RESIDENTIAL VS COMMERCIAL TILE

What is the difference between tile that is suitable for your home as opposed to commercial applications? What are the key things you should consider when choosing tile for your home or office project. On this page, we try to answer some of these questions.

GOOD TO KNOW

Tile is a beautiful flooring choice as it comes in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes and hardness. By selecting the right tile for your home or office will ensure that you make a choice that will last a lifetime or longer.

Residential

  • never use glazed tiles where they will be in the presence of water, oil, or grease unless the SCOF or DCOF rating is higher than 0.60
  • improper care and using improper cleaning products can cause tile to become slippery or damaged
  • surfaces with an incline or decline should have a SCOF or DCOF rating higher than 0.60
Commercial

  • commercial areas like hospitals, kitchens etc. you should use tile with a SCOF or DCOF rating of at least 0.80
  • areas with continuously wet areas such as pool coping or fountain areas should never have polished or glazed tile unless the SCOF or DCOF rating is higher than 0.60
  • surfaces with an incline or decline should have a SCOF or DCOF rating of at least 0.80

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

Hardness

An important consideration when choosing your tile is the tiles hardness which inevitably  determines its durability and application. The hardness of a tile is rated using a PEI scale which ranges from 1-5. A PEI rating does not determine the quality of a tile, just the hardness. A PEI rating of 1 is still hard to the touch, it is just not as dense as a PEI of 5.

PEI 1- suitable for wall applications only. Fragile but beautiful tile.

PEI 2 - suitable for very light foot traffic. Not suitable for kitchens, walkways and entryways.

PEI 3 - suitable for residential and light commercial use such as offices, reception areas, interior walls and hallways.

PEI 4 -suitable for regular traffic very durable tile. Applicable to outdoor and indoor use, such as schools, homes, businesses etc.

PEI 5 - suitable for industrial use with very heavy traffic. Most durable tile.

Slip Resistance

When choosing between residential tile and Commercial tile, there is more to consider than just a PEI rating. Another specification that should be carefully investigated is the slip resistance of a tile. For commercial installations, a much higher slip resistance is considered prudent.

There are the 2 rating systems used to measure slip resistance in tile,

Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF) is the oldest method used to measure the slip resistance of tile., This measurement is inaccurate as it measures the slip resistance of tile when standing still (static.) In most cases even ice is not slippery when you stand still and this is why there is a newer method (see below) for measuring slip resistance.

Dynamic Co-Efficient Of Friction (DCOF) is the newer method used to measure slip resistance and is highly recognized as the most accurate. It is measured in a way that more naturally represents a human stride. This is vitally important especially when considering tile around wet areas such as bathrooms and pools.

for more info, please see slip resistance considerations