What Are the Dangers of Ceramic Tile?

By Louise Balle

Ceramic tiles are commonly used for flooring, shower and countertop applications. You may not think much about the dangers of ceramic tiles, but there are a few issues that you should be aware of before choosing this option.

Identification

Ceramic tiles are made from a mixture of red or white clay, shaped (usually into squares) and then cooked in a kiln. Most tiles are glazed for aesthetic reasons and to prevent moisture from seeping into the pores.

Chipping

A minor risk of using ceramic tiles is that the tiles can crack or chip, which presents a danger to people walking on a tile floor. The edges are sharp enough to injure a person's bare foot.

Slip Risk

Because glazed ceramic tiles are very slippery, they can cause slips and falls. This is a huge concern for businesses, because customers can slip on wet glazed ceramic tiles.

Silicon Dust

Ceramic tiles contain about 14 to 18 percent silicon dust (silicon dioxide), which is a health hazard that can cause lung problems. Cutting tiles to fit a space in a home could release this dust into the air. An installer must wear gloves, goggles and a mask when handling these tiles, for safety.

Mold

Mold and mildew can form around ceramic tile, especially in a shower or on a bathroom floor. Mold spores can cause a number of health-related issues, including asthma and skin rashes.

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