What Makes A Good Floor Tile?

How do we choose a good tile for our home? We all want to get the most “Bang For Our Buck” when it comes to our home remodel projects. Let’s face it, they can get financially out of hand quick if we are not careful. So today I want to look at shopping for Ceramic or Porcelain Tile and how to distinguish one from another. This is even difficult for most {especially untrained} Sales People. Let’s begin with how tile is rated:

When we choose the right the tile the whole room comes together.

When we choose the right the tile the whole room comes together.

Tile Ratings & Terms

All tile products are tested and rated based on a variety of factors so that you are sure to find the right product to meet your needs.

  • Abrasion (Wear) Resistance: This is the degree to which a tile’s surface (often a glaze) will withstand the wear of foot traffic, measured in PEI ratings. These ratings range from very low (Class 0 = wall use only) to higher wear ratings such as Class IV for heavy traffic (suitable for all residential and most commercial applications).
  • Breaking Strength: The strength of porcelain comes from unique clays, fired at extreme temperatures, which produce a harder, denser tile for unmatched durability and performance. Breaking strength is assessed by how much weight is needed to cause breakage. Porcelain tile surpasses the industry standard of 250 lbs.
  • Mohs: This is a scale of hardness ranging from 1 (talc) to 10 (diamond) used to determine a material’s scratch resistance. Porcelain tile often has a rating of 7, 8 or 9, while other, less scratch resistant non-porcelain tiles are rated at 5 or 6. In the Moh’s scale, each rating is 10 times harder than the previous number. For a point of reference, natural granite is usually 6 or 7.
  • Water Absorption: Water absorption is conveyed as the percentage of water absorbed by the body of the tile. Porcelain tile is ideal for wet-area applications such as tub surrounds, showers and any area where water may be present because it is “impervious” to water with a rating of 0.5% water absorption or less. Notably, the more impervious the tile, the more frost resistant, meaning it can be used outdoors. Be sure to check product specifications.
Tile used outdoors will  require a higher slip resistance that most indoor tile.

Tile used outdoors will require a higher slip resistance that most indoor tile.

  • Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF): Dynamic Coefficient of Friction is the latest, most reliable measure for indicating slip potential on a tile’s surface. Porcelain tile must have a DCOF of 0.42 for “level interior floors expected to be walked upon when wet” (as stated on the Tile Council of North America website). This new measure replaces the 0.6 reference that was formerly the standard for the industry.
  • Shade Variation: The color and details of porcelain tile may vary from piece to piece and from run to run. While manufacturers often have proprietary methods for conveying the anticipated variation for tile products, most reference terms such as “low shade variation” for very little color or design change from tile to tile and “high shade variation” to denote dramatic differences from tile to tile. It’s important to be aware of shade variation prior to installation to avoid surprises. Likewise, it’s recommended to work from multiple boxes of tile to achieve a favorable mix.
Slate looks tend to have more variation from tile to tile.

Slate looks tend to have more variation from tile to tile.

  • Through-body: This refers to the presence of color throughout the thickness of a tile. Some tile only has color on the top surface glaze; others have partial through-body color.

Porcelain tile outperforms other tile types on tests of strength and absorption.

The most important issues for most Home Owners start with Style, Color, and Patterns.

Large Format Tile
Large format tiles are extremely popular in today’s décor. Many Manufacturer’s product’s are available in large sizes up to 24″x24″. The beauty of the big size is that it creates an open field with less grout line. Whether you’re tiling a small bathroom or a sizable family room, consider using large format tiles to create a feeling of natural space.One of the most popular sizes I sell is 12×24 for a very Contemporary look.

12x24's give a very unique look to any room.

12×24’s give a very unique look to any room.

Color Options
Today’s tiles come in a diverse array of color palettes. Neutral and subdued or rich and opulent – no matter your color needs, ProSource Wholesale Floorcovering’s  has the right selection for you.

With more options than ever before, it’s important to answer some key questions prior to selecting your tile.

  • Does the space have natural, overhead or ambient lighting?
  • Is this a heavy traffic area?
  • What other elements exist in the room’s décor? Is there wallpaper, lots of furniture or a dominant color scheme?

With these questions answered, select a tile color (or colors) that complements your overall décor. Softer, neutral tones may be the right contrast to busy patterns on walls or upholstery, to create a more open feel for the room. Deep colors may add warmth to a large space or help to showcase light wood furniture or fabrics. The professionals at ProSource can always help you with your Design decisions.

Metallic finishes have unique highlights in their color variation.

Metallic finishes have unique highlights in their color variation.

Custom Patterns
Tile patterns mix colors and sizes to achieve clever designs that create an air of custom style. Create custom patterns using contrasting light and dark tiles or contrasting finishes. Frame the tile flooring with a border of mosaics or liners for an area rug effect. Mix modular sizes to add an unexpected touch of whimsy to a kitchen floor. The possibilities are endless.

New Wood Look Porcelains make a great addition to any Kitchen!

New Wood Look Porcelains make a great addition to any Kitchen!


We have 7 Locations to serve you better:

Allen, Texas Phone – 972-521-5115

Austin, Texas Phone – 512-836-7888

North Dallas, Texas Phone – 972-250-4040

Dallas Market Center, Texas Phone – 214-742-3300

Fort Worth, Texas  Phone – 817-831-8181

Little Rock, Arkansas Phone –  501-758-0801

San Antonio, Texas Phone – 210-829-8290

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1 Comment

Filed under Kitchen, Tile

One response to “What Makes A Good Floor Tile?

  1. Pingback: Create a casual, lighter look for the summer – This is Cornwall | Home Remodeling Dallas

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