Porcelain is a type of ceramic tile. Ceramic tiles are any tiles made of clay or clay mixtures that are kiln-fired. Non-porcelain tiles typically are from red or white clay. Porcelain tiles generally are from porcelain clays, are the hardest kind, and do not absorb moisture. The Porcelain Enamel Institute grades tiles for durability and abrasion resistance to guide appropriate usage.
PEI 0 is generally not for floors. This tile may be used for walls and decorations.
PEI 1 is for light-duty floors that get little traffic, such as inside closets, spas or walls. Ideally, no shoes should be worn if walking on these tiles.
PEI 2 is for medium-duty floors, appropriate for no more than soft-soled shoes.
PEI 3 is also for medium-duty floors and appropriate for most residential areas that are not high-traffic.
PEI 4 is heavy-duty rated for areas with heavy traffic or use such as entrance hallways, kitchen and countertops.
PEI 5 tiles are for extra heavy-duty use in areas including outdoors and commercial high-traffic areas such as hospitals, hotels and other places.
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