When you decide to add tile to a room in your home, heading into a retail location is the first place to start. There you will be able to walk through rows of selections, taking in price and pattern options.
Price and pattern are the two most logical places to start. After all, you have to like the coloring of the tile. And you have to be afford the tile when its fully installed in your home.
Yet there is another consideration that is very important to the way your tile maintains over time, and few people understand how to use it. Its called the PEI rating.
The PEI rating of tile helps you determine the durability and hardness of the tile in question. PEI stands for the Porcelain Enamel Institute, and its rating will provide you with the information you need to select the right tile for each room of your home. Remember, just because you like a price or a pattern does not mean that a certain tile is right for every room of your home. Different rooms will have different levels of foot traffic, which is why you have to consider the PEI rating.
The PEI ratings are as follows:
Class 1 – This type of tile is not fit for any level of foot traffic and should only be used on walls
Class 2 – This type of tile can withstand a light amount of foot traffic. It can be used on walls, as well as on bathroom floors.
Class 3 – This type of tile can withstand light to moderate foot traffic. It can be used on walls, countertops, and on floors with a normal amount of foot traffic.
Class 4 – This type of tile can withstand moderate to heavy foot traffic. It can be used in all types of residential applications, as well as medium commercial applications and light institutional applications.
Class 5 – This type of tile can withstand heavy to extra-heavy foot traffic. It can be used in all types of situations, from residential to commercial and institutional.
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