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Ceramic tiles are made by combining a clay body with a glaze, which are formulated and fired in a kiln at a high temperature. The result is a durable tile that comes in a wide array of sizes, colors, shapes and finishes allowing for unlimited combinations.
Tile terminology can be confusing as both ceramic and porcelain tiles are manufactured from clay and fired in kilns. Ceramic tile can be split into two classifications:
The “non-porcelain” tiles are commonly referred to as “ceramic tile”.
The current rating system for ceramic tile is the only reliable gauge for consumers to use in determining wear expectations for the particular application. The Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) has come up with a rating systems/scale that can effectively guide any consumer through the selection process and insure the correct tile is used. This rating system is recommended by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
Ceramic Tile Rating System:
- PEI Class 1 rating (No foot traffic) – Recommended for wall use only in residential and commercial applications.
- PEI Class 2 rating (Light traffic) – Recommended for both wall use and bathroom floor applications.
- PEI Class 3 rating (Light to moderate traffic) – Recommended for countertops, walls, and floors where normal foot traffic is expected.
- PEI Class 4 rating (Moderate to heavy traffic) – recommended for all residential applications as well as medium commercial and light institutional.
- PEI Class 5 rating (Heavy to extra heavy traffic) – recommended for all residential as well as heavy commercial and institutional applications.