ceramic tile threshold
Tiles form an integral part of the home and for the family clean ceramic tile is only in its best interest. Removing ceramic tile is usually a secondary job that includes the application of some tools coupled with physical power. Ceramic tiles generally do not come up easily and their removal process depends on the surface on which they are installed. For instance if they are set in mastic ceramic tiles come up easily with the help of a long-handled floor scraper. But for removing asbestos-laden mastic ceramic tiles you require special equipments and respirators. Certain things have to be taken into consideration when removing ceramic tiles. The surrounding bricks and walls should not be disturbed while removing ceramic tiles.
Even a glaze said to be food-safe often is not. John Hesselberth and Ron Roy in their book Mastering Cone 6 Glazes demonstrate this by placing a lemon wedge on a food-safe glazed piece of ceramics. Within hours the glaze is discolored from leaching out of the chemicals. Unfortunately the food-safeness of a glazed or handpainted ceramic tile is difficult to determine unless you can speak with the maker because of the fact that many glazes said to be food-safe are not. Which is one of the great advantages of handmade tiles - the ceramic artist can tell you if it is food-safe.
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Many manufactured tiles are poorly made and will not hold up to the uses they are marketed for. Of course there are many quite excellent manufactured tiles too so you need to inquire to be sure. That information however may or not be readily available. The kind of ornamentation of the ceramic tile is important too. For a ceramic countertop or tabletop the tiles should be flat. For a backsplash the tiles can have low relief but high relief will be difficult to clean and is not generally advised. Fireplaces murals mosaics and facades can be either flat have low relief or high relief and low fire glazes are OK in these applications.
An additional consideration with flooring tiles is slickness. A glossy glaze on a floor is not recommended. A heavily textured glaze or a matte glaze is best. Outdoor use in cold climates demands high fired tiles and dependable glazes especially if on horizontal surfaces. Low fire and even porous tiles can be used outdoors in cold climates if on or in a vertical surface. But you are still better off with a frost proof tile in cold climates. Finally there is the issue of a ceramic tile being food-safe. Many decorative ceramic art tiles are used as serving trays for a variety of hot and cold foods and it is important that these not leach out chemicals.