Did You Know Why Tiles Are Used on the Space Shuttle?

Do you ever wonder why your bathroom tiles are much colder than any other surface inside your home? When it’s summertime, it’s great to have tiles on your bathroom or kitchen floors because no matter how hot the day becomes, they remain cool to the touch. But why do tiles remain cold when everything else in the house is warm?

That’s because tiles, especially ceramic ones, are highly resistant to heat. And it’s this property of tiles, which made the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) notice them.

Space shuttle tiles

In 1981, NASA was developing a material to coat their space shuttle’s exterior that could withstand high temperatures. When a space shuttle reenters Earth’s atmosphere, the friction caused by the ship’s speedy descent can raise the temperature of its surface to 1,600 degrees Celsius. If the shuttle’s outer layer is made of pure metal, it will melt. So, NASA had to find a way to ensure that the shuttle won’t melt upon reentry, and that’s where the tiles came in.

Tiles are effective heat insulators. It takes a long time for heat to travel throughout the material. This is why scientists at NASA decided to cover their space shuttle with silica fibre tiles. These were able to slow down the transfer of heat to the aluminium skin of the shuttle, enabling the ship to reenter the atmosphere without bursting into flames.

man installing tiles

Why bathroom tiles are cold

This is why when you walk barefoot on your bathroom tiles, you’ll notice that it’s cooler than the rest of your floors throughout the house even if it’s hot outside. Tiles are effective heat insulators, so they’re perfect for keeping your floors cool when you need them to be.

More benefits of tiles

But, being cool is not the only advantage of having tiles in your house. If you or anyone in the family suffers from allergies, tiles are your best floor option. It’s because dirt and other allergens will find it difficult to stick to its surface. It’s quite easy to wipe off any dirt, pollen, or any other allergen from a ceramic tiled floor.

Aside from that, tiles are also durable. Unlike wooden floors, they are much harder and shock-resistant. Even if you drop something heavy on your tile floors, it’s unlikely that you’ll make a dent. This also means that maintenance will be much cheaper.

Speaking of cheap, tile floors are more affordable than other floor types, too. A square foot of tile will cost around $5 less compared to other floor types. But, it will get more expensive if you choose more intricately designed tiles.

Also, installation can be tricky if you don’t know how to level your floors. Before you install your tiles, you first need to make sure that your floors are all levelled. If you don’t know how to do that, it would be better if you hire professionals on the tile levelling system.

So, if you want your home to feel a little cooler, then choose tiles over any other floor type. They’re easy to clean and they’ll definitely cool off your house in the summer.

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