When it comes to durable, long-lasting, and beautiful flooring, tiles spring to our minds. Tile has been a popular flooring choice for centuries, and the methods and materials used to create them have not changed much since then. To learn more about your flooring needs.
We’ve found that the addition of tile to a home can be an economical and yet very beautiful choice. Our flooring professionals have a great deal of experience in helping homeowners and interior designers choose a class and style of tile that will suit the home and the occupants themselves, all while staying well within budget! Learn about the various types of tile to assess whether it just might be the best choice for you.
Two Types of Tile:
There are two main types of tile; glazed and unglazed tiling.
Glazed tiles provide a hard, non-porous surface that is stain resistant and easy to clean. Because of this, they are a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms that have lots of traffic and lots of spills.
Unglazed tiles are a solid color all the way through without any additional surface applications. These tiles are more dense and durable than glazed tiles, and are commonly used for high traffic areas both indoors and outdoors.
Classes and Ratings:
Not all tile is made equally of course—some tiles are designed to be more delicate and decorative, while others are natural looking and very dense. Some tiles will be more slippery when wet, and others may have a high scratch resistance. It’s important for you to know what to look for when choosing tile for your home, so read on or call us with your questions.
Class 1 tiles are typically glazed and highly decorated. People will commonly use these tiles as accents or decor on a bathroom or kitchen wall. Their low durability rating makes them a poor choice for floor use or counter use, but they will be a beautiful addition to your home.
The class 2 tiles are a bit more durable than class one. They are a good choice for light traffic areas, such as walls or bathroom flooring. Glazed and unglazed tiles can be found with a class 2 rating, in a variety of beautiful styles and design. Try to avoid using them in high traffic areas, however, otherwise they may crack or chip.
Class 3 tiles are able to handle medium-range traffic and can be safely used for residential floor and wall applications. Kitchen, bathrooms, foyers, dining areas, and even family rooms can safely include class 3 tiling. These tiles come in a variety of colors and styles, and may be purchased glazed or unglazed.
The Class 4 is a heavy duty tile that can handle any home use you could imagine. It can even be used as medium to light industrial flooring, such as in shopping malls, office spaces and restaurants. These tiles are more likely to be unglazed, but can still be found with patinas and in various colors.
Class 5 tiles are the strongest tiles available. They may be safely in extremely high traffic areas, such as airports, train stations, etc, and can even withstand outdoor placement in courtyards and patios. These tiles are generally unglazed and come in natural colorings.
Tiles will also be rated on their slip resistance. Some tiles that have a heavy glaze are more likely to allow slipping. Porous tiles, such as unglazed or natural stone tiles, provide more friction. Slip resistance is measured by its coefficient of friction, or COF.
Some tiles will be more easily chipped and marred than others. Generally, class 1 and 2 tiles are of a delicate sort that will be more easily chipped. However, tiles that are placed in areas that match their classes are unlikely to sustain chipping or cracking.
Tiles that absorb water will be a poor choice for bathrooms, kitchens, and exterior placements. Before choosing your tile, make sure that it’s moisture absorption rates are low if you’ll be placing it in an area that is frequently wetted.
Generally, ratings and classes will be provided on the box or in the item description.If you’re unsure of what ratings and class your tile should have, contact one of our team members for advice. We can help you make the right tile purchase for your home.
Remember, flooring needs vary from home to home. Discuss what flooring options will best suit your family and your home with a flooring specialist before making a commitment.