Tiles are generally something attractive to look at. They are appealing to the eyes and give a sense of beauty. Their uses are limitless; they can be put used on floors, bathroom walls and balconies among other areas. Most homeowners prefer to use floor tiles because they not only accentuate their living area but also boost their homes’ resale value. With numerous products in the market, it becomes difficult to choose the best quality of floor tiles which are long lasting. Below are some tips that buyers can apply when shopping for quality tiles.

Tile grading

There are three types of tiles on bases of grading; standard, secondary and cull grade. The standard grade is the best quality. They can be used in both commercial and residential floors. If a buyer is looking for tiles that can be used anywhere they can choose these tiles which have a rating of 1. They are also the thickest in the market with a thickness of 3/4 inch.

The secondary grade has a rating of two and a thickness of 1/2 an inch. They are not as good as the standard grade but they are cheaper. These can be best used in residential floors like kitchen, bedrooms and living rooms.

Cull grade have a thickness of ¼ inch. They are best used on walls since they cannot endure heavy weights. They are the cheapest in the market.

Wear rating and scratch resistance

Tiles are rated according to resistance to abrasions that results from daily wear and tear. The Porcelain Enamel Institute have a universally accepted tile rating of I to IV. I and II represents tiles that are not suitable for floor usage. They are ideal for walls. III and IV are suitable for floor usage. III is best for residential use while IV is perfect for busy commercial buildings. However these PEI ratings applies to glazed tiles only. Scratch resistance and hardness of both glazed and unglazed tiles is done using the Mohs scratch test. Tile hardness is rated as soft 1 for the soft tiles, talc 1 for averagely hardened tiles and diamond for the hardest tiles.

Water absorption and frost

Tile’s water absorption rate is determined based on the amount of water the tile absorbs relative to its weight. They are then rated as nonvitreous, vitreous and impervious. Vitreous and impervious tiles are ideal for wet places for example bathrooms and laundry rooms since they can absorb water relative to their weight. Nonvitreous tiles are recommended for areas with little or no moisture for example bedrooms because their water absorption rate is high.

Friction coefficiency

The friction coefficient rating shows the force that is essential for a person or an object to move on the surface of the tile divided by its actual weight. It helps discern any risks of slipping due to absence of friction. For residential use, a rating of over .50 foot pounds is advisable while .60 rating is recommended for commercial floors. These ratings can be obtained on the tile manual.


Buying good quality tiles offers value for your money and guarantees long term durability. Home owners should aim to buy high quality tiles available in the market but within their budget.

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