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Unread 07-03-2021, 04:19 PM   #1
HudsonMC
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Durabody Ceramic for Garage?

I've been shopping for porcelain tile for 700 sqft of garage I want to tile for a while. I'm shopping around the $2/sqft range, where PEI IV-V options are slim, but doable. This is a working garage where a lot of automotive work and fabrication will occur.

I was at a local tile supplier poking around and they recommended the Interceramics Durabody Ceramic tile. They've got PEI IV tiles in colors that work for me, and the spec sheet indicates a breaking strength of >600 lbf.

So, my questions for you guys:

1) I'm mostly concerned with chipping resistance. Will the 600 lbf breaking strength correlate with chipping resistance when I drop a transmission on the tile later?
2) Which would you guys recommend, a Durabody ceramic tile or a legit porcelain tile with a (potentially) lower breaking strength from a big box store or floor&decor?

I only want to have to do this job once, and I've been deliberating for a while, and just can't make a decision...
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Unread 07-03-2021, 05:16 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, Cole.

I'm sure someone will have an answer to your specific question. I'm afraid I don't. I'm going to suggest that you not use ceramic in that application if chipping is a concern.

I'd go with a glue-down vinyl composition tile, or something close to it. It's cheaper, easier to install, and very durable. Also pretty easy to replace individual squares if desired, and very easy to clean.
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Unread 07-03-2021, 05:26 PM   #3
smifwal
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Not to be a negative Nancy but if there is any kind of work being done in this garage, ceramic/porcelain tile would be my last choice of flooring, now if it were just show car garage, different story.

I am super careful not to trash the concrete in the shop at my family farm and I still have managed to chip the concrete in a few places but if it had tile, man I would be replacing tiles all the time.
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Unread 07-03-2021, 05:55 PM   #4
cx
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Welcome, Cole.

The PEI rating for glazed ceramic tile has not been used in the ceramic tile industry for many years. I'm surprised to see that Interceramic is still using it in their online literature. And I don't see anywhere in their literature that they state that the tiles meet ANSI A137.1 standards. They do spell out a lot of the properties for Pressed Floor Tile and Porcelain tile, but don't indicate that their tiles meet all the standard. Interesting. Also interesting is that the current standards (Visible Abrasion for glazed tile, Deep Abrasion for un-glazed tile) are in a bit of limbo just now, too. But for sure the PEI rating is not used.

For a garage floor application I would not use anything other than a porcelain tile and I would want that to be un-glazed, I think. Entirely up to you, of course.

Does Breaking Strength translate to chip resistance? I dunno. But any chips in a through-body colored porcelain (un-glazed) would certainly be less visible, I would think.

And while their advertising appears to indicate that their Durabody has a higher Breaking Strength than a porcelain tile, if you browse through their Technical Data Sheets, the porcelain seems to score higher in that category much of the time. Since I'm not at all sure just what Durabody might be (no such category in the industry like there is for Porcelain), I'm not sure how any of that computes.

All that said, the actual installation of the tiles with as close as you can get to 100 percent thinset mortar coverage on the back of each tile is gonna be of much the same importance as the Breaking Strength of the tile. The industry standard, if you were to consider that an interior, dry application, of a minimum of 80 percent coverage would not likely make me confident of a lasting installation. But it might work. I've never tiled a working garage floor.

No matter what you cover that floor with, though, when you drop a 600 pound transmission on it, you're gonna get a ding, eh? 'Specially if it was on a lift to begin with.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-04-2021, 07:33 AM   #5
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I would only emphasize that the old PEI rating only pertained to glazed tile. Most modern porcelains are "through-body," no glaze. And most porcelain tiles are super hard and durable. I've installed them in car showroom floors, bank lobbies, etc. I don't think you'll find decent ones for two bucks a foot, though.
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Unread 07-04-2021, 08:03 AM   #6
HudsonMC
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Thanks for all the recommendations and advice folks! I will look into VCT. I had originally sort of written them off, as I didn't think of them as "repairable", but seems I didn't think hard enough!

And it's interesting you've recommended unglazed tile also. There actually is a clearanced/discontinued unglazed tile available in my price range at the local orange big box store, but I was a little worried about staining. Will an unglazed porcelain soak up oil like concrete, or will it still be stain resistant?
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Unread 07-04-2021, 08:14 AM   #7
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To qualify as a Porcelain tile it must have an absorption rate of 0.5% or less, Cole. Yes, it will be more prone to staining than will a glazed tile, but will be a much tighter surface than most concrete. I would be careful to avoid a polished porcelain, though. Those can have a staining problem even when being grouted.

Whatever tile you decide upon, you want it to say it meets the requirements of ANSI A137.1. That doesn't necessarily make it any better, it just means you'll know exactly what you're buying.

My personal preference would be for a well finished concrete surface. A few stains, or even a lot of stains, would just mean it's a working garage, eh?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Last edited by cx; 07-04-2021 at 09:41 AM. Reason: Typo
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