Tile has been a popular choice as a flooring material all over the world for centuries. I enjoy it in my home as it is easy to clean, durable, cooler in the summer, and always looks clean and attractive. Before you invest in new tile for your home, whether it is for the indoors or out, you should check its durability based upon the Porcelain Enamel Institute’s (PEI) rating system. If you’ve already gone tile shopping, you probably have heard the term PEI Rating. This rating system tests how much foot traffic each type of tile can endure and ranks the durability of the tile from one to five. For exterior purposes, a rating under four is not recommended.
- Ceramic Tile. Although very attractive, ceramic tiles have a PEI rating of 0-3 and are not recommended for heavy traffic areas. They also absorb more water, which makes them less desirable for exterior applications. The water can either freeze, causing cracks, or lead to mold or mildew growth.
- Porcelain Tile. These tiles are very durable and many have a PEI rating of 5 making, them an excellent choice for both indoors and out.
- Natural Stones. These can include granite, slate, limestone, travertine, and marble. The PEI ratings vary with these, with all of them except marble being durable enough for floor use.
PEI ratings are broken down as follows:
- PEI Class 1 Rating (No foot traffic)
- PEI Class 2 Rating (Light traffic)
- PEI Class 3 Rating (Light to moderate traffic)
- PEI Class 4 Rating (Moderate to heavy traffic)
- PEI Class 5 Rating (Heavy to extra heavy traffic)
If you are ready to install new tile in your home, then request free estimates from certified tiling and flooring experts in your area.
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Photo Credit: BaronBrian