What Are Bianca’s Pasta Tiles?

Translated from the Italian, “pasta bianca” means “white body” and is used to describe a type of tile manufactured mainly in Italy. Bianca pasta tiles are popular in home decor all over the world. They are called pâte blanche in France, weissscherben in Germany, and white body tiles in America. The name comes from the pale tiled body color, called bisque or biscuit, which is usually light gray or beige. These tiles can be given a clear glaze to let the natural colors shine, or they can be glazed with various colors, designs and finishes.

Production

To create the tiled body, a clay powder called talc is pressed with dust into a mold. The clay is a kaolinite produced from ironless clay typical of deposits in France or Germany. After molding, the tiles fired and glazed. Ignition occurs in tunnel kilns that warm the tiles to temperatures of about 1,900 degrees Fahrenheit or 1,010 degrees Centigrade. After firing, further treatment occurs if corrected tiles are needed. The tiled edges are mechanically cut down to an even straight edge with perpendicular corners so they can be placed close together. A natural edge is left on tiles uncorrected.

Types

The two basic types of white body tiles are firing tiles – called monoporrosa or Monocottura chiara tiles – and fiery tiles called Bicottura. In fact, some Bicottura tiles that receive multiple layers of glaze can be fired up to four times. Monocottura and Bicottura tiles are available in many sizes, finishes and designs to allow great flexibility in decoration possibilities.

Materials

Single-fuel white body tiles are strong enough and durable so they can serve as interior floor tiles and some external applications if they have matte glaze. Modern tunnel kilns and improved glazing reduce clay porosity during the monocottura process, making it more resistant to moisture penetration and freezing then it was when older periodic kilns were in use. Double-fuel white body tiles are more permeable than monocottura tiles, so are restricted to interior use for applications such as bathroom walls and surrounds, tub and shower enclosures, countertops, vanity and accent walls. They can be decorative and very decorative.

Advantages

Bianca pasta monocottura tiles cost less and are faster to produce because they have a shorter processing time. The single firing process makes a stronger, more durable product that is easy to clean, oxygenic and decorative. The tiles have flat backs rather than lug backs or button backs, which is necessary for better kiln airflow and to make tile installation easier. Bicottura tiles present the best techniques to use for interior decorative applications. The natural colors and shades of pasta bianca tiles are attractive and blend well with almost any decoration, and glazes are available in a wide variety of colors and textures. The color is permanent and will not fade with sun exposure or cleaning. Ceramic tiles are one of the most stain-resistant building materials available.

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