“Ceramic” comes from the Greek term Keramos, meaning “a potter” or “pottery”. Since the infancy of ceramics, up to this very day, the process is still very much the same; for the creation of all ceramic materials, one needs to bake a mixture of clays at a very high temperature. A ceramic tile, therefore,
is the resulting product, after a mixture of clays have been treated appropriately, pressed, fired at a high temperature and cut to size. A ceramic tile consists of two parts: the body, which is called the “bisque” and the surface, which is called the “glaze”.
Glaze Porcelain Tiles:
Porcelain tiles are made from a blend of fine-grain clays and other minerals to produce a very dense body, which makes them highly resistant to moisture, staining and wear. These tiles are more dense than ceramic tiles and have water absorption of >0.5% and <3%. Because porcelain tiles have low water absorption, they are usually frost resistant. Porcelain tiles with special glazes fired at high temperature make the glazed surfaces very hard, and therefore, suitable for heavy traffic areas. Porcelain tiles are resistant to stains, scratches, frost and abrupt thermal changes. Because of these features, porcelain tiles are able to withstand years of heavy foot traffic in both interior and various exterior locations. They are also able to maintain their color and beauty for a very long time.
Vitrified tiles are non-glazed tiles. Their hardness and polish is achieved by virtue of the pressing together of very hard materials. Vitrified tiles are extremely strong and durable and processed in such a way that they allow for very little water absorption. Vitrified tiles have a water absorption of < 0.1%. Vitrified tiles allow for a “full body” tile, which means that the design is not merely on the surface of the tile, but runs throughout the entire tile. The advantage of this is that the tiles become incredibly strong.
Content retrieved from: http://www.probcguide.com/finishing-works/flooring/different-types-of-tiles/.