TIPS ON TILE
PEI ratings – PEI rates abrasive resistance of the tile’s glaze on a scale of zero to five (0-5). This test is only for glazed tiles and does not apply to unglazed porcelain tile and other unglazed types of tile. Deep abrasion test for through body porcelain tile.
Frederick Mohs invented this geological scale of minerals to rate scratch resistance from 1-10.
Think of Mohs as Method of Hardness Scale. This test is not an industry standard, but it’s a great comparison to show the difference in scratch resistance between tile and other hard flooring materials.
Coefficient of friction (COF)
The coefficient of friction rates the slip resistance of a tile. ADA recommends a test rating of .6 (wet or dry) on floors and .8 for ramps. However, common sense must prevail. If you are told that a shiny surface tile has .6 rating, stop and think if that tile really will be slip resistant.
The breaking strength test is a good indicator of the chip resistance of a tile because it tests the strength and density of the bisque. Using applicable ASTM test, ceramic floor tile typically has a breaking strength of 250 lbs. This can be less for poor quality tiles, higher with porcelain tiles (up to 400 lbs).
What do you want your tiles to do?
Facial surface - A slip resistant surface may be more difficult to keep clean. A glossy surface may show dust and be slick.
Body strength – chip resistance, frost resistance, breaking strength, water performance and visual expectations.
Travertine Quality Ratings
Travertine is divided into four visual classifications. As with other natural products such as diamonds and precious stones, the value of travertine is based on the visual appeal, availability and rare qualities of the stone. As these are visual based categories, the durability or suitableness for a specific purpose is not part of this classification.
Tiles with a commercial rating are divided into two distinct categories:
Classic Quality A classic quality tile will be of a consistent size as to allow a grout joint of 1/8” or less. Classic tiles will have a moderate amount and size fill. Classic tiles are sorted within a defined color range with minimal mineral deposits.
First Quality travertine tiles are sorted to have minimal fill and color variations within a defined range. First quality tiles have virtually no unusual mineral deposits and they are precision sized for minimal grout joints and ease of installation.
Premium Quality travertine is so designated because of the unusually high density of the stone.
This means that there are very few and very small holes. The face of the premium quality stone will be of discernable higher visual quality when placed next to other qualities of travertine.
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