There’s a lot more to buying ceramic tile than finding a color and pattern that can function in an area. Each tile manufactured and sold has an intended use, and that intended use is made pretty clear on the label of a box of tile. But, it in code. Understanding this code can go a long way to helping you purchase the ceramic tile that is ideal for your project, and it might even save you money.
Ratings. There are four or five evaluations categories listed on each box of ceramic tile. Five when it is a glazed tile and four if you’re buying unglazed tile. Any time you’re preparing to purchase tile, make sure to read the label. Start looking for any particular tile grade, PEI rating, water absorption, coefficient of friction, frost tone and safety. Inside this Ideabook, I’m going to go through and discuss each of these categories and the reason why they’re significant.
Grade. The first class is a tile grade. A tile will have a grade from one to three. Grade one is the highest quality, grade two is similar to grade one but it will almost always be less expensive. Grades one and two are acceptable for flooring. Grade three tile aren’t thick enough to walk, and they are only meant to be used on walls. Although you are able to use floor tile as wall tile you cannot use wall tile as flooring tile. Make certain that any tile you’re considering for your flooring is at the very least a grade two.
Wear rating. The second category is something known as a PEI rating. PEI stands for the Porcelain and Enamel Institute’s wear rating. PEI rates a glazed tile’s ability to withstand abrasion and its suitability as a floor tile. Only polished tiles get a a PEI rating, if you’re buying unglazed tile you won’t find this class to the the label.
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Ceramic tiles ranked PEI I and II are appropriate to be used as wall tile only. They are normally decorative and cannot withstand foot traffic. Tiles rated PEI III offer moderate resistance to wear and they’re appropriate for most residential uses. Tiles that carry a PEI IV are highly resistant to wear and suitable for many residential and some light commercial uses. Tile rated PEI V would be the most resistant and therefore are appropriate to be used in heavy commercial places. If you can save money with a PEI III or PEI IV tile, do it. Anything ranked greater than that is overkill for residential uses.
Tau Galileo Collection – $10
Water-absorption rate. Another significant category to consider when you’re taking a look at ceramic tile is its own water absorption rate or W.A.. A tile W.A. rating will let you know whether a tile you’re considering is the ideal tile to use at a wet area or outdoors.
There are four categories from the W.A. rating plus they are expressed as a title and percent of water consumed by a tile.
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Nonvitreous Vinyl absorbs over 7% of its own weight in water and can be inappropriate to be used outdoors or in a wet place such as a tub or spa. Semiviteous Vinyl absorbs between 3 percent and 7% of its own weight in water and it also is only suitable to be used in dry, indoor places. Vitreous tile absorbs only 0.5% to 3 percent of its own weight in water and it is a rating you want to see whether you’re using a tile outdoors or in an area where there’s a great deal of moisture present. The final group is high heeled also it consumes less than 0.5% of its own weight in water when subjected.
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What’s referred to as a porcelain tile isn’t really made from porcelain, but it is in that final category, impervious. A tile must consume less than 0.5% so as to be called porcelain. A lot of instances, that label porcelain carries a price premium and in the event that you’re able to save some cash by buying a vitreous tile (0.5% to 3 percent water absorption) you will be being a wise consumer. Tile categorized as vitreous has to be known as ceramic. Do not look away in the event that you find a floor tile that is not labeled as a porcelain tile. A vitreous ceramic flooring tile will do the job you want it to do in your home.
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Slip resistance. Another significant rating is a given tile coefficient of friction, abbreviated as C.O.F.. The COF refers to a tile’s organic resistant to slip and it is measured by the force needed to slide an object across a surface divided by the object’s weight. Reduced C.O.F. numbers indicate less friction and the flooring will provide less traction. Higher C.O.F. numbers indicate that a flooring will be less slippery.
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A C.O.F. more than .50 is suggested for standard residential uses. A C.O.F. more than .60 is needed for business uses and to meet Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines. If you’re seeking to tile a bathroom floor, listen to that C.O.F rating. The greater the number, the less likely you’ll be to slip when you’re getting from the shower.
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The last two categories are Frost and Tone. Frost is a simple either/or rating and it tells you if can withstand freeze and thaw cycles outdoors. If you’re using a tile inside, this rating doesn’t matter.
And finally, the final group is Tone. Tone only applies when there is deliberate variation from tile to tile to mimic the look of stone. If you’re looking for a tile with consistent color, toned tile isn’t for you. That class however, is definitely something to search for if you’re considering only tile samples.
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