There’s a lot more to buying ceramic tiles than finding a colour and pattern that will work in a room. Every tile manufactured and sold has an intended use. Understanding tile ratings will go a long way to helping you buy the ceramic tile that’s right for your project.
1. Wear Rating:
The level of wear a floor is subjected to is dependent on the area of application and frequency of use, as well as the type of dirt and degree. While unglazed vitrified floor tiles can be used practically anywhere, glazed floor tiles have to be categorised according to abrasion groups. There are six wear resistance groups for glazed tiles. Class 0 is not recommended for floors, Class 1 is recommended for soft footwear or barefoot and not exposed to abrasion, Class 2 is for household living areas, Class 3 is frequently walked areas with normal footwear, Class 4 is commercial kitchens and hotels subject to greater stress and Class 5 is glazed floor coverings subject to heavy foot traffic such as airport terminals and industrial applications.
2. Water Absorption Rate:
Properly installed and grouted ceramic tiles are an excellent choice for use in wet areas. But while the glaze of ceramic tiles is nonporous, a glazed tile may absorb water through its body. Any glazed or unglazed ceramic tile that absorbs more than 3% of moisture is unsuitable for wet areas or outdoor use.
3. Stain Resistance:
Stain resistance and water absorption go hand-in-hand. The stain resistance of ceramic tiles varies depending on its capacity to resist moisture. Low water absorption obtained without sealers means excellent stain resistance, easy cleaning and an ultra-long service life.
4. Supporting Heavy Weight:
Within heavy commercial or industrial applications, such as supermarkets, food processing or automotive areas, several tons of weight can be placed onto just a few centimetres of floor. In the case of food processing plants, additional vibrations and oscillations are generated, which creates further stress. Tiles featuring high-point-load capacity, in addition to a great compression and bending strength can easily carry the weight. In summary, the thicker the tile, the greater the load required to cause fracture.
5. Slip Resistance:
Slip resistance involves two factors – your ceramic tile floor’s likely exposure to spills and the environment requirements. The more your floor will be exposed to spills or wetness, the higher your need for a slip resistant floor tile. Type of patrons and how they use the facility also need to be taken into consideration, such as the elderly, disable or young children.