Kitchen and bathroom renovations are usually a costly affair and that’s why you need to spend hours hunting for the best deals and good value for money. But as much as you’re out there hunting for deals, keep in mind that the cheapest product is not always the most ideal one for your project. Also, don’t just focus on the style and colour when choosing elements like tiles. You need to find products that will last long and be easy to maintain for many years to come. We’ll go over a few things to keep in mind when choosing porcelain tiles for your kitchen or bath.
Understand the main PEI classes
The PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) rating is given to help consumers understand the quality and durability of different tiling products. Tiles that have a PEI class of 0 to 3 are designed for light to medium traffic areas. If tiles with a PEI rating of 3 or lower are used in areas that receive high traffic volumes or where abrasive materials can be carried in, they get damaged easily. If you want to install tiles in a room that gets normal to heavy traffic such as a bathroom, living room or kitchen, make sure it has PEI Class 4 or 5.
Tiles used in baths and kitchens should have anti-slip features. Porcelain anti-slip tiles may come at a higher price, but they are the best and safest to use in wet areas. Should you decide to go with ceramic, which is a lot cheaper but less durable than porcelain tiles, make sure they are properly finished and non-glazed to offer slip resistance.
How hard is the tile surface?
This isn’t something that you can quickly tell by looking at the tiles in the showroom. You need to ask the tile experts to clarify the surface hardness before you buy. This ensures that the tiles don’t easily break or bend or get worn out after prolonged use. In fact, the higher the PEI rating, the harder the tile’s surface so you shouldn’t be too worried if you choose tiles with a PEI rating of 4 and above.
Are the tiles heat resistant?
Heat resistance is important especially if you’re considering underfloor heating in your bathroom or kitchen. Tiles that have a low thermal expansion can be used well with underfloor heating systems which keep the room warm and comfy. Porcelain tiles are recommended for rooms with underfloor heating simply because they offer better heat resistance. Porcelain tiles are made at extremely high temperatures than ceramic tiles which means that they can handle heat better.
In the same way, room temperatures can drop lower than expected and the tiles should be able to handle this. Porcelain tiles offer better frost resistance than ceramic tiles. You shouldn’t be too worried when there are sudden changes in temperature and it gets too cold if you installed porcelain tiles.