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November 14, 2018

A Look at Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain tile can be a great option for both residential and commercial flooring. Before choosing a porcelain tile for flooring, there are a few things you’ll want to take into consideration:

1) Body Composition – If you’re choosing porcelain tile for flooring, you’ll want to make sure the body composition is sufficient for your application. In commercial traffic flooring applications, and even residential application that endure a lot of foot traffic, it’s usually best to choose a porcelain tile that won’t show nicks and scratches as much. So look for materials that are “double loaded”, “through body”, or “colored body” – which means that the color of the tile is not only on the surface, but throughout the tile as well. If the surface does chip, the chip will be less noticeable.

2) Actual vs Nominal Dimensions.- Most porcelain tiles are listed with a nominal dimension – such as if the tile is promoted as an 8 by 8 inch tile, when in reality it’s 7 and 7 eighths. This is due to the shrinkage that occurs during the firing process, or can be due to rounding of numbers during metric conversion. Understanding the actual dimensions of your material will help you make sure that you – or your contractor – order the proper amount of materials for your project.

3) Rectification
Tiles that are rectified have precise, straight edges, which means there will be a more contemporary look, and grout joints can generally be thinner than can be achieved with a non-rectified tile.

4) Slip Resistance
When using porcelain tile for flooring, check the material’s COF or DCOF, which stands for coefficient of friction, or dynamic coefficient of friction. A higher COF or DCOF means higher slip resistance.

5) Scratch Resistance
When considering glazed porcelain tile for flooring, always look for the pay rating. The pay rating system was established by The Porcelain Enamel Institute, and rates tiles from a one to five based on durability and hardness, with a one being the least durable and five being the most durable – with suitability for heavy commercial traffic. Knowing the pay rating will help you determine which porcelain tiles will work best in different applications; Always ask about the pay rating before making your selection.

By taking these 5 factors into consideration at the start of your project, you’ll be sure to find a porcelain tile that’s suitable for your project.

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