Ceramic (non-porcelain) tiles are thin slabs of red or white clay, in the form of shale, gypsum or sand, converted into a material known as bisque. This bisque is given the shape of tiles and hardened, through the process of firing, in kiln with temperature up to 2500º F.
Since ceramic tiles are porous in nature, they are often coated with glaze. Ceramic tiles are prone to wear and to chipping or cracking on forceful impact. The glaze on the tile does not go all the way through, so the core (usually white) becomes obvious if the tile is damaged. Glazed ceramic tiles may tend to get scratched on frequently used surfaces. Ceramic tiles are ideal for walls. Ceramic tiles are available in high-gloss, matte, and abrasive slip-resistant finishes. Ceramic tiles are quite inexpensive compared to other types of tiles.
The benefits of ceramic tile include a vast array of textures, colors and sizes. They can match almost any and every decorating style. The tiles are durable and easy to maintain. Ceramic tiles are suitable for light to moderate traffic. The Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) durability rating for ceramic tile is 0 to 3.
|Class 0||Generally not recommended for use on floors|
|Class 1||Light traffic, for residential bathroom floors|
|Class II||Medium-Light Traffic, residential interiors with the exceptions of kitchens, stairs, landings and areas near external entries|
|Class III||Medium-Heavy Traffic, all residential applications. Commercial applications which are similar in traffic to residential applications. Specifically excepted are areas of prevalent circulation or turning points|
|Class IV||Heavy Traffic, all residential and most commercial applications such as the public areas of exhibition halls, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, shops and schools.|
|Class IV+||Extra Heavy Traffic, all residential and commercial applications similar to Class IV where extra durability may be required.|
Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) Ceramic and Porcelain Tile Wear Ratings, the current rating system for ceramic tile, is the only reliable gauge for consumers to use in determining wear expectations for a particular tile application. PEI has developed a rating scale that can effectively guide any consumer through the process of choosing the right tile for their particular application. This rating system is shown below and recommended by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM C-1028-89).
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