Key Indicators of Top Quality Tiles: What to look out for
By using the following five characteristics, you can assess tile quality for yourself before you buy it, thereby avoiding the frustration of inferior tiles that are cheaply produced.
1. Application of quality standards and guidelines for high quality tiles
First-class tiles should meet the quality standards of European norms.
Based on guidelines regarding:
- wear resistance
- water absorption capacity
- frost resistance
- compressive strength and coloring
minimum values are determined that a tile must meet in order to be classified as high quality.
The most important thing from the point of view of tile experts: In this context, pay attention to the EN certification or the sorting class. A tile in sorting class 1 is considered to be of high quality and may have a maximum of 5% minimal defects.
2. Wear resistance and slip resistance: Two essential characteristics of high-quality tiles
The wear resistance indicates the resilience of high-quality tiles.
The European standard has established the following classification:
- Class 1: very low load
- Class 2: low load
- Class 3: medium load
- Class 4: high load
- Class 5: very high load.
Good to know: the higher the wear class, the fewer scratches or dents are caused by daily use or by foreign bodies such as stones.
While Class 1 tiles are suitable for areas that are subject to little wear, such as walls, the tile quality should be at least Class 3 for heavily used areas, such as the living room floor.
Classes 4 and 5 are mainly found outdoors, on terraces and balconies, and in commercial areas such as supermarkets or warehouses.
3. Slip resistance of a tile as an additional quality feature
The slip resistance classes of high-quality tiles can help to identify their sure-footedness.
This is an important factor in the quality of tiles, especially in:
- bathroom tiles
- stair tiles
- or outdoor tiles
Good to know: "The slip resistance classes range from R9 to R13. Indoors, R9 is the norm, while higher classes can be found in catering or production facilities"
In addition, you should always pay attention to the ABC classification, which classifies use in all barefoot areas.
- Class A is suitable for all areas that can only occasionally be wet or damp (such as changing rooms in swimming pools)
- while Class B is used in public areas such as shower rooms or pool surrounds.
- Class C is used for any area that is constantly wet or submerged (such as a walk-through pool). How much value you personally place on safety, for example in the bathroom, is up to you.
Other helpful guides for tile processing
4. Dimensional accuracy: A crucial factor for the quality of tiles
Tiles that are dimensionally accurate are made with a precise and accurate cut. High-quality tiles are characterized by easy laying and a narrow joint pattern.
A distinction is made between these:
Calibrated Tiles - Calibrated tiles are cut to an exact measurement after the firing process.
Rectified Tiles - Rectified tiles feature straight edges at a 90 degree angle
- Beveled tiles - Beveled edges are already "rounded off" during the manufacturing process and are therefore hardly sharp-edged.
5. Burn color: A visual indicator of tile quality
High-quality tiles have an even and harmonious appearance. The quality feature of the fire color is relatively easy to recognize even for laypeople.
Our finding: An uneven color image becomes obvious at the latest when inferior tiles are laid.
In addition, even small differences in size can lead to problems. Make sure that the caliber number for the size and the fire color number for the shade match.
6. Freeze resistance : An essential feature for long-lasting tiles
Another feature of high-quality tiles is frost resistance. Thanks to their water-repellent surface, they prevent the penetration of moisture and the formation of frost.
7. Conclusion: With these instructions you will find high-quality tiles. To be on the safe side, you can always go to a tile studio of your choice.
These five characteristics will help you better assess the quality of the tiles and distinguish high-quality tiles from inferior ones. You can also visit a tile expert directly.