Rating Porcelain Tiles for Hardness

Porcelain tiles are known for many things- toughness included. These are the reasons why many designers and architects are shifting their preferences for porcelain for home and commercial use. They find these tiles as more reliable, and they can easily perceive if these tiles are the right kind of tiles that they need for their construction and home improvement projects. But what about the non-professionals amongst us- how can you tell the hardness and the quality of these tiles? Well it is now easier thanks to a rating scale that is being used to refer to the hardness of these products.

In order to know the hardness of the tiles available in the market, then you need to know the rates used by the Porcelain Enamel Institute or PEI. This is the industry-recognized body that tests the hardness of these tiles with the use of an abrasion test. This is the same test that is supported by the American Society for Testing and Materials, so everyone can be sure that the tests are true and correct. So what does the test, and in essence the rating imply? In the simplest words, if the rating is high then the tiles' resistance to foot traffic will be high as well.

Now the rating that is given by the body can be used as the standard when deciding on what tiles to get for a specific application or project. But here is an important point to remember. The rating scale that is used by the body is only indicative of the hardness of the tiles, and does not have an impact on its quality nor the price. Just to give you some idea, the pricier tiles are those that belong to ranks/groups 1 and 2 based on the rating scale issued by the PEI. For a better explanation of the rating scale, listed below are the typical rating groups and what they mean to consumers like you.

Rating/Group 0. You don't use these for floors. These are recommended only to be used for the walls.

Rating/Group 1. Got an area where low foot traffic is expected? If this is your area, then the porcelain tiles that should be used should belong to this category. Tiles that belong to this group are best used for bathroom walls and for residential walls as well.

Rating/Group 2. Tiles under this grouping are best for almost any home improvement jobs. These are the areas where you can expect low to medium foot traffic, so use these tiles for living room improvements. But remember that these tiles are not suited for stairs and for the kitchen since they may wear fast.

Rating/Group 3. These tiles are best used for commercial establishments-think offices. These are also best for countertops and can be used for bathroom floors.

Rating/Group 4. These are best for areas where you will expect regular foot traffic.

Rating/Group 5. These are the best porcelain tiles that you can have, well at least due to its hardness. These are the choices for malls, shopping centers and pools.

Now use the rating scale as your basis in shopping for porcelain tiles. Because there are special kinds of tiles for special areas, what you need to do first is to identify the areas for home improvements before shopping.

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