How to Make Your Own Porcelain Floor Tiles
Porcelain floor tiles are similar to ceramic tiles, but porcelain tiles are denser. You can purchase porcelain floor tiles in a wide range of different sizes, colors and designs. You can also make your own porcelain floor tiles if you know what to do.
Step 1 - Prepare the Clay
Take some of the porcelain clay and work it in your hands until it becomes more pliable. You will find that as this clay warms up and stretches, it will become easier to work with. Lay out a square of your canvas material and place the ball of clay on top of the fabric.
Using the palm of your hand, press the ball of clay down to form the flat tile shape required. Ideally the tiles need to be about 1 inch thick at this stage.
Step 2 - Make the Porcelain Floor Tiles
Tiles 1 inch thick are still too thick for most people, so you will need to make them thinner. To do this, you will need to use a rolling pin. Place the two strips of 1/2-inch-thick wood alongside the tile and use them to create a flat tile.
Step 3 - Dry the Porcelain Floor Tiles
Use a small knife to cut out a square shape for the tile, you will need to do this no matter how careful you are because it will be impossible to flatten out the tile into a perfect square. Remove the excess clay so you are left with a square tile. Then use a sponge dipped in water to moisten the edge of the tile.
Porcelain needs to dry slowly. Letting it dry too quickly can cause the tile to crack. Therefore you need to cover it with a piece of plastic at this point. Leave the porcelain floor tiles covered with plastic for around 24 hours.
You will probably be making more than one tile. In this case, repeat steps 1 to 3 to make each tile. After 24 hours, lift the plastic, but make sure you keep an eye on the tiles. If they are drying too fast, replace the plastic.
Step 4 - Remove the Porcelain Floor Tiles
The tiles should be hard enough to hold their shape when you lift them. At this point, you need to peel the canvas off each tile. Place these porcelain floor tiles onto some drywall or other hard material. Be gentle with the tiles at this point because they still won't be completely hardened.
When the tiles have dried even more and do not show any patches of white, you can place them onto wire racks to continue drying.
Step 5 - Fire the Tiles
Place all of your porcelain floor tiles in your kiln. Put them onto the flat shelves in the kiln. Start increasing the kiln temperature and leave the tiles for 6 hours before you check them. Depending on the number of tiles and the size of kiln, you will need to adjust this time slightly. You need to dry and fire the tiles very slowly.
After you have finished the initial firing, make sure you leave the kiln to cool for 24 hours.
Step 6 - Apply Glaze
Brush the porcelain floor tiles with a liquid glaze. You can choose various colored glazes to change the look of your tiles. Allow the glaze to dry and use a dry sponge to soak up any excess glaze on the edges and bottom of the porcelain floor tiles. Put all of the tiles back into the kiln, but make sure they don't touch one another.
Fire the tiles to the temperature recommended on the glaze bottle. You will need to leave these for another 6 or so hours. Before taking the tiles out of the kiln, you must allow the kiln to cool for around 24 hours.