The term ‘ceramic tile’ is used rather loosely. A number of paving and tiling products are included in the reference. Ceramic wall tile is made from a material that is also used in making figurines. Single-fired (monocottura) floor tile, mosaic tile, and rock-hard porcelain tile are some of the varieties referred to as ceramic tile.
Nearly all glazed floor tile in use today is monocottura tile. A process call ‘dust pressing’ that uses very little water and compacts tile under extremely high-pressure forms the product. The tile is then glazed and cooked at temperatures that usually exceed 2000ᵒF. Tile produced in this manner is durable and lasts forever.
The US assigns five grades to floor tile, whether it is produced in the US or is imported. The grades are designated with Roman numerals from I to V. Roman numeral V is the highest. Grade I
is seldom used.Grade II
is suitable for light traffic residential applications such as bathroom floors. Areas such as entry floors and kitchens can be tiled with Grade III. This tile is also adequate for light traffic commercial applications. Beauty salons are examples of businesses where foot traffic is not heavy and continuous.Grade IV
tile has a commercial rating but is commonly used residentially. This tile holds up to nearly any application. Lobbies, banks, and grocery stores are common sites for Grade IV.Grade V
tile is seldom used in homes. The look of Grade V is too commercial. Itis used in industrial settings that may be exposed to various chemicals and receive heavy abuse.
Tile grade is not stamped on the packaging. That is why it should be purchased from an established business like Arrowhead Carpet & Tile rather than discount stores. They specialize in the product and know all the details.