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Bathroom Floor Tile, PEI Rating, Tips and Types

A bathroom floor tile is normally thicker and stronger than a wall tile. But, if the décor idea suits you, you may decide to use floor tiles on the walls too, perhaps set in a different pattern or surrounding panels of paint or different tiles, or even set in panels with patterned or plain edging tiles bordering them.

But for now we will discuss the floor tile as it is used on your bathroom floor.

When you compare floor tiles find out first about their characteristics.

There is such a wide range of materials, each one with its own peculiarities. Ceramic tiles are the ones we tend to know most about, but find out whether they are pressed or extruded; glazed or unglazed; calibrated, rectified or rustic. Find out what their PEI rating and grade are.

PEI Rating

The Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) has developed a rating scale that helps you to choose the right bathroom tile. This rating system is recommended by the American Society Testing Materials (ASTM). In simpler words the PEI rating gives the degree of hardness on a tile:

CLASS 0: Tiles not really suitable for floors.

CLASS 1: Residential wall and bare-foot traffic.

CLASS 2: Wall and residential bath floor, and soft-soled traffic.

CLASS 3: All residential floors and light commercial floors.

CLASS 4: Medium commercial, light industrial floors

CLASS 5: Heavy traffic, abrasive dirt, chemically resistant floors

Tips About A Bathroom Floor Tile

• Big tiles create a sense of space. They make smaller rooms seem larger and large rooms larger still. Small tiles and mosaic strips or panels set in amongst large tiles are usually used to emphasize an area or feature in a bathroom. This is quite often used in the center of the floor or in front of a mirror, around a fixture, etc.

• Tiles are a fashion item. Color, texture and size, as well tiling patterns, change continually, and you need to keep up to date with magazine articles and pictures, or visit tile stores that have tile displays, if fashion is important to you.

• Some online tile suppliers provide a tile calculator that will help you calculate the number of tiles (including 10% wastage), as well as how much grout and adhesive you will need.

Types of Bathroom Floor Tile

Ceramic Floor Tile

A ceramic tile is a mixture of clays, which is shaped and then fired at a high temperature. The tile that results can be glazed or decorated, or left unglazed

Ceramic Glazed

You’ll find glazed tiles in an almost infinite variety of color and designs for every decorative idea, and lots of different kinds of finish - from matte to satin to high gloss – it all depends on what you want. New technology enables tile makers to create glazed tiles that are even durable enough for floor traffic. This means that glazed tiles are available for both walls and floors. Clays used for the ceramic bathroom floor tile are, Cottoforte, Earthenware and Majolica, each with its own colorings and personality.

‘Doublefiring' (Bicottura) is usually used for walls, while'singlefiring' (Monocottura) submits the bisque and glaze to an extremely high temperature kiln. These tiles usually have a matte finish, and are slightly thinner than double-fired tiles. They are normally not as decorative as double fired tiles, but they are tougher and are frequently suitable for commercial or outdoor use.

Ceramic Unglazed

The different types of unglazed tiles include Red Stoneware, Terracotta and Clinker.

These are quite different to glazed tiles.

Various colors and textures are available, but unglazed tiles normally keep their natural colors and have smooth, matte surfaces. For instance terracotta may have a rough surface or it may be polished to a high sheen, intensifying its natural color

Polished Porcelain Bathroom Floor Tile

When choosing porcelain tiles find out whether your bathroom floor tile is in fact porcelain. Genuine porcelain, or China Clay, is fired at such a high temperature that it changes into a dense, non-porous and much stronger tile than an ordinary white clay ceramic tile.This bathroom floor tile has a beautiful sheen.

The highly reflective surface adds depth to a bathroom. They are as durable as natural granite. That’s why you will often see them in high traffic, malls and public buildings. It is normally found in neutral tones.

There is an added benefit to a bathroom floor tile of polished porcelain. It is fairly low maintenance, once a proper sealant is applied to close the pores. They are also available in a non-slip surface.

Generally the larger bathroom floor tile has a larger grouting gap, approximately ¼ inch. The recommended gap is 8-10mm. This will allow for slight differences in size when laying the tiles. After this, no particular upkeep except for cleaning is needed.

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