Quarry tiles are high-quality, low absorption tiles that can be used both indoors and outdoors. They are commonly used in commercial kitchens and laboratories, due to their low absorption and non-slip finish. You have probably seen these tiles in your favourite fast food restaurants, as well as in other commercial buildings. However, they are commonly used in residential homes as well, as many homeowners find that quarry tiles add a unique and inviting feel to their homes. In homes, the tiles are most commonly found in entryways and kitchens.
These tiles are not produced in a quarry, as their name might suggest, but are manufactured. The tiles are made from natural materials, with ingredients that include clay and shale. The clay or shale goes through a process called extrusion, which means the material is squeezed through a machine. It is then formed into tiles through various processes, including cutting, pressing, and rolling. The formed tiles are then placed in a kiln, where they are dried and heated. Industrial quarry tile is offered with an abrasive grit. The grit makes the tile a bit rougher and, therefore, provides the non-slip finish in wet environments, such as the aforementioned commercial kitchens and restaurants.
Quarry tiles are often mistaken for cheap, unglazed, red pressed tiles, as these unglazed tiles also have a very high absorption rate. Although the quarry tiles resemble these unglazed, pressed tiles, they are still very different in their absorption. Quarry tiles have an extremely low absorption, lower than their unglazed counterparts, which makes them the perfect choice for areas where spills may be common.
In addition to their practical benefits, there are many different styles of quarry tiles. The most common colour you will find is red, further adding to the comparison with the unglazed tiles. However, quarry tiles can also be found in brown, grey, and tan. Unfortunately, one of the disadvantages of the lighter colour tiles is that if they’re left unsealed, they will hold and show stains.
In addition to the look of the tiles, they are generally pretty small. The biggest quarry tile you are likely to find is an 8” x 8”, with the most common size being 6” x 6”. Quarry tiles are also generally thicker than your common ceramic tiles. Quarry tiles also have a reputation of having a rough texture, but this is not always the case. Quarry tiles made for indoor use, especially for houses, are smooth and can be quite inviting to bare feet.
Quarry tiles are most commonly used for flooring purposes; however, they can also be used on walls, and sometimes even counters, making them an optimum choice for residential and commercial tiling needs.