You’ve decided to go with ceramic tile for your floor or walls. What a great choice! Ceramic is an aesthetically pleasing and durable material that can be used in nearly any room in the home. The color varieties, as well as shape opportunities, make ceramic a fine choice when redoing floor tile in your San Fernando home.
What you want to know, however, is how to determine the quality of ceramic tile. You deserve the best material, and the pros at Transworld Tile want to help you find the tile that fits your project. In this article, you will discover the four factors that ought to be considered when looking at the quality of ceramic tile.
Quality Ceramic Tile Factors
In general, quality tile is not hard to find. Across the tile industry, there are many types that are a great solution to your wall or floor. You’ve decided to go with ceramic tile, however. Here are the four main factors you ought to consider when determining the quality of the tile you choose.
#1. Tile Grading
Each tile is graded based on thickness and quality. The highest quality and thickness gets a rating of one. For example, a tile at ¾ inch thickness with a rating of one can be used virtually anywhere in the home.
As the grading reduces from one to three, the tile is limited on where it can be used. A ¼ inch tile is typically graded a three and limited to being used on walls only.
You may find the grades referred to as standard, secondary, and cull, too, so keep your eye out for these terms while shopping for tile.
#2. Scratch Resistance and Wear Rating
Everyday wear and tear is going to be your main culprit in degrading your tile. This is why the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) rates tile based on its ability to resist abrasion due to daily wear and tear. The tile ratings go from I to IV. Tile rating I is the softest tile. Rating III or above is required for residential use. The hardest tile rating IV is typically found as high-traffic commercial flooring. PEI ratings only apply to glazed tiles.
Both glazed and unglazed are rated using the Mohs scratch test based on the scale of mineral hardness. Tiles are rated from one (soft, Talc) to 10 (hard, diamond). To complete the test, a random selection of tiles is chosen, scratched, and rated based on their performance. As a reference, a rating of five or higher is recommended for home flooring and seven or higher is recommended for commercial flooring applications.
#3. Frost and Water Absorption
It’s imperative that you know the water absorption and frost rate of your tile choices before you purchase any one of them. A tile that’s vitreous will do well in a high-moisture environment like your bathroom or even your kitchen. A non-vitreous tile absorbs around seven percent of its weight, which will reduce its lifespan if exposed to too much moisture over time.
Frost resistance is another factor in determining if a certain tile is right for your home. The vitreous tiles will do better against frost since they do not absorb as much moisture. You want to look for a frost resistant symbol, since this rating is not measured by a number.
#4. The Coefficient of Friction (CoF)
How slippery do you like your tiles? For most, a slippery tile is dangerous. There is a formula that determines how well an object moves across the surface of the tile. This is called the Coefficient of Friction. The tile rating for CoF is preferred by most to be above 0.5-foot-pounds for residential and must be above 0.6-foot-pounds for commercial flooring. This rating is to ensure the safety of those who intend to walk across the tile and not slip. A low CoF can result in slippery tile surfaces, which can lead to injury. You will find that the CoF is indicated on tile packaging as foot pounds and then in square inch (SI) units.
Transworld Tile: Your Tile Experts Serving San Fernando
As the tile experts with more than 30 years of experience, we serve San Fernando, Thousand Oaks, and Los Angeles residents with top-tier tile selections for their homes or businesses. When it comes to choosing the right ceramic tile for your project, stop by our showroom or give us a call. We’re available to help you find the tile you deserve.