The term "ceramic tile" is often used as a generic name for all types of tiles.
A ceramic tile is made out of clay mixed with water. This composition is then processed with heat to create the solidified product.
For the wall tiles we have red and white body tiles with a glaze on top. There is no quality difference between a red and white body tile. There is mostly a difference in price. In the past manufacturers used the clay that was available that is why Spain and Italy started producing red body tiles. Nowadays clays are mostly imported from several countries known for their quality. White and red body tiles are now produced all over the world.
Since ceramic wall tile material is porous, the top surface is usually sealed with a glaze. The glazed surface is referred to as the design layer since it determines the tile’s finished colour, design and texture. After glazing the pressed tiles are then put in an oven.
For floor tiles the composition is very different. Ceramic is made primarily of clay mixed with various components and water. Processing the composition involves pressure and extremely high temperature. The end result is a very dense material with a water absorption rate of less than 0.5%.
Porcelain tile is a ceramic tile that is generally made by the dust pressed method from a composition which results in a tile that is dense, impervious, fine grained and smooth.
You have glazed and unglazed floor tiles.
Glazed ceramic tile is very durable, and when properly installed and cared for, it will last longer than any non-tile material used for the same purpose. It is also one of the easiest surfaces to clean, and because of its composition, it will not absorb odours, nor support allergens or bacteria. When coated with a Grade III or higher glaze, ceramic tile is highly resistant to scratching and moisture. Another important feature is that it will not burn, emit toxic fumes or scorch.
By applying ceramic powders of different colours or using soluble salts, unglazed porcelain can be decorated in different ways. However, the variety of possible visual effects is limited. Therefore it becomes more and more usual to manufacture imprinted porcelain with the digital technology. A huge variety of decors can be created due to the properties provided by this material. For instance, the most different types of stones, woods, fabrics, cork, leather etc. can be imitated.
The low porosity permits polishing a tile and thus creating an extraordinary beautiful and brilliant surface.Polished tiles are more delicate in use because of the polishing the top layer of the tile has been damaged and that makes the tiles more sensitive for staining. These tiles can be treated after polishing with a special product that closes the top layer and protects it.