Shopping for Tiles in Sydney? When purchasing tiles for your home, it’s important to consider if the tile is suitable for the area you want to tile. Floor tile rating systems can help you choose the best product for your requirements. Here’s what you need to know to understand what a Floor Tile Rating System means.

Porcelain and ceramic tiles are the most durable options for flooring. They are suitable for bathrooms, kitchens, and most living areas in your home. The two main types of tile are porcelain and ceramic. Porcelain tiles are available in full body and glazed. Porcelain is a little more expensive however, it is more durable and less likely to chip and scratch. While ceramic tiles are generally less expensive, they are not as durable as porcelain tiles.

Floor Tile Rating System – Tile Classifications

Impervious – tiles with water absorption of less than 0.5%.
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%.
Non-vitreous – tiles with water absorption of more than 7%.

What Are The Different Ratings?

There are different ratings for tiles that determine if the tile is suitable for installation in the chosen area. These ratings are the PEI rating, shade variation (v) rating and slip rating.

Hardness And Durability – PEI 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. Floor tile rating system.

The rating is 1-5 measuring the capacity to resist abrasion:
PEI 1 – Floor tiles for light duty wear. Suggestions for usage: bathrooms and bedrooms in private houses, using soft footwear.
PEI 2 – Floor tiles for light duty wear. Suggestions for usage: bedrooms and bathrooms in private houses, using normal footwear.
PEI 3 – Floor tiles for medium – heavy duty wear. Suggestions for usage: dining room, living areas, kitchens, entrances, passages in residential dwellings. Using normal footwear, without external access.
PEI 4 – Floor tiles for heavy wear. Suggestion for usage: living areas in residential dwellings, public buildings and retail applications. Using normal footwear.
PEI 5 – Floor tiles for heavy duty wear. Suggestions for usage: heavy traffic areas (commercial areas).

Shade Variation – V Rating

Shade variation is inherent in all porcelain and ceramic tiles. Tiles may vary from batch to batch when comparing from different productions. Many modern tiles replicate the appearance of natural stone or timber. These may vary in appearance to imitate the natural product. Shade and texture may vary from piece to piece with production runs. Taking this all into account, most manufacturers use the V scale for grading the shade or tone variations of a tile. Floor tile rating system.

Shade Variation Scale

V1 Little or no shade variation
V2 Slight variation
V3 Moderate variation
V4 Substantial variation

Slip Resistance – R and P Ratings

The principal methods employed to test slip resistance in Australia are the ramp (‘R’ rating) and the pendulum (‘P’ rating) tests. Some specifiers use both methods to evaluate if the tile is suitable for a specific project.
The Pendulum Test (P0 -P5) measures friction between a rubber slider mounted on a pendulum arm and a wet tile. This mimics a shoe heel striking a wet tile. The slip resistance value is then given a rating (P0 -P5).
There are two methods to test tiles using the ramp test method:
1. Wet barefoot inclining platform test
2. Oil-wet inclining platform test
The Oil-Wet Ramp Test (R9 – R13) involves laying tiles on a ramp and applying oil or water to the surface of the tiles. The tester walks on the inclined tiles to determine the angle at which they become unsafe for testing. The angle used determines the degree of slip resistance.

Seek advice from one of our trained sales staff to assist in identifying the right product for your application.