Porcelain tiles boast better endurance to floor traffic than ceramic tiles. Like ceramic tiles, they are made from hardened clay. However, the major difference is that porcelain is baked at higher temperatures than their ceramic counterparts. This produces a hard tile and makes it a preferred choice for both commercial and residential purposes.
Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are used on countertops, walls and floors, but porcelain is the better choice on bathrooms and kitchens because it has low water absorption rates. This makes it ideal for swimming pools, too. If you're in the market for tiles, you may find certain tile terminologies confusing. Here's a guideline to ensuring that you buy the right ones.
To assess the durability and resistance of tiles, the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) came up with a rating system. You need to understand the ratings because not all tiles are designed for all areas. The rating system is referred to as PEI rating and ranges from 1 to 5. The system outlines the tiles' suitability on different foot traffic levels as described below.
PEI Class 1
This is recommended for very light traffic, such as stocking or bare feet. It can be used in the spa and Master bathroom.
PEI Class 2
This is ideal for light traffic (soft-soled or slipper shoes).Recommended for bedrooms and main bathrooms.
PEI Class 3
It is ideal for light and moderate foot traffic and is recommended for kitchens and areas with busy traffic.
PEI Class 4
This level is best suited for moderate and heavy traffic areas. These are areas where outside dirt and abrasives can be tracked. Such areas include busy kitchens, residential entries and countertops.
PEI Class 5
This is best for heavy traffic areas and for commercial use.
Glazed or Unglazed
You have to choose between glazed and unglazed porcelain tiles. The major difference is that glazed tiles are taken through an additional process of firing where liquid gas is added under very hot temperatures. This process will have implications on the look and feel of the tile.
Unglazed tiles are generally thicker and denser. This is due to the unfinished exteriors. They are ideal if you're looking for non-slip tiles for areas such as the laundry room, kitchen and bathroom. Being scratch resistant makes them a more suitable fit for heavy traffic areas such as in outdoor applications.
Glazed tiles do not boast density and thickness; however, they allow for a versatile range of colours and styles. They also stain less because of the added layer of liquid glass. A wide range of colours is achieved through mixing minerals such as silver, gold, cobalt, copper and zinc.
For more information, contact a company such as Cerastone Tile Gallery.