The two things you need to know before buying tile flooring

Easier to install. Easier to maintain. Longer lasting. Tile flooring’s clear advantages only begin to explain its popularity. Floor tiles choices come down to two choices: ceramic or porcelain. But, there’s more to know that that.

Ceramic tile flooring

Kiln-fired, ceramic tiles are made from a from a red or white clay. Thanks to new technologies, ceramic tile flooring has become more wear resistant. While they’re easier to cut than porcelain tiles, ceramic tiles are more suitable for light to moderate traffic areas.

Porcelain tile flooring

Porcelain tile is made by pressing porcelain clays which creates a tile that’s denser, fine grained, and smooth. Porcelain tile flooring absorb less water and are more wear-resistant making them ideal for indoor or outdoor use.

Tile flooring PEI Ratings

The Porcelain Enamel Institute rating, known as the PEI rating, helps you determine your tile’s recommended use. While all tiles are classified with a PEI rating, it is more common with floor tiles. The 5-scale rating is as follows:

  • 0 – No foot traffic (wall tile only)
  • 1 – Very light traffic (e.g bathroom)
  • 2 – Light traffic (e.g. bathroom and bedroom)
  • 3 – Light to moderate traffic (most domestic floors; no heavy appliances/traffic)
  • 4 – Moderate to heavy traffic (e.g. door entry, kitchen, balcony, some commercial)
  • 5 – Heavy traffic (all domestic/commercial uses with heavy abrasion/footfall)

Ceramic floor tiles may carry a PEI rating from 1 to 3, with porcelain tiles typically range from PEI 3 to 5. Given the wide range of ratings, before buying tiles, Texas Floors suggests getting professional input.

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