Selecting ceramic tiles - November 28th 2001



You can use a floor tile on walls, but rarely are wall tiles strong enough for floor use.

The strength or quality of a ceramic tile usually plays a large part in determining the selling price. Cheap tiles often are of poorer quality.

"First Quality" means the manufacturer has sorted his product, and you are getting the top selection.

"Seconds" usually means minor imperfections, but are usually a minimum of 25% cheaper. These imperfections can include warped tiles, pin holes in the glaze, colour problems, or a weakness in the strength of the glaze or bisque.

The "Rating" of the glazed surface is important when choosing floor tiles. All manufactures should rate their glazed tiles.

A) a "1" rated glaze is for wall applications only
B) a "2" rated means the tile can be used on very light floors only. Should be restricted to bathroom floors and bathroom counter tops.
C) a "3" rated glaze is the normal residential floor tile
D) a "4" rated glazed tile is stronger and will wear longer

"Non-slip" finishes are available for floor tiles. The cost difference for this special coating is usually very small. Anti-slip coatings are recommended for all floor areas where standing water is possible: entrance ways, front steps, or around bathtubs and showers, for example.

"Frost Proof" tiles are a must for all exterior applications. These tiles are able to stand the stresses of freezing and thawing. Tiles that are not frost proof can internally de-laminate and bcome completely destroyed in exterior applications.

"Dye-Lots" refer to a batch of colour that was produced at one time. wherever possible try to get all one dye-lot to prevent shading problems. Most manufactures have a code on the box to identify a production batch.

There are thousands of ceramic tiles to choose from. Be sure you select the correct type of tile that has been designed for the installation you have in mind. The quality of tiles on the market today is generally excellent. If you keep these points in mind when selecting your new tile, your chance of being happy for many years to come is greatly been improved.