At Floor Coverings International® of we know that Plano homeowners love the beautiful look of tile. Beyond color and size, a lot goes into finding the perfect tile for your needs. If you’re overwhelmed by terms, we’re here to help. Let’s investigate what grade, PEI wear, and water absorption really mean for tile in your home.

Gradekitchen backsplash tile plano

The grade of a tile indicates quality and thickness. When thinking of installing tile, homeowners in Plano know that they should select a grade that is relevant to their project goals.

Grade 1: A tile with a rating of 1 is the highest quality tile available. At ¾ inches thick, this tile can be used anywhere in your Plano home. These tiles will be crack-free and uniform in texture and appearance. These tiles are elegant, giving your home a look of luxury. However, this luxurious look comes at a higher price per square foot.

Grade 2: At ½ inch thick, these tiles are mid-range in cost and aesthetic. Grade 2 tiles are still of sound quality; however, you may notice small defects in them. These chips and scratches aren’t overwhelmingly obvious and the tile can still work very well in your home.

Grade 3: With a thickness of ¼ inch, these tiles are the poorest quality and should only be used on walls. If you’re looking to install a new kitchen backsplash, grade 3 tiles could be the perfect option.

PEI Wear Rating

Determined by the Porcelain Enamel Institute, the PEI rating shows how well a tile will stand up against the everyday wear and tear of your busy life.

PEI I and II: These tiles have the least amount of robustness and are only suited for walls. Like grade 3 tiles, tiles with a low wear rating make for fabulous backsplashes!

PEI III: These tiles have a moderate level of strength; however, they are well suited for all residential uses. That means that PEI III rated tiles could be the perfect tile for your master bathroom.

PEI IV: With a high resistance, you won’t have to worry about this tile chipping, even if you install it in high-traffic areas, like as kitchen flooring in your Plano home.

marble tile bathroom plano Water Absorption

It’s important to think about a tile’s water absorption category, because tiles are often used in moisture-prone areas of the home. If you fall in love with a tile that as a higher absorption rate, don’t worry, you can still seal porous tile.

Non-vitreous: The tile absorbs more than 7% of water. You should avoid using these tiles outdoors or in moisture-prone areas, like bathrooms.

Semi-vitreous: The tile absorbs 3-7% of water. These tiles can withstand a small amount of moisture, but be careful about placing it in bathrooms.

Vitreous: The tile absorbs 0.5-3% of water. Most natural stones are vitreous and work well in moisture-prone areas, like outdoors, in kitchens, and in bathrooms.

Impervious: The tile absorbs less than 0.5% of water. Standing up well to moisture, these tiles work well in any areas of your Plano home.

Start Installing Tile In Your Plano Home Today!

Now that you know what every term means, it’s time to focus on the fun stuff. Schedule a free in-home design consultation with one of our expert Design Associates to find out what tile works best for your project. We proudly serve the greater area.

Photo Credit: © Elena Elisseeva, David Papazian