Ceramic Tile Durability Classifications
Many customers make the mistake of buying the wrong ceramic tiles for the project they are planning. There is nothing more disappointing than having ceramic tile installed only to find out that the wrong tiles were chosen for their intended use. Listed below are the classifications of ceramic tiles and there intended usage.
Class "O": Wall Tile Only
This tile is only for use on a wall. The strengh of the ceramic tile and the glazing on the ceramic tiles are not strong enough to withstand foot traffic.
Class "1": Light Traffic Floors
This ceramic tile is used mostly on walls. It may also be used in areas of light traffic where socks and slippers are mostly worn. The reason normal shoes could damage the tiles is that most shoes have rubber soles. When people wearing rubber sole shoes pivot on their feet, a tremendous amount of friction is generated against the glaze of the tile. The glazing on the ceramic tiles isn't strong enough to withstand that amount of friction.
Class "2": Medium Light Traffic
These ceramic tiles are for medium light traffic. The glazing is harder than Class "1" tiles but is still not strong enough to be used in heavier traffic areas.
Class "3": All Residential and Most Commercial Floors
These ceramic tiles may be used in ordinary residential applications and most commercial flooring. The glazing on these tiles is quite durable and the strength of the tiles can handle the stress of most traffic areas.
Class "4+": Extra Durability Floors
The usual application for these tiles is in shopping malls and areas where extremely high traffic is expected. As you may have guessed, these tiles have a much higher strengh and stronger glazing than the tiles that have been previously discussed.
Frost Proof Tiles and Non-Frost Proof Tiles
In addition to the above listed classifications are two more areas that should be considered. These areas are: frost proof and non-frost proof. If the ceramic tiles are to be used outdoors in areas that may be subject to freezing then frost proof tile must be used. If the ceramic tile is not frost proof, water may penetrate the tiles; when the water freezes, the glazing will break away from the body of tiles. Frost proof tiles and non-frost proof tiles may be used on the interior of the structure providing the temperature does not go below freezing. Ceramic tiles should be installed when the temperature is 55 degrees or warmer and before installing ceramic tile, it is a good idea to place the tiles in the area where they are to be installed at least 24 hours prior to installation. This will allow the tiles to acclimate to the environment where they are to be installed.