Items in cart: 0
1-877-631-2845 See Hours Mon – Fri: 9AM – 8PM EST
Sat – Sun: 10AM – 8PM EST
Porcelain Tile Articles

Monocottura and Bicottura � How Ceramic Tile is Made

A major and important phase of a ceramic tile manufacturing process is the firing step. In this process, the greenware (unfired clay) is placed in a roller hearth kiln for firing. The firing consists of high temperatures, high pressures, and firing cycles. Time in the kiln is varied (depending on the process) and temperature often reache 2100 degree F. In this method, the tile shrinks up to 15%.


Generally, either of the two processes is applied for the phase of firing i.e., Monocottura and Bicottura. A description of both is given below to enable an understanding about the best choice.


  • MONOCOTTURA: This is an Italian word meaning "single-fired". It is the newest method used to produce ceramic tile. In this process, individual tiles are shaped, glazed and fired in one step, at the same time. The production time of ceramic tile can be reduced to a few hours collectively by this process. �Monocottura� is an important term to know because many building contractors who buy and install ceramic tile associate this process with quality product. Monocottura is a favorable method for producing durable tiles for flooring. The development of this technology has revolutionized the tile industry, improving the quality of the finished product and making the production more efficient.


    The Advantages:
    • Monocottura tiles are much more durable for use as flooring tile, producing a dense body and a hard glaze for ceramic tile.

    • This process significantly speeds up production, resulting in cost savings for the manufacturers down to the buyers.

    • Previously, tiles were baked in the kiln (oven) for days. Today, with the Monocottura method, these tiles can be produced in less than one hour.

    • Single fired products are produced with a flat back, which makes installation much easier than the old fashion button-backed or lug-backed tiles.


  • BICOTTURA: This is an Italian word meaning "double-fired", a similar procedure that breaks the firing process in two phases. The clay body is baked in the first step, and the glaze is applied in the second. In reality, Bicottura tiles may go through the kiln as many as four times. This double-fired method of production has been replaced by the Monocottura method for making floor tiles. The pros and cons of Bicottura tile are as follows:


    • The Bicottura method is still considered as the best method when decorative wall tiles with multiple colors are required.

    • Bicottura tiles are only recommended for indoor locations, mostly as wall tiles and backsplashes because of their softer body and weaker glaze. They are also produced with lugs on the back making installation difficult for use as a flooring tile.

RSS Feeds   Add to Google   Add to My Yahoo!   My MSN   Add to My AOL  

Post to del.icio.us   Digg This   Add to Technorati Favorites   StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!