Laser gas assisted controlled melting of alumina tile surface is carried out in this work. A carbon coating containing 5% of B4C particles is formed at the tile surface prior to laser treatment process. The morphological and microstructural changes in the treated layer are examined using X-ray diffraction, energy dispersive spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscope. The surface microhardness is measured and the residual stress formed at the surface vicinity is obtained from the X-ray diffractograms. It was found that microhardness of the surface increases significantly after the laser treatment process, which is attributed to high cooling rates and the formation of nitride species at the surface. The residual stress formed at the surface is compressive and no micro- or major-cracks are observed at the laser treated surface. (c) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.