When selecting a tile or stone product for your home or commercial project, we know it’s important to have a full understanding of what you’re installing. Technical aspects can be just as important as the flooring, wall, or surface design. Today, we’re sharing the top five technical topics we discuss with customers:
- Slip Resistance
Many people rely on DCOF (Dynamic Coefficient of Friction) testing to decide on a tile product, without a full understanding of what the test is and what type of information it’s intended to provide. Selecting too low of a DCOF result will cause slip issues in a home or commercial space, but too high of a result will cause tripping as well as maintenance issues - as higher friction floors capture more dirt. The trick is finding the ideal range that works for your specific application. Learn more about the test here.
- Manufacturing Tolerances
Tile can be slightly outside of its listed shape, as long as it is within industry tolerances. Industry manufacturing tolerances are voluntary standards that exist because all fired products are subject to size, color, and shade variations during firing and manufacturing. Installation guidelines are based on these very tolerances. Understanding the manufacturing of a product will help install a product correctly. Learn more in the Tile Council of North America handbook.
- Repeat Patterns
Tile face patterns created with high-definition printing are not infinite. When installing in a small area, for example, a 30 square-foot bathroom floor, you may see occasional repeats as tiles are packaged at random. If you prefer less pattern repeat, look for designs that come in large format tile sizes - lessening the number of tiles used in one space.
- Grout Joint Width
While thin grout joint widths are ideal from an aesthetic standpoint, they occasionally come with potential lippage and fluctuation between adjacent rows. Lippage clip systems have helped with this issue, but grout joint width should truly depend on the application and the environment. In environments where space allows, consider an on-trend large format tile - reducing the number of grout lines.
- Country of Origin
While the country of origin of a tile or stone is important for a government installation, in reality, the main thing a customer should reference is technical testing. ASTM testing will always include the performance and dimensional characteristics of a product, no matter the country it’s from.
The key to a beautiful tile or natural stone installation is understanding your design preferences, performance needs, and how they best blend together. Keep these five tips in mind to ensure beautiful projects for years to come.