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Porcelain Tile Articles

How is Porcelain Tile Rated for Moisture Absorption?

Other than hardness, a particular and important consideration for porcelain tile is moisture absorption. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has developed a rating for moisture absorption by tiles. This rating is actually a procedure to test a tile�s permeability to water. It consists of boiling the tile in water and measuring its gain in weight from the original dry state.


Water absorption rates are a measurement of how much moisture a specific type of porcelain tile is likely to absorb on an ongoing basis. Some types of tile may crack if the moisture penetration is too high. Descriptions of the types of porcelain tile most suitable for your project comprise of four ratings, and are classified as under:


Non-vitreous (Low dense)
Tile with water absorption of more than 7.0 percent
Semi-vitreous (Medium dense)
Tile with water absorption of more than 3.0 percent, but not more than 7.0 percent
Vitreous (High Dense)
Tile with water absorption of more than 0.5 percent, but not more than 3.0 percent
Impervious (Extremely dense)
Tile with water absorption of 0.5 percent or less. This is where porcelain tile is categorized

Reflecting the density of the tile body, ceramic tile are also classified by their water absorption rate apart from the resistance to wear and tear. The water absorption rate is directly related with the suitability of the various types of tile for interior or exterior applications. For exterior applications, the selected tiles must have a very low water absorption rate, especially in climates subjected to rainfall, freezing and thawing cycles. A low water absorption rate also enables a tile to absorb food or beverage stains on a lesser percentage. This is usually a porcelain tile, which has a moisture absorption rating of less than 0.5 %.

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