If you decide on installing ceramic tiles in your home, you should do everything you can to protect your investment. There are several keys to choosing the right tiles for your home, and below are the answers to some of your questions about them.
What Are PEI Ratings?
The Porcelain Enamel Institute tests the hardness of tiles and then gives them a rating on a scale of 0-5; this is what is known as a PEI rating. Tiles receiving a 0 rating are not suitable for foot traffic but may be used for back splashes or other wall applications. Tiles receiving a rating of 5 are suitable for heavy traffic and are often used in commercial spaces. You should only use tiles receiving a rating of 1-2 in areas that where you will only walk in your bare or stocking feet. You can use tiles receiving a rating of 3-4 in areas that may occasionally receive shoe traffic.
Why Seal Your Grout?
The grout between your tiles will be porous and can break down over time. To avoid stains and grout failure, you should have your grout sealed. This is an easy process that you should be able to handle on your own. You will will need to apply grout sealant every 2-3 years. This is a simple matter of wiping the grout onto your tile with a sponge. You then let it sit for several minutes before wiping it off of your tiles. The sealant should cure for at least a day before you expose it to water.
Why Choose Porcelain?
If you want a tile that will hold up to rough wear, you should choose a porcelain tile. Porcelain should be your tile of choice for common rooms of your home where young children will play and the possibility of dropping objects on the tile is high.
Why Use Glazed Tiles?
Unglazed tiles are porous, which means they will not repel water and may absorb stains. Thus, if you are placing tiles in a kitchen or bathroom, you should use glazed tiles. It is okay to use unglazed tiles in areas that are not likely to be exposed to water or to any other substance that can cause stains.
Choosing tiles is a little more complicated than picking out a color or pattern that you like. Still, once you understand what to look for, you should have no problem choosing tiles for your home. Contact a tiling company like Plaza Ontario Marble & Tile Inc for more information.