We often discuss residential floor tiles and commercial floor tiles as different entities, but are they really different? These days, the lines are quite blurry, however, floor tiles can be graded as suitable for residential, commercial, or even industrial. The difference is not so much quality as density or hardness.
If we start with the latter, industrial strength floor tiles are not made for beauty – they are made to withstand the treatment that an industrial setting delivers. Floor tiles can be graded from one through to five with one being the softest and five the hardest. Those graded at five are said to be suited to industrial applications.
A grading of ‘four’ is a tile that is very hard, however, it is also a tile that is quite attractive, so it is well-suited to commercial applications – for example, retail flooring and office flooring. A floor tile with a grading of three is well suited to the home and will withstand most applications around the home, both inside and outside.
Floor tiles with gradings of one or two are quite soft for a tile (although they are still quite hard to touch). These tiles can be used in residential applications, however, they are best suited to low traffic areas or as wall tiles. These tiles will show the signs of wear quite quickly if used in areas that receive heavy traffic.
I said in the first paragraph that the lines between the first three are now quite blurry – and they are. You can use grade five floor tiles in the home, especially in areas such as garages and outdoor entertainment areas. In the past, these tiles where quite unattractive, however, you can find some very good looking grade five tiles now. Many home owners opt for grade four floor tiles when it comes to living areas, kitchens and outdoor areas simply because of their durability .
When looking for floor tiles for either your home, a commercial or even industrial setting, talk to a tile expert. They will ensure you select the right tile grade for your project. A point to remember here is that it is often better to go a grade harder if in doubt. That extra hardness certainly won’t hurt your floor – it may even mean it lasts a lot longer.