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Have you ever found it challenging to make an informed purchase decision when when it comes to selecting a tile?
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Glossary Of Terms
- Colour Body
- PEI Rating
- Shade Variation
- Frost Resistance
- Mohs Hardness Test
- Water Absorption Rating
- Slip Resistance Rating
- Recommended Usage
- Country Of Origin
Definition: Colour body means that the manufacturer has added a dye that closely resembles the colour of at the surface of the tile.
Importance: The importance of this is that if someone ever drops something heavy on the tile and it chips, it’s less likely to show.
Accidents happen, but this is great feature to look for when picking tiles for high traffic areas. Last thing you want to see is an ugly chip spot on a tile if that ever happens. Colour body tiles also look great if the side of the tile is every going to be visible.
Definition: The PEI rating is essentially a measurement of the tile surface glaze’s resistance to abrasion. This measurement applies to glazed tiles.
Importance: It’s important to pay close attention to the PEI class when choosing a tile for a particular application.
Here are the recommended applications of the different PEI classes:
Class 0 – Light duty walls only, never underfoot
Class 1 – Walls of all applications, never under foot
Class 2 – Walls and light duty floors such as residential bathrooms
Class 3 – Residential floors and walls
Class 4 – Residential floors and walls, Medium traffic commercial
Class 5 – Any area residential or commercial
Definition: This term refers to the range of colour or pattern variation to expect on the tile. It ranges from no shade variation that can be detectable by the human eye (V0), to the potentially extremely variation on color, tone, and pattern of a (V4).
Importance: To recognize how much variation to expect on the tiles so that you don’t get surprised and end up thinking either of the following:
- “That is not the tile that I picked!”
- “My newly tiled floor doesn’t look anything like the sample tile.”
V0 – Pieces of the same shade value are very uniform and smooth in texture. They can be measured for small color differences and are in compliance with color uniformity requirements.
V1 – Differences among pieces from the same tile are minimal.
V2 – There are clearly distinguishable differences in texture and/or pattern within similar colors of the tiles.
V3 – While the colors and/or texture present on a single piece of tile will be indicative of the colors and/or texture to be expected on the other tiles, the amount of colors and/or texture on each piece may vary significantly.
V4 – There is substantial variations between tiles. Expect random colour and/or texture differences from tile to tile, so that one tile may have totally different colors and/or texture from that on other tiles. Thus, the final installation will always be unique.
The Shade Variation plays a role in how busy you want the surface to look.
Definition: Ability of the tile to withstand temperatures below zero degrees Celsius.
Importance: This is great to know for installing tile for outdoor use especially in Canada otherwise the tile might crack or easily wear out it’s colour after a cold season.
Definition: Tile is made from minerals. One of the most important tests for identifying the strength of any mineral specimen is the Mohs Hardness Test. This test compares the deep abrasion resistance of a mineral to being scratched by ten reference minerals known as the Mohs Hardness Scale. The test is useful because most specimens of a given mineral are very close to the same hardness. This makes hardness a reliable diagnostic property for a porcelain tile.
Importance: If you are planning to put a tile in a high traffic area or an area that is prone to abrasion, then it’s important to consider the Mohs Hardness Scale of the tile in the selection process.
Mohs Hardness Scale:
Definition: Water absorption rates are a measurement of how much moisture a specific type of tile is likely to absorb.
Importance: Some types of tiles may crack if the moisture penetration is too high. Therefore they are not suited for wet environments.
The four different ratings for tile moisture absorption are:
- Non-vitreous (Low density) – Tile with water absorption of more than 7.0 percent
- Semi-vitreous (Medium density) – Tile with water absorption of more than 3.0 percent, but not more than 7.0 percent
- Vitreous (High Density) – Tile with water absorption of more than 0.5 percent, but not more than 3.0 percent
- Impervious (Extremely dense) – Tile with water absorption of 0.5 percent or less. This is where porcelain tile is generally categorized
Note: Porcelain tile is defined by ANSI A137.1 as an impervious tile with a water absorption of 0.5% or less as measured by the ASTM C373 test method.
Definition: People generally slip on wet surfaces or wet shoes, not clean dry surfaces. This is a test that measures the amount of force required to keep an object in motion as it slides over a tile and reflects real life situations where a person might slip on wet tiles.
Importance: This is important to consider when selecting tiles if you are putting tiles in a location that is subject to traffic and exposed to water such as bathrooms or even hallways.
North American Standard – DCOF (Dynamic Coefficient of Friction)
The measurements require that for level floor tiles, wet with water.
Interior Floors: Minimum slip resistance is 0.42 DCOF
Exterior Floors: Minimum slip resistance is 0.60 DCOF
Other situations, such as slope, standing water, oil, grease, or other slippery substances, may require higher DCOF numbers.
The European (ISO) Standard – R rating (ramp test)
This test requires an operator who is protected by a fall restraint harness, and wearing standard footwear, walk backwards and forwards over a sample of a flooring material that has been evenly coated with oil. Beginning with the ramp in a horizontal position, they gradually increases the angle of inclination until the limit of safe walking is reached and the test person slips. The acceptance angle obtained is used to express the degree of slip resistance. The ratings scale goes low to high, R9 – R13.
Definition: Based on various characterists of the tile, some tiles are rated for walls and some are rated for both walls and floors.
Importance: This is great for knowing if a tile is suited for walls and not for floors.
Definition: The country in which the tile was manufactured in. Not to be confused with the tile being designed in a certain country, and then manufactured in a completely different country.
Importance: This is important because different countries set different standards for tile. For example, the tile industry in Italy has high standards for tile produced (which is governed by Certifications that the tile must pass). Italy is known for it’s tile, mountains of marble like the Apuan Alpes, and how many years of experience this country has had in tile manufacturing. This will tell you about the quality you will expect to see.
At Vela Tile, we set high standards on quality because we want our customers to buy the same tile that we would be proud to put in our own home.
DISCOVER: New Episodes Are Added Weekly
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Understanding Slip Resistance Of Tiles | Updated: 2021
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