All About Colour Body, Non-Colour Body, Full Body, Through Body Porcelain Panels

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Welcome to the Tile Confidential podcast. My name is Sol, an author, tile installer, and owner of Vela Tile Store. I want to help you with choosing tile for your next home improvement project a breeze. You’re about to embark on journey into the world of tile and learn about tile from myself and other leading experts in the industry. The goal is to hep you shop for tile with confidence. This is a community where we share pictures, ideas and everything else to do with tile.

The Following Is A Transcription Of A Section Of The Podcast Episode Which You Can Find Here:



Thin Large  Porcelain Slabs! You got through body, body, full body, color body, non color body. What the hell do these terms mean? We’re going to talk about that in this episode. 

First, let’s talk about what a body is. So if you were to take a tile and you cut it in half, you would look inside of it. That cross section, that inside portion, is what’s called the body of the tile. In a way you can actually just think about, the tile itself is considered the body, the inside of it, and the surface of it. You can say the surface of the tile, the glaze.

But when we talk about things like color body, non color body, through body, we’re really referring to the inside portion that’s underneath the surface of the tile. So let’s start off with the word color body. So if we’re talking about the body of the tile, as I just described, then color means that they’ve added a particular die to the body of the tile in order to change its color. And what would the manufacturer do that? Are they crazy?

Maybe. But alternatively, they’re probably doing that to give a particular finish to the tile. And this finish makes a huge difference in the installation. Not just some people think that if you were to drop something on the tile, that breaks, and if the body of the tile is colored to match the surface of the tile, then you may not notice the chips as much, although that can be true. But with the large size tiles that we’re getting today, the likelihood of a small chip happening on a tile is very unlikely.

If anything, you’re going to get a crack and we’ll get into what kind of tiles are more appropriate for those situations in a second. But let’s just focus on color body for now. Where I find color body tiles. Where in this case. Where the manufacturers adding a particular die color to the tile.

What it does is that it colors the inside of the tile so that the edges where your ground choice are going to be noticeable are going to be colored to kind of match the particular ground color that you might likely to use to kind of create a seamless look. And in a second, I’ll show you guys what these color body tiles look like. But just keep in mind that when you use a color body tile, the grout joints tend to blend better, they tend to disappear better, especially when you use a grout color that matches the tile. Because if for some reason there’s not enough grout in that joint or you’re seeing the edge of the tile, you won’t notice it because that die that they’ve added to the body of the tile blends with the tile and again it makes everything disappear. So that’s one of the main reasons for color body tiles is that it has a much better edge finish in the overall finish of the product.

In contrast, a non color body tile was not going to have that. And typically the number one ingredient in manufacturing tile is clay. The second is felt spot. But clay has sort of this pinkish kind of color to it, brownish kind of pinkish color to it. So if you ever pick up a tile and you see this side of it and you see that color, those particular tiles, the non colored body tiles are going to have that edge finish along its side.

And so if there is a particular curvature which the larger tiles can get, the more likely they might have a slight bow to them. If that curvature becomes noticeable in the installation as it’s sitting beside other tiles, that brown color, no matter how much grout you put into it, might stick up over the other ones. And you may notice that edge of the tile, the grout joint might start to look a little bit off color than what you expected. So that’s where sort of difference between color body and non colored. My recommendation is if you are working with bigger tiles you can look at the specifications of the tile and see what their measurements was for the boat that tile can experience.

And sometimes they might have a recommendation in the way you install it might say you have to do one third offset in the installation. You shouldn’t do one and a half kind of brick pattern installation because that’s not going to be appropriate for this particular tile. So again, that’s part of what makes the final installation look good. It’s following manufacturer’s recommendation for installation. But even more important if you do decide to just do it your way, having a color body tile that makes the joint disappear and kind of create a seamless look that most people want is the way to go.

And so this is why you want to go for a color body tile versus a non color body tile in certain applications. Again, it’s not so much that if tile chips that it’s going to not be as noticeable. Believe me it will be noticeable and especially if it’s a polished tile, definitely going to be very noticeable. But we’re going to talk about it in the next section about tiles that again are going to be more suitable for situations where you might be experiencing some chipping or heavy things might fall in the tile. So stay tuned where the chip situation is going to be more of a concern.

You want to work with what’s called a through body or a full body tile. These terms are interchangeable with each other. So don’t confuse that. They’re different from you. They mean the same thing.


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