Design trends

Understanding Tile PEI Ratings

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Understanding Tile PEI Ratings

What are Tile PEI Ratings?
Known as the PEI Scale, it is the standardized scale used to determine which tiles to use according to purpose and location. The PEI number refers to the tile hardness, and these ratings are used to assist both homeowners, designers and architects in deciding upon which tile to use for various projects. The scale ranges from one to five, with five being the strongest and most durable.

Understanding the PEI Scale and Tile Hardness Ratings
Each tile rating, or class, includes recommendations for use and installation.

The ratings are as follows:

Group 0: Tiles technically unsuitable for floors as they are either very fragile of thin. These are generally used as wall tile.

Group 1 or PEI 1: Tiles suitable only for locations where indoor footwear such as slippers are worn or where hardsole shoes are not frequently used, such as residential bathroom or other areas with light traffic. Also mat be used for interior commercial and residential walls.

Group 2 or PEI II: These tiles are suited for general residential traffic. For areas that are walked on by soft soled or “normal” footwear with very small amounts of scratching dirt. Not for kitchen, entrance halls, stairs and other areas subjected to heavy traffic or hard sole footwear.

Group 3 or PEI 3: Tiles suited for all residential and light commercial areas such as offices, reception areas, boutiques, interior walls, countertops and residential bathroom floors. Not recommended for commercial entryways or foyers.

Group 4 or PEI 4: Tiles suited for regular traffic. Recommended for medium commercial and light institutional use including, restaurants, hotels, hospital lobbies and corridors.

Group 5 or PEI 5: Tiles suitable for areas with heavy traffic and can withstand abrasive dirt and moisture as well as where safety and maximum performance are required. Examples include hospitals, shopping malls, public buildings, building entrances, or swimming pools.

A Final Note
The PEI rating only refers to a tile’s strength and suitability for a particular application and should not be considered an indicator of the tile’s overall quality or value. The PEI rating should only be used for determining the ability of a tile to withstand the use and environment it will be subjected to once applied.


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