty vitrified tiles (for parking areas)
Colors available: Ivory, beige, soft white, pure white, milky white, jesalmer, teracotta, salt & pepper.
Finishes available: in early years of vitrified tiles (2003 to 2011), polished finish was most polular in Indian households. But gradually in last 3 years the trend has shifted towards matt finish. Again matt finish is not good for Indian surfaces because it is not easy to clean matt surface. Considering this practical issue most leading companies are now came up with "satin matt" finish. Which matt finish but easy to clean unlike normal matt tiles. (Some companies like Qutone ceramic has came up with "sugar finish" option. In such tiles you can feel small beads which resembles like sugar. It give anti slippery property to tiles.)
The ex-factory prices of vitrified tiles ranges from Rs.33/Square Feet to Rs.65/Square Feet or higher. The rates of vitrified tiles depend mainly on the type of vitrified tiles mentioned above.
Again the landed price of vitrified tiles (the final amount that you pay when it is delivered at your home/site) depend on various other factors such as tax amount, transportation cost etc.
Vitrified tiles is a prefered flooring solution in metros of India and now a days craze of using it is shifing to smaller towns as well.