While it is true the higher the PEI rating, the greater the wear-resistance of the tile, the PEI floor rating is not the only factor that should be taken into account when choosing a tile. Tile flooring is rated not only on its ability to withstand water penetration and resistance to abrasion but also on its aesthetic qualities. Both visual and structural characteristics are equally important in the process of choosing a type of tile for your project.
A quality tile flooring with a tough presence and an impressive appearance can only be possible if the following factors are considered while choosing tile flooring:
- Abrasion Resistance: The PEI rating or the degree to which a tile's glaze will withstand the wear of foot traffic
- Breaking Strength: The degree to which a tile will withstand breaking stress
- Mohs Scale Scratch Test: To determine how easily the tile scratches
- Shape and dimension
- Visual inspection
- Water absorption
- Bond strength
- Chemical resistance
- Crazing (resistance to cracking)
- Freeze or thaw resistance
- Impact resistance
- Acid resistance
- Water penetration through glaze
- Marking resistance to metals
Of these factors, the three most important are the PEI rating, the water absorption, and the glaze hardness (Mohs scratch test). Additionally, one should observe
- if the tile edges are square or warped
- if the surface texture is consistent
- if the tiles are of the same size and the coloring runs consistently.
Looking into these factors will prevent your tile flooring project from being complicated by errors during installation and provide you with a stable, good looking floor.