Published at Saturday, May 18th, 2019 - 16:20:50 PM. Porcelain Tile. By Odila Bouche.
But the misinformation continues. The Porcelain Enamel Institute rates glazed floor tiles as to their resistance to abrasion. Glazed tiles are those to which a decorative layer has been applied over the clay body of the tile. Glazes are rated 1 through 5 with 5 being the highest or most durable grade. Many, if not most, porcelain tiles are not glazed, yet ask your tile sales person about the PEI rating of the porcelain tile you are examining in the showroom. It's very likely you'll hear something like, ”Oh, this is a grade 5 porcelain tile. You could lay this baby in a car factory.” I certainly don't aim to demean tile sales people. We need them and love them. Without them we'd be out of work. I do wish they'd get themselves a little better informed, though, so they can better inform the buying public about the virtues of ALL ceramic tiles.
Ask a tile sales person whether porcelain tiles are stronger and more durable than ceramic tiles and in most cases the answer will be yes. But although porcelain tiles are indeed strong and durable, that answer is essentially incorrect. As I stated above, porcelain tiles ARE ceramic tiles. Porcelain is simply a type of ceramic clay. Porcelain tiles are those which have the lowest absorption rates of all the ceramic tiles available. To be classed as ”porcelain,” a tile cannot absorb more than .5 percent of it's total mass in water. Many porcelain tiles absorb less than that — down to as little as .1 percent. In the industry, these tiles are called ”impervious.” There is no confusion on this matter among installers. We call ourselves ceramic tile setters, not porcelain tile setters. It's just that as it turns out, most of the floor tiles we install nowadays are made from porcelain.
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