Porcelain’s affordability, durability, and versatility make it a no-brainer for countertops, walls, and flooring and its scratch, stain, and moisture resistance make it a popular pick for both indoor and outdoor use.
Between its wide range of colors, patterns, and even finishes that mimic stone or wood, you are sure to find something that fits your needs and the personality of your space. As appealing as they seem, porcelain tiles are not without a grading system through which we can determine which is best.
In this article, George Ceramics looks into the various grades of porcelain tiles, approved and standard ratings, and other factors that will help you in choosing wisely.Regarding tiles, you may also have such questions. Are porcelain tiles harmful to your health? unveiling the truth. Click here to reveal it to you.
What Is PEI?
The PEI rating, or Porcelain Enamel Institute rating, is one of the most important factors to consider when considering various porcelain tile grades for your project. This rating tells you the resistance of a tile to wear due to abrasion and determines its suitability for different uses.
A higher number of PEI indicates a higher level of wear that a particular tile can withstand before showing any visible signs of deterioration. Therefore, a higher PEI means that it is more suitable for high-traffic areas.
PEI ratings are determined by measuring a tile’s abrasion resistance. The following are specific methods for determining PEI ratings:
1. Independent Testing: Each tile is independently tested according to the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) tests, and these ratings help determine the hardness and durability associated with each tile.
2. Abrasion Resistance Measurement: PEI ratings are determined by measuring abrasion resistance (EN154) measurements on a machine. The machine calculates the number of revolutions under a standard abrasive load.
3. Calculation of damaged revolutions: When a tile shows damage, the number of revolutions (from 150 to 1500+) is calculated, which gives the PEI rating.
4. Evaluation of deterioration: The development of this method is based on the assertion that the degree of deterioration of a floor should not be determined by a reduction in its thickness, but by the difference in visible appearance between the worn and unworn surfaces, evaluated at a defined distance under standard lighting conditions.
5. Color considerations: It should be emphasized that for the same degree of wear, wear is always more visible on darker surfaces. For this reason, PEI values are shown in tile catalogs as a requirement for individual items rather than for entire collections that may have lighter and darker tiles.
If you are a purchaser and wish to determine the PEI rating of a tile, you can take the following steps.
1. Product labeling: first check the packaging or back of the tile. Many manufacturers will indicate the PEI rating there.
2. Ask the salesperson: At a tile store or building materials market, the salesperson usually knows a lot about the products they sell. Ask them directly for the PEI rating of the tile. Of course, you can contact our experts directly by clicking the button here.
3. Consider your needs: Depending on your usage scenario (e.g., family bathroom, kitchen, commercial space, etc.), choose the right PEI rating. For example, a family home may only need a PEI 2 or 3, while a commercial location or high-traffic area may require a PEI 4 or 5.
4. Sample testing: If you are particularly interested in a particular tile but are unsure of its PEI rating, consider purchasing a sample for actual testing.
Overall, determining a tile’s PEI rating is a critical step in ensuring that you purchase the right, durable tile. Make sure you contact our experts before purchasing to prevent a wrong purchase.
What are the Different Grades of Porcelain Tile?
There are five different porcelain tile quality grades. Do all porcelain tiles have a grade? Yes, and each grade has its characteristics and can be used for different projects.
Such as, tiles are classified into three radiation levels: Grade A has no usage restrictions; Grade B is not suitable for the interior of Class I residential buildings; Grade C is only appropriate for building exteriors and outdoor areas.Okay, let’s dive into it.
Grade 1 Porcelain Tile
So what is grade 1 porcelain tile? And what does grade 1 porcelain tile mean? Grade 1 is the lowest grade of porcelain tile. It’s only intended for walls or kitchen backsplashes and light-duty residential floors and is not suitable for areas that will see heavy traffic due to its lower abrasion resistance.
Grade 2 Porcelain Tile
Grade 2 porcelain tiles are an attractive and economical choice that is best used as flooring for rooms that don’t get a lot of foot traffic, such as bathrooms and bedrooms. As wall coverings, Grade 2 tiles provide beauty as well as function.
Grade 3 Porcelain Tile
Grade 3 porcelain tiles are a great choice for residential and light commercial settings. Featuring high shade variation and durability, these tiles can stand up to moderate foot traffic and everyday wear-and-tear, making them suitable for kitchens, family rooms, hallways, countertops, outdoor porcelain tile, and even light commercial applications such as offices or small shops.
Grade 4 Porcelain Tile
Grade 4 porcelain tiles are designed for heavy traffic and are ideal for commercial installations such as restaurants, shops, offices, and other spaces where day-to-day wear and tear is expected.
Due to their superior strength and durability, they can also be used in residential settings such as laundry rooms and mudrooms. Grade 4 porcelain tile can also make an excellent choice for patios or outdoor living spaces.
Grade 5 Porcelain Tile
What is the best grade of porcelain tile? Grade 5! Grade 5 porcelain tiles make up the top porcelain tile grade rating and are the toughest type of tile available, making them perfect for areas with heavy foot traffic and where durability is key.
Porcelain tile hardness grades of 5 are perfect for commercial spaces such as hospitals, shopping malls, schools, stores, and airports due to their high resistance to wear and tear as well as harsh chemicals. They can also be used in residential homes for stairways, entryways, and other high-traffic areas.
Other Porcelain Tile Durability Factors to Consider
Other factors can affect the durability of porcelain tiles that involve the grades of porcelain tile discussed.
Types of Porcelain
When considering the type of porcelain for a project, aside from porcelain grades, it is important to take into consideration the various types and applications:
Unglazed Porcelain Tiles. Includes full-bodied and the porcelain tile thin-set type, offering a durable but lightweight option.
Glazed Porcelain Tiles. Comes in two varieties – printed tiles and color-bodied tiles. Color bodies are easy to clean and offer vibrant colors while printed tiles can create unique patterns and designs.
You can click to read our article: Glazed or Unglazed: How to Figure it Out in Porcelain Tiles?
It’s also important to consider the various applications and how they might affect the performance of each type of tile.
1. Heavy Commercial: Ideal for areas that see high levels of foot traffic or regular use such as airports, shopping malls, hospitals, and schools;
2. Commercial: Best for lightly trafficked areas such as office buildings or retail stores;
3. Heavy Residential: Suitable for areas of residential spaces that need to be highly resistant to wear and tear and require a higher level of durability such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
Coefficient of Friction
The coefficient of friction is the measure of a surface’s ability to resist slipping when in contact with another surface. Porcelain tile typically has a high coefficient of friction which makes it an excellent choice for areas prone to slip-and-fall accidents such as showers or pool decks.
The forming method of a tile can have an impact on its durability and performance. Porcelain tiles are typically made by the dry-pressed, extruded, or ram-pressed method. Depending on the forming method, porcelain tiles can be either dense and non-porous or porous, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.
The scratch resistance of a tile should also be taken into consideration when making your selection. Porcelain tiles typically have a higher level of scratch resistance than ceramic tiles, making them ideal for high-traffic areas. A-grade porcelain tile and B-grade porcelain tile may offer different levels of scratch resistance, so it is important to compare the two before making your final decision. Porcelain tile grade B is superior.
Slip Resistance Rating
Slip resistance is an important factor to consider when selecting porcelain tile for your project. The American National Standards Institute recommends a rating of 0.60 or higher for commercial floors and a rating of 0.42 or higher for residential bathrooms and laundry rooms. Tiles with a lower porcelain tile grade should not be used in slippery or wet areas.
The water absorption rating of porcelain tile can also be an important factor to consider. Porcelain tiles are denser than ceramic tiles and therefore have a lower water absorption rating. This is especially important when it comes to cleaning porcelain tiles since water and stains can easily seep into porous tiles.
It is impossible to make a definition of a good tile, as long as it meets your needs can start to buy, the above is just a simple criterion, the specific needs also need to consult us.
Georgeceramic is the best tile manufacturer in China, not only can produce high-quality tiles, but the price is also more favorable, operating for many years can provide you with the perfect solution, come to consult us.
How to Distinguish Porcelain Tile Quality
Many factors must be taken into consideration before choosing which porcelain tile to use in a project. Strength, color, and design are all important elements that influence tile selection.
The best way to ensure you have chosen the highest quality porcelain tile for your application is to do research on each product’s properties and make your purchase from reputable manufacturers like Georgeceramics who’s known for not bending the rule on quality.
Quality can also vary depending on the type of porcelain tile; glazed tiles tend to offer a higher level of durability than unglazed tiles. Additionally, look for strong colors and patterns in printed tiles, and make sure no chips or flaws exist in the tiles before purchase.
Whether it’s their durable nature, versatility, or aesthetic appeal that draws you in, making wise choices can appear overwhelming due to all the available options. But if you carefully examine all the points in this article, we can bet you will make a decision that is well-informed and wise!
Consider your needs; clearly define what they are, the look and feel you desire, the nature of the environment, and the stress it will undergo. Porcelain tiles are renowned for their long-lasting, durable nature and ability to withstand daily wear and tear and where the needs match the solution they offer, you achieve great value on your installation.
Now let’s look at the various processes involved in porcelain production.There are four parts to the porcelain-making process. This includes forming, glazing, decoration, and firing. Let’s discuss each.
The forming stage in the porcelain-making process requires careful precision and artistry. Clay-based creations are either hand-shaped using techniques such as pinching and coiling, or they are pressed into molds. The clay forms a shape that is then dried to get rid of excess moisture.
Glazing is the process of applying liquid glass to the surface of a ceramic or porcelain piece. This is done either by dipping or spraying and then firing it in an oven, which causes the glaze to fuse with the object’s surface.
Decorating porcelain is a time-honored tradition. It adds color and texture to the pieces while also acting as protection. The most common methods used are hand painting, staining, and transfers.
Hand-painting involves painting with brushes or sponges directly onto the piece, while staining involves immersing the piece in dye to achieve a desired color. Transfers involve transferring an image onto the piece using a special process.
The last step in creating porcelain is firing. This process involves heating the piece at temperatures up to 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit. This heat causes the pieces to become harder and more durable by forming a glass-like layer on the surface.
Related Reading: Why Tiles Are Heat Resistant