What Kind of Ceramic Tile is Best For My Project?

You can use a floor tile on walls, but rarely are wall tiles strong enough for floor use.

The strength, quality, glazing and finish all play a large part in determining the selling price and functionality of ceramic tiles. Read through the following to get an idea of the best type of tile to use for your upcoming project.


CERAMIC QUALITY RATINGS

The quality of a ceramic tile is split up into two distinct categories:


First Quality

This quality rating means the manufacturer has sorted the product and you are getting the top selections.


Seconds

This quality rating means the tiles may contain minor imperfections. On the plus side, these tiles are usually at least 25% cheaper. These imperfections can include warped tiles, pin holes in the glaze, colour problems or weakness in the strength of the glaze or bisque.


GLAZED SURFACE RATINGS

Glazed surfaces are also rated. The rating is of vital importance when choosing floor tiles. All manufacturers should rate their glazed tiles and most distributors are aware of the following ratings:


1) A "1" rated glaze is for wall applications only.


2) A "2" rating means the tile can be used on very light floors only and should be restricted to     bathroom floors and bathroom countertops.


3) A "3" rated glaze is the normal residential floor tile.


4) A "4" rated glazed tile is stronger and will wear longer.


CERAMIC FINISHES


Non-Slip Finishes

These are available on many floor tiles and are recommended for all floor areas where standing water is possible, such as entryways, front steps and around bathtubs.


Frost-Proof

These tiles are a must for all exterior applications. These tiles will stand the stresses of freezing and thawing. Tiles that are not frost-proof can internally delaminate and be completely destroyed in exterior applications.


Dye Lots

These refer to a batch of colour that was produced at one time. Whenever possible, try to get all one dye lot to prevent shading problems. Most outlets try to prevent dye lot mismatching. Most manufacturers have a code on the box to identify a production batch.


Choose the Tile that is Right for You

There are thousands of ceramic tiles to choose from. Be sure you select the correct type of tile that has been designed for the installation you have in mind. The quality of tiles on the market today is generally excellent. If you keep the above points in mind when you’re selecting the tile, your chances of being happy with the finished product drastically increase.


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