What is a class 3 tile and why does it matter?

When you decide to use tile on your floors, countertops, and other areas, one thing that you will notice is that there are different classes or grades of ceramic and porcelain tile that you can choose from. If you are planning to use tiles in your home, instead of a business, one of the most common grades that you’ll want to use is class 3.

What is class 3? Well, this is the one that is most commonly used in residential buildings, and it’s ideal for light or moderate traffic. It’s a good choice for your kitchen, your countertop, your flooring, and other areas where you don’t have much foot traffic.

What Do The Tile Grades Mean?

Porcelain Enamel Institute, or PEI rating, reflect a tile’s durability. They are based on the tile’s composition and thickness. Here’s how they break down:

Class 1 tile – Can handle little to no foot traffic. Intended for use on walls only.

Class 2 tile –Can handle light foot traffic. Indented for walls, bedrooms, and bathrooms.

Class 3tile –Can handle everyday residential floor traffic. Can be used indoors, outdoors, or even for light commercial applications.

Class 4tile –Can handle heavy foot traffic. Intended for commercial applications, like restaurant flooring.

Class 5 tile –Extremely durable tile for commercial applications. Tiles are heavier and come in limited styles.

Class 3 Tile is a Great Fit for Most Residential Applications

Class 3 tile is the go-to choice for most bathroom and kitchen remodels, with a few exceptions.

PEI grade matters most for floor tiles, and going with a lower grade means your tiles could soon chip or crack. Not only does it look bad, but it can easily cause injury, and it’s not always trivial to replace just a couple of broken tiles. That’s especially true if your tiles have visible grouting.

For wall applications, like bathroom walls and kitchen backsplashes, lower tile grades can be fine. They will still typically wear out a little faster than class 3 tiles, but unless you’re slamming pots against your backsplash, you probably won’t notice a huge difference. It will also open up your options with other patterns, styles, and materials.

It’s important to think about how much traffic is in your home when you are choosing your tiles—and especially floor tiles. Class 2 tile can hold up to some foot traffic, but not much. If you plan on growing your family or entertaining often, then it’s a good idea to upgrade.

Sometimes the cheap comes out expensive. So weigh all of the factors and think about whether going for a lower grade tile is really worth it in the end.

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