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We recommend ceramic tile with a value of five (5) or more for application in your home. Tile with a value of seven (7) or higher is suitable for commercial applications and areas that receive heavy foot traffic.
The durability of ceramic tile is measured by observing the visible surface abrasion when subjected to industry standard testing procedures. From these tests tiles are evaluated for wear resistance on the P.E.I. (Porcelain Enamel Institute) scale from 1 (the lowest resistance) to 5 (the highest):
PEI 1: Light Traffic — This is recommended for residential flooring and bathrooms or other areas typically subject only to soft–soled footwear or normal traffic without dirt.
PEI 2: Medium Traffic — This is recommended for residential interiors or normal footwear traffic subjected to small amounts of dirt.
PEI 3: Medium–Heavy Traffic — This is recommended for all residential interiors and lightly used commercial areas subject to normal footwear traffic and only occasional amounts of dirt.
PEI 4: Heavy Traffic — This is suitable for all residential interiors and most commercial areas that are subject to high foot traffic and dirt.
PEI 5: Heavy–Plus Traffic — This can be use in all residential and commercial areas that are subject to extreme footwear traffic and dirt, where heavy–duty wearability is a necessity.
The ideal tile floor has a very low water absorption rate, which is especially important in climates that are subject to freezing and thawing cycles. These are typically porcelain body tiles with a water absorption rating of less than 0.5%.