PEI Rating [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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01-15-2003, 03:10 AM
We're about to have our Kitchen and Dinette floors done in Ceramic tile. We've narrowed down our choices to two tiles. The tiles are from a local carpet and tile store and one says made in spain the other made in Turkey on the back. There is no indication as to what company in Spain made the first tile except for a sticker on the face of the tile that reads "Transtar Distributors" and the name of the tile "Natura Blanco". The saleswoman at the store tells me this tile has a PEI rating of 4 and they charge $1.69/ square foot. The tile made in Turkey is also a PEI 4 according to our salesperson and sells for $1.29/ square foot. My question is, how do I verify the PEI rating for myself. Neither tile is porcelain as it is not the same color throughout. Either tile would look well in our kitchen and are very similar, with the tile made in Turkey just a shade darker than the Spanish tile. I've noticed the tile made in Spain has dark red middle and bottom, whereas the tile made in Turkey, although not Porcelain, appears to have a slightly darker yet similar color to its surface color. The reason I'm telling you this is we can't seem to decide which tile to go with as they are similar in appearance and would both compliment the kitchen. I'm trying to decide based upon other criteria. I should add the tile from Turkey has a gritty feel to its surface, the tile from Spain a smoother (but not slippery) surface. Any opinions on all this would be greatly appreciated.

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01-15-2003, 06:00 AM
The PEI rating and other technical information should be on the tile box, probably in the language of the country where the tile is made. I would also check the website of the tile manufacturer and send them an email.;)

01-15-2003, 07:24 AM
Sounds like one is a monicoturra and one is porcelanite.Either would be plenty good for a residential application.

Dave Gobis
01-15-2003, 09:06 AM
>Sounds like one is a monicoturra and one is porcelanite.

OK, tell me why? You know a lesson is coming!

01-15-2003, 09:53 AM
Just posting this so I follow it. I wanna lesson. :)

01-15-2003, 11:28 AM
First off, thank you all for your replies. They have been very helpful. I assume form the term porcelanite that the ceramic tile that appears to have a similar color throughtout, but it's not porcelain, is the porcelanite. Therefore the tile with red clay under the decorative top is the monocoturra. I've searched these terms on the web, but was unable to determine if the porcelanite has any durability advantages over the other. I should have added one other criteria. The Monocoturra tile has wavy uneven edges, whereas the porcelanite tile has straight edges. I beleive my wife is leaning towards the monocoturra tile because of its wavy edges (adds character) and because it feels a bit smoother than the porcelanite. Any further thoughts ?

Dave Gobis
01-15-2003, 12:50 PM
OK, as long as your curious, I will give the lesson now. The body of the tile has nothing to do with the glaze rating. The test method has no effect on the body. Doesn't make any difference whether it is porcelain or terracotta. Porosity, Breaking Strength, and Modulus of Rupture and Elasticity are indicative of the body properties. The "PEI" is a glaze wear rating, period. Once you glaze a porcelain you have glazed tile. The body may have stronger properties but glaze is glaze.

01-15-2003, 05:02 PM
But is there not a direct and positive correlation between a PEI rating and the quality of the substrate. Curious minds want to know.:D

Dave Gobis
01-15-2003, 06:02 PM
Nope, it is just a glaze rating. Want me to send John a picture of the test machine? File said it was too big for me to attach. It is used for ISO and ANSI standards. The only thing relevant to substrate is the requirement that a ceramic tile have a minimum of 250# breaking strength. On wood you need it, over concrete you could get by with less. Most porcelain tile comes in around 375 to 400#.

01-15-2003, 07:57 PM
I've got just one more dilemma now that I know that either tile should perform well. The tile we are probably going to have installed has wavy uneven edges, the other tile has normal straight edges. Does anyone have any positives or negatives about those uneven tile edges ?

01-15-2003, 08:21 PM
Now you know Dave I always appreciate a lesson !!

It would be nice to know for sure cause Playing the odds i bet i'm at least 1/2 right :D
Lets take the forinstance that they went to a mom and pop store looking for a floor tile.This eliminates all wall tile and being a mom and pop store and the area being used i would venture they would show them appropriate tiles.Most red backed tiles appropriate for this area in the shop i work out of right now are a monicoturra type. The other inexpensive floor tile most prevelant that would suit these areas is a porcelanite . Now granted there may be a few true percelains out there at good prices,but the promos of the last 2 years in our shop have been 95% the 2 above types.So,while I can always use a lesson or 2 or 3,I still am in touch with the product being sold right now, today , In the retail market.I do spend some time in the shop.I am not always on the computer you know ;)

By the way , your not related to the TileRanger are you :tongue:

Dave Gobis
01-15-2003, 09:26 PM
The point was the body is not related to the wear rating. I picked up some test samples for show and tell last week of glazed porcelain that hardly made residential. By the way, it was advertised as a 4 when in fact it was a 2. It is a combination of factors that make a quality tile. All I was trying to say is it is prudent to consider all factors when selecting tile.


John Bridge
01-15-2003, 10:20 PM
Hi Eman, Welcome. :)

Seems our experts got off on a tangent here.

Fact is, either of the types of tiles you are interested in will be perfect for you, as long as your wife likes it. :D

The surface is what we're concerned with (so long as the underbody will support the surface), so a PEI of 3 or better is fine.

01-15-2003, 10:31 PM
In addition to John's advice, I'll comment on the edging of each tile.

The tile with the uneven edges is less stressfull to install if you are concerned about keeping all of the grout lines straight.

On the other hand, if you are a perfectionist, the uneven edges will drive you crazy. The straight edged tiles make it easier to follow a control line and the use of spacers with such tiles is also beneficial.

As a wise man said, the best tile is the one that please the wife:D

I think that was a line from John's book :bow:

In terms of quality, the edges mean nothing..


01-16-2003, 08:15 AM
I knew that dave, I just saw opportunity to finally stick my tongue out at ya !! :)

OK gotta go to work now.Hope your healing up Dave.
And ,Your still the Man!!!! :D

John Bridge
01-16-2003, 11:04 AM

I didn't say that. They wouldn't let me. I made reference to a "mud woman," and my line editor (female, of course) became so upset with me that I agreed to remove it. You won't find any gender specifics in my book at all. :D

01-16-2003, 12:14 PM
John are you saying only eunuchs can lay tile? :shades:

John Bridge
01-16-2003, 12:54 PM
That wouldn't be very self-flattering, would it? :D

The statement is still in the book. What it amounts to is that both men and women can be "mud men." Originally, I said that I just couldn't imagine the term "mud woman," so I would call both males and females "mud men." That's where she lost it. She completely misunderstood my meaning, and I reasoned that if I hadn't made it clear to her that it probably wouldn't be clear to others.

We took the "mud woman" statement out, and I'm glad I did. Lori, the editor, and I got on much better after that. :) I acknowledged her and my chief editor, Stacy, in the front of the book. :)

01-16-2003, 04:31 PM
Thank you for clearing that up. :p

Hey! I just realized you don't have an avatar. Do you want one? Maybe we could have a contest to pick one. Give away a prize.. maybe a...used tile saw blade? :D

01-16-2003, 04:48 PM
I was wondering about that too Jim. Seems the guy running this joint ought to step out from behing the curtain. :D

John Bridge
01-16-2003, 05:46 PM

The guy running this joint already has an avatar. It's a picture of one of his kids. ;)

I don't need one. My quick wit suffices. :D