Tile Selection – What to consider
Getting the right tiles for your living room, bathroom, outdoor deck, wall or floor – be it for your home or your office.
The denser the tile, the less water it absorbs. The Porosity of tiles is classified as follows:
- Impervious (least absorbent)
- Semi-vitreous and,
- Non-vitreous (most absorbent).
Tile porosity will matter where moisture proof applications are required like outdoors, bathrooms and laundry rooms.
Single vs double-fired tiles and their rating
The glaze on single-fired tiles is applied to the raw material (bisque) and baked once in a kiln. Double-fired tiles are baked a second time after colour or decoration is added.
Tile hardness ratings will help you determine the appropriate tile for a particular setting. For instance, swimming pools or bathrooms require a moisture-proof, nonslip material, whilst high traffic areas such as entrances, need a hard, abrasion-resistant, moisture-proof tile.
As some tiles are harder than others, there are standardised tests to evaluate a tile’s relative hardness, its durability and percentage of water absorbed.
Porcelain Enamel Institute hardness ratings
The Porcelain Enamel Institute (yes, there is such a thing) grades tiles as follows:
Class I – No foot traffic. These tiles are for wall-only applications.
Class II – Light traffic. Interior residential and commercial wall applications. These are for areas where little abrasion occurs, such as bathrooms.
Class III – Light to moderate traffic. Use these in residential settings with normal foot traffic. They are also ideal for countertops and walls.
Class IV – Moderate to heavy traffic. These tiles are acceptable for all home use in addition to medium commercial or light institutional use.
Class V – Heavy to extra heavy traffic. Approved tile for all residential applications, heavy commercial work and institutional foot traffic.
To talk to an expert about your tile project…
Call us on: 1300 246 289.