So, you decided to use tile for your flooring. Awesome. But you should be aware that when it comes to tile floors, thereâ€™s a whole lot more involved in the process than just picking a color and a pattern that you will like. The other factors that you need to be aware of include; ratings, grade, wear and tear rating, water absorption rate, slip resistance and frost & tone.
Let’s have a look at what these different terms mean and why they should be important to you.
Every single box of tile you purchase will have anywhere between 4 and 5 ratings on them. 4, if you are buying unglazed and 5 if you are buying glazed. Each one of these ratings has its own importance in terms of where you can install it in your house or rather where you should put it in terms of looks, durability, and safety. Sometimes at first glance, looking at a box of tile can be really confusing. Hopefully, this helps you.
The box of tile you purchase will have a grading from 1 to 3. Grade 1 is the best quality of tile, grade 2, on the other hand, is similar to grade 1, but it’s going to be less expensive.
Grades 1 and 2 will work on just about any floor. But, Grade 3 tend to be very cheap and these are not going to be good enough for floors because they simply are not tough enough to walk on. Instead, the grade 3 tiles will be used for walls. Therefore, when you buy tile for your floors, make sure it’s 1 or a 2.
PEI stands for Porcelain Enamel Institute. Simple enough. The wear ratings are going to test the tiles ability to stand up to things like wear and tear, abrasion, etc. If you purchase an unglazed tile, you won’t see a PEI rating, this is only for glazed flooring tiles. Here is a chart for the PEI ratings. Keep this handy.
As you can see above, Group 1 and 2 are going to be for light duty or light traffic. These will be for walls or for rooms where you see very little foot traffic. On the other hand, 4 and 5 are going to be for heavy traffic areas. Specifically, 4 is going to be good for things like kitchens, entryways, hallways, etc.
Water Absorption Rating
WA, as it’s otherwise called, is a term that will let you know if your tile is good for wet areas or not. Or even indoor/outdoor for that matter. When it comes to the WA there are 4 total ratings. These ratings will include; Non-vitreous, Semi Vitreous, Vitreous and Impervious. Again, check the image below.
Slip Resistant Rating
The COF of a tile is also very important or otherwise called Coefficient of Friction. This will decide whether a tile is going to deal entirely with the tiles natural ability to resist slippage. The entire process is measured by the force of an object that is slid across the tile and then divided by the object’s weight.
Alright, well that sounds more confusing than it is, but thatâ€™s why you donâ€™t have to come up with the ratings, you just have to pay attention to them.
A lower rating means that the floor has less friction and will, in turn, be more slippery. On the other hand, a high rating means the floor will be less slippery. This should matter to you because dependent on where you put the tiles, the COF will matter. For instance, if you are placing this in a bathroom on the floor, in the shower, or outside leading up to your door, you would definitely want a high COF rating. This means that when you walk outside your door, get out of the shower, get in the shower, etc. you won’t slip â€“ very important for safety reasons.
Frost and Tone
A frost rating will tell you if the tile you have can be used outdoors and if it can withstand freezing and thawing cycles. If you have a box that says this, then it can be used outdoors. However, if you are using it indoors, to be honest, this rating really doesnâ€™t matter.
The tone rating has to do with mimicking tiles â€“ tiles that are meant to look like stone. For instance, have a tone-rating. If you want a tile that has a constant color going from inch to inch and from tile to tile, then you donâ€™t want a toned tile. On the other hand, if you want a different looking tile from inch to inch or tile to tile and want a stone look, then the toned rating is going to be an important category to look at.
Porcelain Tile Pros and Cons tilemarkets.com
Fix Crack Tiles today.com
About PEI porcelainenamel.com
COF of Tile uofcts.org
Freezing and Thawing Cycle cement.org