how to choose a ceramic tile

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You have decided to make tiles and come in to choose a suitable alternative? Do not rush to make a purchase based solely on a beautiful image or texture. The aesthetic component is certainly important, but more important than the technical specifications that are responsible for the fact that the plates have not lost their appearance in a short period of time, unless fallen.
In this article we will discuss in detail the most important characteristics of ceramic tiles, as well as a practical example will show how to choose a specific room.

specifications plates

Standards and specifications tile regulated in all countries of the world. The most popular and authoritative so far – UNI EN. Although these standards do not have power (sold ceramic products that do not meet their requirements), but the quality of such plates is always uncertain. So, if possible, better take it with the sign for quality UNI.

wear resistance

The most important technical characteristics of ceramic tile, indeed, its durability, in other words, or durability. Durability is determined by how the tiles resist changing their appearance or, in other words, how fast it is wearing.

Particular value for this parameter is for outdoor bridge tiles, which should last as long as possible to maintain the original appearance. Operation tile Term is definitely due to where it will be used. Therefore, for floors in different rooms to use suitable tiles carry resistance groups, depending on the traffic and destination.

The plates can be divided into 5 groups according to the tensile strength Index:

• PEI I – The most "soft" group, it is recommended to use only in places with little traffic, where walking in soft shoes;
• PEI II – suitable for bathroom, bedroom, living room, there also go, basically, slippers;
The third group of PEI III can be installed in all residential and small office sectors that do not have direct access from the street;
• The PEI IV group is suitable for use in all-purpose housing and public areas where traffic volume is low, such as private hotels, small restaurants, shops,
• Plates in PEI V properties are the highest, it is used in places where a large number of people are possible – in supermarkets, good restaurants, airports.

Compliance with PEI group and type of room important terms of lifetime plates. If you put on the flooring with lower performance than required, after a while on the cover of scratches, the surface turns into a matt glaze disappear and wipe the clay bottom.

Frost resistance and water absorption

These properties are linked to each other, directly depending on the degree of porosity of the plate. That is, water absorption is determined by the ratio of the water mass that absorbs the sample until complete saturation to the dry weight of the product. This figure is for glazed ceramic floor tiles can not exceed 3%, from the plates to the walls of the water absorption of not more than 10%.

Frost resistance – Ability of ceramic Product sustain repeated freezing and then thawing without breaking. Particularly important is the number of tiles placed on the street or in unheated premises where the temperature can drop below 0 ° C. If the tile is placed in a heated room frost can be ignored.

chemical resistance

Chemical resistance describes resistance to substances that may come into contact with the surface of the plates, such as household chemicals, salts, acids.

According to the standards, the plate must be assigned a class of resistance to aggressive environments, based on the degree of damage:

• AA class – there are no changes in appearance;
• Class A – very small changes in appearance;
• Class B – change of appearance of moderate;
• Class C – partially lost appearance.
• Class D – completely lost the original look.

mechanical characteristics

The mechanical properties of determination indicators on resistance to bending and tensile strength. There is a lot to remember that the product can handle without damage. Particularly important is the figure for tiled floors. Note that the lower the water absorption of the material, the greater the resistance to bending. For example, granite is quite high speed, and porous plates – low.

The hardness of glaze

This indicator reflects the strength of the surface anchor layer, it shows the extent in which the surface can withstand mechanical stress when it is scratched by any solid material or presses down some tooling. The test results are evaluated by Moh's scale consisting of ten minerals. They are arranged in order of increasing hardness: starting with talk (1), and ending with a diamond (10).

coefficient of friction

The coefficient of friction of ceramic tiles reflects the degree of sliding. Regulations are given four categories:

• 0-0.19 – dangerous;
• 0.2-0.39 – on the verge of danger;
• 0.4-0.74 – satisfactory;
• over 0.75 – excellent.

Show and caliber

Tone – show the color of the tile. The small difference from the color claimed. The color is indicated on the packaging in the form of numbers or letters.

Caliber – this is the actual size of tiles, which can vary slightly from the nominal. The plates are sorted by the parties in caliber (size) with a certain tolerance difference that sets standards. Gauge usually indicates the package along with the nominal size. When you buy a tray, always make sure the whole party is the same caliber and ton.

The choice of ceramic tiles

Before you buy a tray, no damage will come to read the symbols on the packaging. For example, floor tiles in the shape of a tray of the foot on a black background. Bright and shaded background and a black sole – plates mean increased durability. An icon in the form of a hand – tile, a product comes on the floor for a long time. Snowflake brand frost and low image with number "1" or "2" – the number of ignitions. If the same brand is used several times – it confirms the high level of the current index.

The symbol "AA" refers to tiles that are not unsuitable for contact with chemicals. Plates with the negative image of "A" less resistant to chemicals. The lowest resistors are different products with the symbol "O", the average resistance – "B" and "C". This information is sufficient to navigate – to place the appropriate material that you will drag.

If you are going to put tile in the bathroom, keep in mind that the walls and floors here will be in contact with chemicals. It needs non-porous plates, acid resistant. At the same time for bathroom and kitchen wear resistance degree it is not a big deal, especially when laying on the walls. On the kitchen floor tile is laid chemically stable, usually III-class durability. For the lobby, hall and corridor need more evidence – IV and V class of resistance to abrasion.

Do not mix the terms "quality" and "technical characteristics", otherwise you may have wasted. There is no sense that the floors in the toilet and bathroom tiles bring increased cold hardness and high wear resistance. Such products are intended for public premises – exhibition and trading halls, etc. for the home environment enough tiles for wear index -. III.

How to determine the quality of the plate itself

Do not buy the plates with uneven edges. To check this – attach one to the other. It should not be visible to naked eye defects. The presence of cracks and chips on the enamel, grain patterns, stripes suggest low quality tiles. As by the way, it is defined by three varieties of plates. But manufacturers rarely say the grade on tiles, but it's not hard to decide. Adopted by all markings on first grade grades make red, second grade – blue, and the third – green.