How to choose porcelain stoneware

Often, buyers identify porcelain stoneware with ceramic tiles. For their manufacture, the same materials are used, but only in different proportions. As a result, fundamental mistakes are made when choosing a coating. To prevent this from happening, you need to understand that porcelain stoneware is a separate type of flooring.

The difference between porcelain stoneware and ceramic tiles
Porcelain stoneware is made at a higher temperature and under pressure. The result is a tough, low porosity coating that has a high level of waterproofing and chemical resistance. This largely determines the area of ​​its application – the street and premises with unfavorable operating conditions.Porcelain stoneware Birch Ceramic Rainier GP
Types of porcelain stoneware
There are several varieties of porcelain stoneware. They differ in both aesthetic and operational characteristics:

matte – the basic version of the coating, which has not undergone additional processing, looks modest and is used mainly in technical, retail premises and some municipal facilities;
technical – reinforced (thickened) coating without special requirements for aesthetics, intended for use in facilities with high floor loads: workshops, workshops, warehouses, some production lines;
satin – the surfaces of this type of porcelain stoneware give a characteristic shine, which does not affect the performance and scope of the coating;
polished – inferior in wear resistance to basic types and is recommended for indoor use in moderate conditions, to extend the service life requires processing with special mastics;
glazed (smoked) – beautiful porcelain stoneware with an external decorative layer, which is not recommended for use in public areas with high traffic, since over time the decorative layer is erased from a hard base;

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lapped – a wear-resistant type of porcelain stoneware with a combined surface, which looks great and is suitable for use on objects with high traffic;
structured – a practical coating with a textured surface that can faithfully imitate natural materials: wood, leather, stone;
double backfill – this type looks impressive and has the properties of basic porcelain stoneware, suitable for use in public places with high traffic, residential premises.
Criteria for choosing porcelain stoneware
When looking for porcelain stoneware, you need to consider the same parameters as when choosing ceramic tiles. You can even compare them to project on specific operating conditions. This will help you find the perfect floor covering.

Frost resistance
Porcelain stoneware has a lower water absorption than ceramic tiles . Due to this, it has a higher level of frost resistance. It can withstand more freeze and thaw cycles. On average, porcelain stoneware is able to maintain its original structure and not begin to grow over 100 full cycles. This made possible a water absorption of 0.05%.

 

Strength
In terms of surface hardness, porcelain stoneware is not inferior to corundum. This is one of the main advantages of porcelain stoneware. On the Mohs scale, its hardness is 7-8 points. The exception is collections with a glazed coating, which is less resistant to mechanical stress.

Porcelain stoneware M-Kvadrat Magma [600×600 mm, 4 tiles, 1.4 m², Dark brown, Glazed, For the floor] (GSR0069 1с)
In terms of flexural strength, porcelain stoneware is approximately 1.5 times higher than ceramic tiles, due to which, in some cases, it can be laid on a base with slight differences. But the modulus of impact elasticity is the same as that of conventional tiles. Thin porcelain stoneware is a fragile material, therefore it is recommended to choose a coating with a thickness of 8 mm or more.

Slip resistance
This parameter began to be taken into account when choosing relatively recently, since some types of porcelain stoneware turned out to be too slippery. If slip resistance is ignored, the risk of serious injury increases. Moreover, it is necessary to take into account the slip resistance both in shoes and barefoot. These values ​​are regulated by 2 standards:According to DIN 51097, the recommended class of porcelain stoneware is A for dry rooms, and B or C for kitchens and bathrooms. The slip resistance in shoes is indicated by the letter R with numbers from 9 to 13. The best option for indoor use is tiles with coefficients R10 – R11. Porcelain stoneware with resistance R12 – R13 is recommended for outdoor use or in entrance lobbies.

Porcelain stoneware Lasselsberger Ceramics Titanium [300x600x10 mm, 7 tiles, 1.27 m², Beige, Floor] (6060-0257)
Wear resistance
The ability to maintain original aesthetic appeal and resist abrasion is measured on the PEI scale. In this parameter, porcelain stoneware (with the exception of the glazed series) is superior to other floor coverings. It is selected according to the PEI scale depending on the area of ​​application:When choosing according to this criterion, it is necessary to take into account the likelihood of exposure to the surface of porcelain stoneware of abrasive particles. That is, for rooms in which they walk barefoot or in room slippers, it is possible to use a class 2 coating.

Dimensions and caliber
The format of porcelain stoneware tiles is very diverse and is constantly being supplemented. The most popular sizes are 300×300 mm, 450×450 and 600×600 mm. When choosing the optimal format, the thickness of the tiles must be taken into account. The larger the dimensions, the thicker the porcelain stoneware should be. The following ratios are recommended:You also need to pay attention to the batch size. That is, the actual dimensions of porcelain stoneware tiles, which differ from standard indicators up or down. Responsible manufacturers sort the tiles and additionally indicate the caliber on the packages. This avoids problems when laying porcelain stoneware. Usually 1 mm is equal to one caliber.

The right priorities when choosing porcelain stoneware
When choosing porcelain stoneware, one more mistake is often made, since most buyers associate it with an “indestructible” coating. As a result, many skip the stage of considering the main parameters and begin to choose a design. You can’t do that. Indeed, in addition to strength, there is slip resistance and caliber, which affect the safety of operation and the quality of installation.