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Porcelain & Ceramic Tile Installation Locations

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Porcelain and ceramic tile has thrived for thousands of years in all kinds of uses and locations. Here’s how to choose the right tile for the job.

Let a little rain fall

Installing outdoor tiles is a very similar process to installing indoor tiles, but the choice of tile is a key component of your project’s success.

install outdoor tile

The primary difference between indoor and outdoor tiles is the amount of water that they can bear without warping or cracking. Depending on the location, outdoor tiles may be subjected to standing water. This means that it is critical to ensure that air under the tile is minimized so that standing water cannot seep in and weaken the adhesion to the underflooring.

outdoor ceramic tile

Indoor tiles also need waterproofing, however, if they are being used in a kitchen or bathroom where frequent water splashes are likely.

In both cases, tiles can include ceramic, porcelain and stone, but for outdoor areas choose tiles rated for exterior use if you want to avoid problems over the long term. It is common for outdoor patio tiles to be unglazed in order to minimize slips. For indoor use in wetter areas of the home, choose unglazed or stone tiles for safety’s sake, and make sure that you grout carefully and use a sealant to protect your underflooring.

Kitchen floor ceramic tile

Tread carefully

Although thinner tiles will work on walls for decorative value, floor tiles need to be thicker and denser to handle foot traffic. To choose the right tile, look at its Porcelain Enamel Institute rating scale, or PEI, class. Each class has been chosen to represent the amount of foot traffic that your tile can handle. While decorative tile may have a rating of between 0 and 2, heavier grades that can handle more traffic on a daily basis may be rated between 3 and 5.

Porcelain & ceramic tile PEI ratings

Here’s how to think about PEI classes.

Class 0 – No Foot Traffic: Wall tile only. Should not be used on floors.

Class 1 – Very Light Traffic: Use with stocking or bare feet, such as in a master bathroom.

Class 2 – Light Traffic: Use with slippers, such as in an upstairs bathroom or bedroom.

Class 3 – Light to Moderate Traffic: Any residential area except, possibly, foyers and kitchens.

Class 4 – Moderate to Heavy Traffic: High foot traffic in the home, and areas where abrasive or outside dirt could be tracked.

Class 5 – Heavy Traffic: Ceramic tile suggested for residential, commercial and institutional floor subjected to heavy traffic.

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Explore what’s underneath

Exterior floor tiles need a solid concrete base for installation, and tiles for other outdoor areas will require a firm substrate such as backer board or concrete block walls.

Inside, radiant heating systems are an option for your tiles. Underfloor heating can add warmth and value to your home with safe, reliable and energy efficient technology connected to your electrical system. Floor sensors and thermostats can ensure that your floor temperature is consistent, which can drive down overall heating costs. Prime areas for underfloor heating are bathrooms and kitchens, where tile is more common.

 Where are you thinking about installing a new tile surface?

Browse our selection of stunning Ceramic & Porcelain Tiles here. Find the right fit for your space.

(3) Comments

  1. Recently had a floor in my basement. Want to put ceramic tile down. Is ceramic tile a good product to use in case the basement floods again? If not, what is good for basement floor.

  2. I had a installer put down porcelain 12×24 tile in a 50% off set and it was not noticed until the end that all of the tile had a center high spot which leaves me to think I was sold less than no.1 grade. Regardless of how I align two tiles each one is lower or higher than the other. I looked up installation guide page 37 and it appears that I am out of luck for a recourse. Your thoughts please.

  3. My bathroom looks the same model you got there. I renovated a year ago, utilizing the SAME tile and painted the dividers the SAME shade. On the other hand, I have bond cement and wondering do I need anything other than the cement under the tile? Just got me thinking….

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