Technical Definitions

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Technical Definitions

Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF) Slip Resistance:

The dynamic test method is that a flooring having a minimum dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) of 0.43 has "high slip resistance". If the DCOF falls within the 0.30-0.42 range, then the test method states that the flooring is "acceptable, with an increased probability of slipping," and values below 0.30 are categorized as "low slip resistance" and a "higher probability of slipping". Please note that not all tiles with a DCOF of 0.42 or greater are necessarily suitable for all projects: you must also consider type of use, traffic, expected contaminants, expected maintenance, and manufacturer's guidelines.

Coefficient of Friction (COF) Slip Resistance:

Coefficient of Friction refers to the static slip resistance of a tile or stone surface typically under both wet and dry conditions. Many manufacturers have converted solely to DCOF (above) in technical specifications as the DCOF test relates better to slips occurring while a person is walking.

Frost Resistance:

The tile's ability to resist damage after freezing and thawing environmental conditions.

PEI Rating:

The Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) developed this test standard for abrasion resistance for glazed tile. The ratings are as follows:


PEI Recommended Use
   
0 Wall use only, not recommended for floors
   
1 Very light traffic floor; private residences where soft footwear is used such as bathrooms and bedrooms
   
2 Light traffic floor; private residences where normal footwear is used such as bathrooms and bedrooms)
   
3 Light to medium traffic floor; private residences where normal footwear is used such as dining rooms, living rooms, kitchens
   
4 Medium to high traffic floor; private residences and public buildings were normal footwear is used
   
5 High traffic floors; busy public buildings and areas such as shopping malls, airports

Variation:

The tone rating is an indication of how much variation there is in the colour and shade of the tile. The range of ratings on this scale is V1 to V4 as follows:


Rating     Definition
       
V1 V1   Low visible shade and texture variation from tile to tile.
       
V2 V2   Tiles show distinguishable differences in texture and pattern within similar colours.
       
V3 V3   High shade and texture variation from tile to tile.
       
V4 V4   Random variations of shade and texture where one tile may have completely different shade or texture from another tile in the same collection.

Water Absorption:

The measure to determine the level of water a tile absorbs which ranges from Non-vitreous (absorbs more than 7% water) to Impervious (absorbs less than 0.5% water). This measure is important for tiles or stone used in areas with wet environments or with consistent freeze/thaw cycles.


Abrasion Resistance:

A measure for a tile's surface abrasive hardness. The higher the rating number, the harder the tiles surface.




Types of Stone

Marble:

Decorative stone that is typically supplied in a polished or honed surface. Marble is somewhat softer and is susceptible to scratching and damage from acids or staining agents. Marble is defined as a 'metamorphic', or 'changed-in-form' stone resulting from millions of years of pressure and heat acting on the structure and chemistry of the rock. Because natural stones have differing chemistry and characteristics, it's always wise to consider the application when choosing a natural stone.

Limestone:

Limestone is another decorative stone typically supplied in a polished or honed surface, although other textures are readily available. Like marble, Limestone can be susceptible to surface scratching and should be protected from attack by acids. Limestone is a sedimentary stone and may have a grained look. Because natural stones have differing chemistry and characteristics, it's always wise to consider the application when choosing a natural stone.

Travertine:

Travertine has holes in it which may be filled with grout on the jobsite or may be supplied prefilled from the manufacturer. Travertine also tends to have a grain to it, being closely related to limestone. Although the surface of a travertine tile may appear solid, or filled, there always is a chance a new hole might appear either because the fill popped out of a hole or a void was present immediately under the surface and opened up as a result of wear and tear. In this case the holes are easily refilled. Because natural stones have differing chemistry and characteristics, it's always wise to consider the application when choosing a natural stone.

Slate:

Slate is another metamorphic stone like marble. It's usually quite earthy or muddy in colour and has a natural cleft face. Slate can also be worked to produce a polished or smooth surface. However, slate can vary in characteristics to a large degree and care when specifying is urged. Be aware of potential limitations for exterior or wet area use, and ways of installation to minimize risk.

Granite:

Whereas all natural stones are works of art produced by Mother Nature, granite is generally the strongest, most dense, and resistant stone. There are many decorative granites available today suitable for residential, commercial, exterior, and wet applications. Granite gets it's strong characteristics because it is 'Igneous'. Its Latin origin means 'Fire'. Granite is formed when lava and molten rock cools and solidifies. Because natural stones have differing chemistry and characteristics, it's always wise to consider the application when choosing a natural stone.