There are several types of ceramic tile, including quarry, glazed, unglazed, and porcelain. Each type of ceramic tile has different characteristics that make it suitable for installation.

Water Absorption:

Water absorption is tested per ASTM C373. Water absorption categories include:

  • Impervious (absorption less than or equal to .5%)
  • Vitreous (absorption is between .5% and 3%),
  • Semivitreous (absorption is between 3% and less than or equal to 7%)
  • Nonvitreous (absorption is great than 7% and less than or equal to 20%)

Abrasion Resistance:

Unglazed tile is tested for abrasion resistance usinig ASTM C1243. Tile is evaluated for material loss after being subjected to an abrasive disk. Total material loss much be below a specified maximum. The maximum value depends on whether the tile was pressed or extruded as well as its water absorption category.

Glazed tile is tested by ASTM C1027, and is categorized based on visually noticeable changes in gloss or color following cycles of abrasion.

Thermal Shock:

Tile subjected to an environment with a freeze/thaw cycle should be tested according to ASTM C1026.

Coefficient of Friction:

The COF is measured using the DCOF AcuTest, which measures the dynamic friction, or frictional resistance of the tile when one pushes against it when already in motion. Tile with a wet DCOF AcuTest value of less than .42 are only suitable for dry areas.