Are you shopping for floor tiles either for your home or business? Do you wish you could decrypt the information that the manufacturers list on the product packaging? Let’s take a look at the following information.

What’s in a rating of floor tiles?

The tile packaging lists a water absorption rating. If you understand this rating, it will help you know if the tile can go next to the pool, outside in the rain, in the bathroom or only in a dry area. There are four water absorption (W.A.) ratings. Like most things, scientific names are used so that in order to understand what it is, you need to use a dictionary before purchasing your floor tiles. But for ease of clarification, please see below:

Impervious means the tile absorbs less than 0.5% of its own weight when it meets with water.
Vitreous is a tile that absorbs between 0.5% to 3% of its own weight in water.
Semiviteous means tiles which soak up 3% to 5% of their own weight in water.
Non vitreous is where a tile absorbs more than 7% of its own weight in water.

Based on these ratings, it’s easy to know which tiles are appropriate for bathrooms where there is a high moisture content and which tiles are appropriate for dry areas only.

Another rating is the COF or coefficient of friction. This indicates the traction you get when walking on the tile. The lower the number, the more slippery the tile is. This rating is important to take note of if you are looking to tile an area that might get wet, like a bathroom.

An additional rating is the PEI (porcelain enamel institute) rating. This rating lets you know how much traffic and abrasion the tile can handle. The higher the number, the stronger the tile and the more traffic it can withstand. A PEI rating of I and II are appropriate for use as wall tiles only. These tiles often are decorative and cannot withstand foot traffic. However, tiles that are rated above 3 or 4 are generally considered overkill for a residential home.

Now you are equipped to start or continue shopping for your floor tiles. Why not visit Tile Factory Outlet. We have a huge range of floor tiles with over 60,000m2 of tiles ready for immediate pick up. You are sure to find floor tiles that you will love. Visit our showroom and speak with our experienced staff about all your tiling needs.