SELECTION OF THE TILES DEPENDING ON THE PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF THE TILES

The ceramic tiles are subjected to tests according to the European standards, as a result of which, the manufacturer declares specific technical parameters. These parameters are placed on the ceramic tile packaging and constitute an important source of information for the buyer. The discussion of the most important criteria, which should be taken into account while taking a decision on buying tiles, is presented below.

RESISTANCE TO ABRASION

this is the basic parameter which should determine the choice of a floor tile for the given premise. It specifies the resistance of the tile to mechanical damage resulting from the impact of the abrasive factor. The greater the hardness of the tile is, the lower its susceptibility to scratching, wear and tear during walking and abrasions etc. The resistance to abrasion is specified according to PN-EN ISO 10545-7. It consists in the specification of the number of rotations of the device that rubs the surface of the glazed tile after which the permanent traces of abrasion become visible. According to this method, the tiles are divided into abrasion resistance grades (PEI) with a specified number of rotations. Within the framework of each grade, however, there is a great range of rotations; therefore, the following descriptions are often used: weak three, strong three, weak four, strong four, etc.

 

  • GRADE 0 (number of rotations 100) - glazed tiles of this grade are not recommended for laying on floors.
  • GRADE I (number of rotations 150) - is recommended for use in premises, where soft shoes are worn or where persons can walk bare-footed. At the same time, the premises cannot be exposed to the impact of abrasive materials (e.g. bathrooms, bedrooms without direct entrance from outside).
  • GRADE II (number of rotations 600) - is recommended for use in premises with small traffic, where shoes with soft soles are worn, e.g. living rooms, bathrooms and bedrooms. You must not use these tiles in premises exposed to high traffic volume as well as premises where abrasive materials can be carried in, e.g. halls, corridors, kitchens, etc.
  • GRADE III (number of rotations 750, 1500) - is recommended for use in premises with small and medium traffic, where soft shoes are worn (PEI 3/ 750), e.g. bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, or where normal shoes are worn (PEI 3/1500), e.g. kitchens, corridors without direct entrance from outside and not exposed to carrying in the abrasive material.
  • GRADE IV (number of rotations 2100, 6000, 12 000) – is recommended for use in premises with normal traffic volume, in all the premises of the residential buildings, e.g. kitchens, corridors, halls, as well as in public utility premises, excluding the places with high or very high traffic.
  • GRADE V (number of rotations > 12 000) – is recommended for covering floors exposed to intensive, continuous passenger traffic, where the particles of the abrasive material are carried in, e.g. public places, shops, corridors, etc. After the performance of the abrasion-resistance test, the tiles must be subjected to the stain resistance test according to PN-EN ISO 10545-14.

FREEZE-RESISTANCE

the ceramic tiles, which are to be laid out at places exposed to the impact of negative temperatures, should have the declared freeze-resistance confirmed by the test according to PN-EN ISO 10545-12.


THERMAL SHOCK RESISTANCE

the ceramic tiles which can be subjected to the local sudden temperature change should have the declared thermal shock resistance confirmed by the test according to PN-EN ISO 10545-9.

BENDING STRENGTH AND BREAKING FORCE

to put it simply, these parameters specify at which stress, the tile is subject to breaking. It is a particularly important parameter in case of the floor tiles, which are subjected to significant mechanical loads, and abrasive tiles laid out in places, where stresses caused by the movements of building walls can occur. The tests determining the bending strength and the breaking force are performed according the test method specified in PN-EN ISO 10545-9.

CHEMICAL RESISTANCE

specifies the resistance of the tile to the impact of testing solutions: daily use agents, salts for swimming pools as well as acids and alkalis. The tiles resistant to the chemical factors cannot be subject to changes under the influence of these substances, e.g. a change in gloss or colour. The chemical resistance test is performed in accordance with the test method specified in PN-EN ISO 10545-13. Grade GA (for daily use agents and salts for swimming pools) means the lack of visible changes after the test; grade GLA (for weak acids and alkalis, i.e. with a concentration up to 3%) signifies the lack of visible changes after the test.

STAIN RESISTANCE

specified according the test method described in PN-EN ISO 10545-14 by grades from 1 to 5, determines the easiness of removal of the visible colours from the tile surface. The tiles from the surface of which, the colours can be removed in the easiest way (with the use of hot water and a fabric) correspond to grade 5.

PROPERTIES RELATED TO SAFETY

mainly resistance to slipping, particularly important in the case of tiles intended for floors having contact with water, where there is hazard of slipping, both in residential and public utility premises. In accordance with the German classification according to DIN 51130, the ceramic tiles are divided into 4 groups, from R9 to R12, where the anti-slip properties increase from group R9 to R12.
 

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