In the list of manmade or engineered stone product types, ceramic tiles are famous as the best construction material for garnering floors and walls. Ceramic tiles are made from clay hardened by heat. These kiln-fired materials are good for kitchens and bathrooms as they are durable and resist moisture. In the form of countertops, backsplashes, and decorative wall coverings, these tiles are coated with glass-forming minerals with matte or gloss finish on the top. All ceramic tiles look equal in terms of gloss and pattern. But, they are not. It is a ceramic tile rating that tells which tile type is good for different applications. This content talks about the rating or grading of ceramic tiles.
Picking up the right ceramic tile with rating status
Available in a wide assortment of textures, patterns, and sizes, ceramic tile products allure all. As natural stone products, these tiles are also popular in the competitive market. Novice buyers of tiles easily get attracted to colors and buy what is being suggested to them by the showroom owner. That is why it is mandatory to understand ceramic tile rating what labels pasted on the tile carton box display. Primarily, all labels contain some symbols and other details like the coefficient of friction rating (C.O.F.), frost, grade, porcelain enamel institute wear) (P.E.I.) rating, tone, and water absorption (W.A.). With so much information and indicators, you can easily understand the importance and values of your choice tile products.
C.O.F. (Coefficient of Friction)
This ceramic tile rating standard indicates C.O.F. (Coefficient of Friction) that represents the natural resistance of the tile to slip. The COF value is measured by the force needed to move an object across tiles. Generally, the symbol of a sliding person shown on the label indicates a range of less friction and more friction. Tile with lower numbers means the floor is more slippery and it has less friction/traction. On the other hand, tile with higher numbers means the floor is less slippery and it has more friction/traction.
COF>.50 – It is ideal for standard residential applications.
COF<.60 – It is ideal for commercial applications.
Ceramic tile frost rating
If the label is showing a symbol of a snowflake, it means that tiles are frost-resistant. This symbol means the ability of the tile to resist frost when exposed to the external environment. Note that frost rating is applicable to outdoor tiles, not indoor tiles.
Ceramic tile grade
When we talk about the grading of the tile, it means we are focusing on the numerical ranking as per the quality of tiles. The following are three common grades of ceramic tiles that are ranked as per standard and usage of tiles.
- Grade 1: This grade indicates top quality tiles that are superb for walls or floors.
- Grade 2: This grade is the same as grade 1, but tiles of this category come with minor imperfections. It is also suitable for walls or floors.
- Grade 3: This grade indicates the lowest quality of thinner tiles. Such tiles are designed for walls only, not floors.
PEI Wear Rating
Tile’s resistance to abrasion is the next thing that buyers need to know. The PEI wear rating of ceramic tiles lets you know how suitable the tile is for floor traffic. Note that this rating is applicable to glazed ceramic floor tiles only.
- PEI I and II: Lowest resistance. (For walls only).
- PEI III: Moderate resistance. (For residential uses).
- PEI IV: High resistance. (For residential and light commercial uses).
- PEI IV+: Highest resistance. (For residential and commercial uses).
Water Absorption (W.A.)
If you see the symbol of umbrella shielding rain on the label, it means information about the rate of WA by the tile.
- Nonvitreous: High absorption (Not good for outdoor use and bathrooms).
- Semivitreous: Moderate absorption (Not good for outdoor use and bathrooms).
- Vitreous: Low absorption (Good for outdoor use and bathrooms).
- Impervious: Lowest absorption (Good for interior and exterior uses).
The symbol of the multi-shaded grid on the label means variation in tone in black and white hues. When you check the packed ceramic tile products, you will find that there are variations in tone from tile to tile.
So, the rating of ceramic tiles helps buyers know the product well before making a purchase. Sticking to these suggestions will take you in the right direction.