Dating as far back as the 8th century, tile has been used in homes, city centers, and workplaces for thousands of years. It was a material well-loved by ancestors due to its durability and incredible beauty. Today, the love for tile continues to grow with new trends, patterns, and styles coming to the marketplace. If you are fairly new to the idea of using tile in your home, there is no need to worry! We have listed the most commonly asked questions to help you better understand this diverse material.
Q: What Makes Ceramic and Porcelain Tile Different?
A: Differentiating between ceramic and porcelain tile can seem confusing at first, but we want to help clarify it and make it a little easier. The first thing to note is that porcelain tile is actually a sub-category within the category: ceramic tile. In fact, you can divide ceramic tile into two sub-categories: porcelain and non-porcelain tile. Now what makes porcelain tile different from its non-porcelain counterpart is the way it is made and its composition. Porcelain tile is fired at an extremely high temperature and is composed of porcelain clay. In fact, porcelain is the strongest and most durable tile option on the market, ranking a five on the PEI rating system.
Q: What Is the PEI Rating?
A: Saying that porcelain tile ranks a number 5 on the PEI rating system may have meant nothing to you. To help you understand the PEI rating system, we broke it down for you. But before you take a look at the meanings, it is essential to understand that PEI does not stand for quality. The PEI rating system, instead, shows where the tile can be installed based on the manufacturer’s insights.
Class 0: No Foot Traffic – This class is for backsplashes and wall tiles, and it is not recommended for floors.
Class 1: Very light traffic – Barefoot or socks only on these floors. It would work well in a bathroom.
Class 2: Light Traffic – Slippers can be used on these floors. Great for bathrooms and bedrooms.
Class 3: Light to Moderate Traffic – Main areas can use this flooring, but try to avoid entryways/foyers as well as kitchens.
Class 4: Moderate to Heavy Traffic – Perfect for entryways, patios, kitchens, and even countertops.
Class 5: Heavy Traffic – Great for residential or commercial areas with heavy foot traffic.
Q: Where Can I Install Tile?
A: Tile floors are an incredibly diverse and durable flooring product. In fact, their durability gives them the flexibility to be installed indoors or outdoors. Since they are often heat-, moisture-, and frost-resistant, they have the ability to transform your outdoor space. Just be sure to always refer to the PEI ranking system to make sure you select the proper class.
Q: What Do Glazed and Unglazed Tile Floors Mean?
A: Glazed tiles, like they sound, are glazed with a liquid glass that is non-porous. After they are coated, the liquid glass is then baked onto the surface of your tile floors. Homeowners select a glaze to help protect their tiles for stains. An unglazed tile, on the other hand, is not coated in this liquid glass and is more susceptible to staining. That being said, unglazed tiles are more durable and work well in exterior settings.
Q: What Is the Difference Between Sanded and Unsanded Grout?
A: Sanded grout contains particles of sand in it. This sand helps hold the tile in place, which increases its stability and resists cracking and shrinkage. Unsanded grout, on the other hand, provides a smoother texture than sanded grout and works better on scratchable surfaces.
Q: How Do I Choose a Grout Color?
A: A lot of homeowners may not realize it at first, but the color grout you choose is imperative to the overall look of your tile floors. It is important to select a color that complements the overall look and does not overpower your tile floors. In fact, to help keep things easy, we recommend choosing a grout color that is the same color as your tile but only a few shades darker or lighter.
Q: How Do I Clean and Care for My Tile Floors?
A: Care and maintenance can extend the lifetime of any floor. To properly care for your tile floors, be sure to visit our previous blog post here.
If one of your concerns or questions was not answered, please do not hesitate to leave us a comment. Thanks for reading!