The grade of porcelain tile is affected by the materials used in its construction, but the tile’s thickness determines the grade the most. However, these grades don’t tell the quality of the tile; they imply where you can use the tile. For example, you might prefer a thicker, more durable tile for a high-traffic floor, whereas a thinner, lighter porcelain tile is better suited for wall installation.
Below are the different porcelain tiles grades and their uses.
Grade 1 porcelain tile is the softest form of porcelain tile and should only be used on walls. It should not be used on floors or countertops. These tiles are ideal for kitchen backsplashes and bathroom walls because they retain many advantages of stronger porcelain tile grades, including stain and water resistance, attractive colours and patterns, and easy maintenance.
Grade 2 tiles can be put as flooring in rooms with low traffic, like bedrooms and bathrooms. However, they can’t handle heavy foot activity and shouldn’t be used for commercial tile flooring. This contemporary tile is also suited for wall coverings.
Grade 3 porcelain tiles are normally used as residential floor tiles. However, they are suitable for light commercial uses such as small stores or offices since they can withstand modest foot traffic and normal wear and tear. In addition, grade 3 tiles are wonderful for counters and are ideal for household use in corridors, family rooms, and kitchens. They are also suitable for usage as outdoor porcelain tile.
Grade 4 tile is appropriate for most commercial installations. It is designed for high traffic and is commonly seen in restaurants, stores, offices, and other locations that require a long-lasting, easy-to-clean floor tile. In addition, many homeowners use them in areas that require extra-strength flooring, like mudrooms and laundry rooms. They also make excellent porcelain patio pavers.
Grade 5 is the strongest porcelain tile on the market and is used in places with heavy foot traffic, prone to wear and tears. They are commonly used in schools, grocery stores, hospitals, and industrial facilities. Grade 5 tiles also withstand strong chemicals. Because their main purpose is durability, they come in a limited range of patterns and colours.
Other factors to consider when choosing a tile
The grade for porcelain tile emphasises the tile’s durability and strength, but there are additional factors to remember when selecting the right tile for your project. Meanwhile, the coefficient of friction (COF), which indicates a tile’s slip resistance, relates to the amount of effort required to transport an object across the surface.
The COF for flat surfaces is 0.6 and 0.8 for inclined surfaces and ramps. You may want a greater COF depending on where you intend to put the tile. Slip-resistant tile, for example, is ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, and other wet spaces.
Shade variation refers to variations in colour, texture, or pattern between tiles from a single production lot. These vary from uniform variation, where all tiles are nearly identical, to significant variation, which includes random changes between tiles and can produce a distinctive, creative look.
Selection is also a significant consideration. For example, you may prefer larger or smaller tiles, tiles with distinctive forms, or mosaic designs that combine tile and stone based on the type of installation. Moreover, you can select from a wide range of patterns and colours.
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