Introduction

Porcelain and Ceramic tile is not only a beautiful choice for any home, but the most durable as well. We have a variety of ceramic and porcelain tiles available in all sizes and styles.

Our Natural, Slate, Classic, and Rustic collections are exactly what you’re looking for. We have created floor/wall packages that support the opportunity for enhanced margins by simplifying the selection process. These packages with coordinating listellos and accent deco’s make it easy to offer a consistent look in the bathroom, kitchen, or on the floor, achieving a designer look.

Types Of Ceramic/Porcelain Tile: Glazed And Unglazed

Glazed Ceramic/Porcelain Tile

  • Glazed Surface Coating made from glass derivative called “Frit”.
  • A hard, non-porous, impermeable surface after firing
  • Does not absorb moisture
  • Highly stain-resistant
  • Scratch and fade resistant
  • Hygienic & easy to clean

Unglazed Ceramic/Porcelain Tile

  • No additional surface applications
  • Consistent color throughout the body
  • More dense and durable than glazed tile
  • Suitable for interior or exterior applications
  • Residential or commercial

Major Categories Of Ceramic/Porcelain Tile

Ceramic/Porcelain Wall Tile

  • Less durable than floor tile
  • Available in a high gloss or semi-gloss glazed finish
  • Suited for vertical or countertop applications

Ceramic/Porcelain Floor Tile

  • More durable than wall tile
  • Available in textured and/or matte surface finish
  • Can be glazed or unglazed

Wall/Floor Combinations

  • Enables customers to coordinate tile within a room. Available with matching decorative trim, accent, and border tiles

Porcelain Tile

  • Normally unglazed; consistent color throughout the body
  • Dense, impermeable body resists moisture
  • Will withstand years of heavy foot traffic

Ceramic Mosaic Tile

  • Mosaic tiles have been used throughout history
  • Tiles are 2″ x 2″ or smaller
  • Bonded together for easier handling and installation
  • Used to create unique patterns and murals

Quarry/Paver Tile

  • Unglazed, dense body
  • Natural slip resistance
  • Used in commercial kitchens and restaurants
  • Quarry Tile – Extruded
  • Paver Tile – Pressed

Durability of Ceramic Tile

Scratch Resistance: Mohs Scale

  1. Talc
  2. Gypsum
  3. Calcite
  4. Fluorite
  5. Apatite
  6. Orthoclase Feldspar
  7. Quartz
  8. Topaz
  9. Corundum
  10. Diamond

Tile rated 4-6 is suitable for Residential Applications

Tile rated 7 or higher is recommended for commercial applications.

Durability

  • Class 0: Generally not recommended for use on floors
  • Class 1: Floors where foot traffic is primarily bare feet or soft-soled shoes and without the presence of dirt
  • Class 2: Floors where foot traffic is normal footwear, and with occasional small amounts of dirt
  • Class 3: Floors where normal foot traffic and small amounts of dirt are common
  • Class 4: Floors with considerable foot traffic and some scratching dirt
  • Class 5: Floors with same conditions as Class 4, but where the floor must be highly resistant to stains as well. Most severe conditions for glazed floor tiles.

Slip Resistance

The ASTM Test determines the Coefficient of Friction (COF) Numerical Index Rating.

The higher the COF index rating, the better the slip resistance.

MORE ABOUT SLIP RESISTANCE

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standard: COF of 0.6 or Higher; 0.8 for Access Ramps to Commercial Buildings
  • Unglazed Tiles are more Slip Resistant than Glazed Tiles
  • Abrasive Additives increase COF and Slip Resistance

The Ceramic/Porcelain Tile Production Process

  1. Mine the minerals
  2. Mineral must be ground and blended
  3. Mineral must be pressed
  4. Mineral must be glazed
  5. Mineral must be fired

Finishing Touches

Quality installations of ceramic tile or stone always use some type of trim to finish off the edges or to make smooth transitions between different surfaces. Most products today will have some type of coordinating trim available. With natural stone products, finished edges are generally completed on the job, where the pieces are custom made and fitted to the specific installation requirements.

Trim not only provides a superior visual finish to any ceramic tile or stone project, but more importantly, it is a required transition piece that provides protection to the raw edge of the installation. Without the trim, the ceramic tile or natural stone could easily be damaged.

A ceramic tile or stone project that has been squared-off or butt-jointed to make a corner, instead of finished off with trim, is a sign of poor planning and potential installation problems. With minimal planning and the proper trim pieces, you will add value to the project and preserve the beauty of the installation.

Types of Wall Trims

Surface trims are designed to finish the edge of a tile wall or countertop installation with a rounded profile edge. These “rounded-edge” trim tiles are commonly called “Bullnose” trim pieces. Corner trim tile is designed with two rounded edges to form a 90-degree angle for either left or right corners. A variety of sizes are available to coordinate with standard size field tiles.

Similar to surface trim, Conventional or “Radius” trim tiles are designed to finish the edge of a tile wall or countertop installation with a 3/4″ radius profile edge. They are used in applications where a 1/2″ mortar bed or backer board has been applied to the primary substrate surface. These “radius-edge” trim tiles are commonly called “Radius Bullnose” trim pieces. As with surface trim, corner radius trim tile is designed with two rounded edges to form a 90-degree angle for either left or right corners. A variety of sizes are available to coordinate with standard size field tiles.

Quarter round trim tiles are designed to form smooth radius outside corners for wall or countertop tile installations. Quarter round out corners, or “Beaks” as they are sometimes called, are designed as end pieces to finish quarter round trim tile applications.

For countertop installations, V-Cap rails and comers are commonly used to trim the 90-degree edges and corners of the countertop. V-Cap counter rail trim in a finished countertop installation.

When counter trim tile is used to trim around kitchen sinks, some common trim shapes include two styles of quarter round inside sink corners.

Rather than mitering the inside corner of a counter rail V-Cap application, another type of trim piece is available for the making the inside corner application easier during the installation of a ceramic tile countertop.

To enhance the look and add color to a ceramic tile wall installation, accent trim tiles such as decorative liners are commonly used within the field tile design and layout. Liners are available in various widths, and shapes including flat, rounded and a “rope” design.

Chair rail trim tiles are designed to provide an attractive raised radius finish trim to wall tile installations. Chair rail is also available with a corner piece providing a finished end cap to the running chair rail installation.

Chair rail trim tile can also be used for countertop edge trim applications when these shapes are designed and coordinated with various field tile series and colors

Ceramic Mosaic trim tiles, similar to the surface bullnose trim discussed previously, are designed to finish the edge of a mosaic tile wall or countertop installation with a rounded profile edge. These “rounded edge” trim tiles are also commonly called Bullnose trim pieces. Mosaic comer trim tile is designed with two rounded edges to form a 90-degree angle for either left or right corners. The standard mosaic tile sizes are available to coordinate with standard size ceramic mosaic field tiles of 2″ x 2″ or smaller.

Shade and Texture Spectrum (STS)

  • Low STS: The least amount of shade and texture variation attainable in naturally fired clay products
  • Moderate STS: Light to moderate shade and texture variation within each carton
  • High STS: High shade and texture variation within each carton
  • Random STS: Very high shade and texture variation within each carton

Group Rating

  • Light traffic: Residential bathroom floors and all interior wall applications
  • Medium traffic: Residential interior floor areas except entry ways, kitchens, stairs and pivot points.
  • Medium heavy traffic: All residential and very light commercial floor applications. Not recommended for commercial entry ways.
  • Heavy traffic: All residential and most commercial floor applications, including shopping malls and most public areas.
  • Heavy plus traffic: All residential and all commercial floor applications, where extra-heavy-duty wearability is required.
  • Meets recommended guidelines for Americans with Disabilities Act for horizontal surfaces

Care and Maintenance

Ceramic/Porcelain

Glazed floor tile

Routine maintenance of glazed and unglazed floor tile consists of simply sweeping and damp mopping with clean water and a mild solution of neutral cleaner formulated for glazed tile. Areas exposed to heavy traffic can be cleaned with solution of a heavy-duty neutral cleaner formulated for glazed tile and may also require scrubbing, depending on the texture of the surface. It is very important to change the mop water frequently—approximately every 100-500 square feet—depending on how soiled the surface is. Please contact your sales representative for recommendations on the type of cleaner best suited for your application.

Unglazed floor tile

Unglazed mosaic, porcelain or quarry floor tile should be maintained by dust sweeping and damp mopping with clean water and mild solution of neutral cleaner formulated for tile. Areas exposed to heavy traffic can be cleaned with a solution of a heavy-duty neutral cleaner formulated for tile, and they may also require scrubbing, depending the texture of the surface. As an unglazed quarry tile floor ages, a patina forms on the surface which gives it a soft shine and keeps the floor looking fresh longer.

Glazed wall tile

Routine maintenance of glazed wall tile usually consists of wiping with a damp cloth or sponge. The use of a neutral cleaner formulated for glazed tile is acceptable as long as any residue is removed with a clean water rinse. Countertop applications will require more frequent cleaning in this same manner, depending on the exposure to grease, foods, acids, etc. Sealing grout joints on countertops is always recommended to prevent staining. Shower applications will require more periodic cleaning in order to remove soap scum, body oils, and hard water deposit buildup. Normally, shower areas may be cleaned by spraying a mild solution of neutral cleaner formulated for glazed tile, letting it stand for three to five minutes, and then rinsing. If the tiled area has been neglected for an extended period of time, a solution of a heavy-duty neutral cleaner formulated for glazed tile is recommended for cleaning.

Sealers

Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations before sealing unglazed mosaics, porcelain and quarry tile. There is no need to seal glazed ceramic tile. However, sealing the grout joints is recommended unless an epoxy grout is used. Please contact your sales representative for recommendations on the type of grout sealer best suited for your installation.

NATURAL STONE, New Installation

Sealing is highly recommended on newly installed natural stones. Select a high quality sealer to provide maximum surface stain protection. See your stone supplier for the appropriate sealer for your stone installation.

Pre-Grout Sealing

Pre-sealing natural stone prior to grouting can make the grouting application much easier and will help protect all natural stone surfaces from grout pigment staining during the installation and grouting process. Grouting with a contrasting color is not generally recommended due to possible staining or picture framing of the stone. See your stone supplier for the appropriate sealer for your stone installation.

Sealing

Once the grout has properly cured it is recommended to seal the stone with a high quality penetrating sealer. Generally, stone sealers are designed to penetrate the stone leaving a no-sheen, natural look and provide protection from liquids that would otherwise absorb into and possibly stain the stone. Various maintenance products are available to enhance and highlight the character and beauty of the stone while sealing at the same time. See your stone supplier for the appropriate sealer for your stone application.

Regular Stone Care

Natural stone floors should be dust mopped or vacuumed regularly to remove dirt and dust that may scratch the surface of the stone. Mopping with a stone cleaner is recommended for routine cleaning. It is important to use a stone cleaner that is specifically designed for your particular stone. Never use vinegar or cleaners containing acid or bleach. For polished marble a light application of a top coat such as a light buffing wax will help prevent wear to the surface. See your stone supplier for the appropriate sealer and maintenance products for your stone installation.

Maintenance Products

Lifetime Flooring does not manufacture products for stone installation, stone cleaning, or maintenance products. The information contained herein is intended as a general information source only. It is always recommended to test a small area before using any stone sealer, cleaner, or maintenance product. It is also recommended to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and wear the appropriate protective clothing to provide a safe installation.

Warranty and Product Use Information

Notice of Warranty

Lifetime Flooring guarantees to the original purchaser only that, for a period of one year after the date of purchase. In order for this warranty to be valid, the following guidelines must be met:

  • The original purchaser must notify Lifetime Flooring or an authorized representative in writing within 30 days of the occurrence of any defect.
  • After notification, Lifetime Flooring or an authorized representative will inspect and/or test the product for defect and complete a Product Claim form. No claim will be honored without product inspection by Lifetime Flooring or an authorized representative.
  • Upon determination that product defect claim is valid, Lifetime Flooring will notify the purchaser in writing. In connection with any valid claim, Lifetime Flooring reserves the right to either repair, replace or refund the purchase price of the originally purchased product.

EXCLUSION OF IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND OTHER WARRANTIES

THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXCLUDED FROM THIS TRANSACTION AND SHALL NOT APPLY TO THE GOODS SOLD. ADDITIONALLY, ALL OTHER WARRANTIES BEYOND THOSE EXPRESSLY PROVIDED BY THIS DOCUMENT OR REQUIRED BY LAW ARE EXCLUDED.