Floor Tile rating system, shopping for tiles in Sydney? Here’s what you need to know about tile ratings and understanding what they mean.
Porcelain and ceramic tiles are the most durable options for floors and walls for bathrooms, kitchens, and most living areas in your home. When purchasing tiles for your home, it’s important to consider tile classification or type and understand the different ratings.
Floor Tile Rating System – Tile Types
The two main types of tile are porcelain and ceramic. Porcelain tile is available in full body and glazed. It is a little more expensive, however porcelain is more durable and less likely to chip or scratch. Ceramic tiles are generally less expensive than porcelain tiles, however not as durable.
Vitreous (vitrified or high-density tiles) –Tiles with water absorption of more than 0.5% (porcelain tiles) but not more than 3%.
Semi-vitreous (semi-vitrified or medium density tiles) – Tiles with water absorption of more than 3% but not more than 7%.
Glazed (porous body tiles) – Most standard wall tiles have glazed porous bodies with a water absorption between 10% and 20%. When the surfaces of these tiles are covered with a glaze either gloss, matt, or satin, they are suitable for a wide variety of internal applications. These tiles are not frost resistant and should only be used in internal conditions above sub-zero temperatures.
What are the different ratings?
There are different ratings for tiles that determine the suitability of where a tile can be installed. These ratings are the PEI rating, slip rating and shade variation (v) rating:
PEI rating is an abrasion test performed on glazed porcelain and ceramic tiles. The term abrasion relates to the degree of friction, scratches, and marks the glazed surface can withstand. In other words, the amount of pressure and foot traffic the surface of a tile can take. The rating is 1-5 measuring the capacity to resist abrasion. Floor Tile rating system.
PEI I – Floor tiles for light duty wear. Suggestions for usage: bathrooms and bedrooms in private houses, where soft footwear is used.
PEI II – Floor tiles for light duty wear. Suggestions for usage: bedrooms and bathrooms in private houses, where normal footwear is used.
PEI III – Floor tiles for medium – heavy duty wear. Suggestions for usage: dining room, living areas, kitchens, entrances, passages in residential dwellings where normal footwear is used, without external access.
PEI IV – Floor tiles for heavy wear. Suggestion for usage: all living areas in residential dwelling and public buildings, hotels, offices, and retail applications where normal footwear is used.
PEI V – Floor tiles for heavy duty wear. Suggestions for usage: heavy traffic areas (commercial areas).
V (shade variation) Rating
Porcelain and ceramic tiles may vary from batch to batch, as shade variation is an inherent feature of tile production.
Many contemporary tiles replicate the appearance of natural stone or timber, and they vary in appearance to imitate the natural product. So therefore, each batch will be given a shade number. We may have several batches in stock, so if the customer needs to re-order they must quote the shade or batch number which appears on the box. Floor Tile rating system.
Shade variation is inherent in all tiles. Shade and texture may vary significantly from piece to piece with production runs. V1 Shade variation has little or no change from piece to piece however V4 will have a large variety/degree of colour and/or texture changes.
Most manufacturers use the V scale for grading the shade or tone variations of a tile product from piece to piece. The tone variations are intentional and part of the design. Many porcelain floor tiles that emulate natural materials benefit from changes in tone from tile to tile and closely resemble the real product.
Shade Variation Scale
V1 Little or no shade variation
V2 Slight variation
V3 Moderate variation
V4 Substantial variation
TFO uses the principal methods employed to test slip resistance in Australia. These are the ramp
(‘R’ rating) and pendulum slip testing classifications. Some specifiers use both methods to evaluate the suitability of a tile for a specific project.