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Types of Tile
This type of tile is made from red or white clay, which has been molded and fired in a kiln. Ceramic tile is generally less expensive and easier to cut, but is also not as hard as other options
Porcelain tiles are Ceramic tile with a higher sand content, but have also been molded and pressed to create a harder, more dense tile. These are ideal for higher traffic areas as well as most wet areas.
This type of tile is simply cut pieces of natural granite, marble, travertine, slate, onyx, quartzite, or sandstone. These options provide a beautiful one of a kind style, but are porous in nature and can be stained if not properly maintained.
Tile that has been mechanically finished on all sides to achieve uniformity and precision. During the manufacturing process, an extra step is taken to grind the tile to precise and consistent dimensions. Due to the additional manufacturing requirements, usually only higher end tiles will be rectified.
Defines the slip resistance of a ceramic or natural stone tile as determined by the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) test ASTM C1028. Coefficient of Friction (COF) is defined by a numerical range between zero and one. Tiles have both wet and dry values.
Water absorption rates are a measurement of how much moisture a specific type of porcelain tile is likely to absorb on an ongoing basis. Porcelain tile is categorized as “impervious,” which means it has a water absorption rate of less than 0.5%.
PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institue) Rating
This is an indication of tile hardness and a valuable guide to tile choices for different projects. Both Ceramic and porcelain tiles are rated, but because of the natural hardness designed into porcelain, most people seem to be more concerned about the PEI rating of ceramic tile.
- PEI I has the least durable surface and is not intended to be used as flooring. Used primarily as wall tile or decoration.
- PEI II is durable enough to withstand light residential foot traffic. Used primarily in bathrooms and closets.
- PEI III is durable enough to withstand moderate residential foot traffic. Used primarily in kitchens and living areas.
- PEI IV is durable enough to withstand heavy residential or light commercial foot traffic. Used primarily in entryways and hallways around the home. Commonly used in commercial spaces such as offices or salons.
- PEI V is durable enough to withstand heavy commercial and industrial traffic areas. Commonly used in educational, retail, and industrial applications.
Defines a tile’s ability to withstand damage caused by freeze/thaw cycles as determined by the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) test ASTM C1026. A frost rating is an indication of a tile’s ability to withstand freeze/thaw cycles. If no indication is present, the tile is unable to withstand freeze/thaw cycles. Tile that is not able to withstand freeze/thaw cycles is not suitable for outdoor use.
Defines the quality of ceramic tile as determined by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) test A137.
- A-Grade meets the minimum standards. Used on floors or walls.
- B-Grade is similar to A-Grade with minor visual imperfections. May occasionally feature some chips on corners, etc. Used on floors or walls.
- Cull Grade does not meet minimum standards. Tile is discarded or used for decorative applications. Not intended for floors.
Consistency of Appearance
Defines the variation or consistency of shade and texture of a specific tile product.
- Random- Has significant variation of shade and texture.
- High- Features variation in shade and texture.
- Moderate- Has some variation of shade and texture.
- Low- Is visually consistent in both shade and texture.