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How to Shop for Tiles

When you go to buy tile, you will want to be prepared. It is much more than finding a pattern and color palette that you enjoy. Tiles have specific uses that it is designed for. When you understand what you are looking for and what you require, you will be able to shop efficiently. This will make purchasing online and through discount tile suppliers in Melbourne easier.

Know the Ratings

The first aspect of tile shopping you need to understand is the ratings on the ceramic tiles. If you are purchasing tiles, you need to make sure you have the right rating. If the tile is a glazed ceramic tile, you will see a number five on the box. However, if you are want an unglazed tile, look for tiles with a four rating on the box.


The grade of the tile will tell you the intended use. It is very important that you purchase the proper tile grade for your project, even though different grades will be cheaper in price. If you are looking to tile your floor, you will want grade one or two. Grade one is higher quality, so grade two will be cheaper. However, if you are looking to tile an area that is going to be walked on a lot, you will want the higher quality for durability. You cannot use grade three to tile floors. It is a decorative tile, designed for walls only.

PEI Wear Rating

The PEI (Porcelain and Enamel Institute) wear rating helps determine how durable the tile will be when you walk on it. The PEI ratings are only on glazed tiles and the higher the number, the more durable the tile. Your wall tiles will be rated as a PEI one or two. If you are tiling a highly trafficked area, you will want a tile that has a rating of four. Everything higher than that is designed for commercial use.

Water Absorption Rating

If you are looking for tiles for the bathroom, kitchen, or other floors where water is an issue, then you will need to pay attention to the water absorption rating. For outdoor tiling, you will want a vitreous tile. These tiles absorb less than three-percent of their weight in water. These are also the best tiles for bathroom floors and around drains. Most people use vitreous tiles for their entire floor because they are extremely versatile.

Slip Resistance Rating

While extremely important with commercial tiling, knowing the slip resistance rating will be beneficial to residential users. The slip resistance rating is based on the tile’s COF (coefficient of friction) level. The higher the rating, the less slippery it will be. This is beneficial for people tiling areas that need to have more traction, such as tiling a bathroom floor.


If you are considering adding tile in an outdoor area, you will need to know what the frost rating is for the tile. This lets you know if the tile is able to handle the winter weather in your area.


The tone of the tile is only going to be important if you want tiles that look natural. Toned tiles rarely have a consistent color, as they intentionally vary so they look like real stones. Most people who are concerned with the tone are looking for tiles that will work well in a garden area or want to have a natural looking floor.

When you have a full grasp on how to shop for tiles, you can easily browse the renowned discount tile suppliers in Melbourne such as Metric Tile to design your home.

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