Technical Info

Bernard J Arnull have some 50 years' experience in the field of Ceramic Wall and Floor Tiles, and are happy to advise on choice of tile, installation techniques and maintenance.

Enviromental Concerns

All our suppliers are aware of the environmental issues surrounding the production of ceramic tiles. Many have been, or are in the process of being, awarded the Ecolabel which is an EU certificate verifying that the products meet high environmental and performance standards, such as low energy consumption, the recycling of water and waste and reduction in emissions.

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Wall Tiles

Wall tiles do not present too great a problem in that once fixed, the tiles will perform. However, if fixing wall tiles externally some thought must be given to the weight of the tile, its fixing bed and method and to whether a vitrified tile should be used.

Floor tiles

Floor tiles are rated with a PEI scale of between 1 and 5, 5 being the heaviest duty tile. The MOHS scale also rates tiles as far as a hard-wearing surface is concerned, and here again the higher the number, the stronger the tile.

We would recommend that only PEI 5 grade tiles be used in heavy wear and Public areas. Most porcelain tiles achieve this wear rating, though care should be taken to select through-body or doubled-loaded porcelain tiles which achieve the heaviest wear characteristics. Whilst this does restrict colour choice to some degree, although this is being improved by new production techniques. However, it is far better to specify a tile that will achieve its intention than use a colour which will not. Recent technical developments have seen single-fired tiles replaced with glazed porcelain tiles, which have a glaze on top of a porcelain base. This base though is not necessarily the same colour as the face of the tile and incorrect use can cause problems. Polished porcelain tiles, on the other hand, are more than suitable for heavy wear areas and a a stunning effect can be achieved. We have supplied these to many restaurants with great success.

The latest ink-jet production technology has greatly widened the appeal of porcelain tiles as opposed to natural materials, although care must be taken in ensuring the correct heavy duty tile is used.

Slip Resistance

Another area of concern is non-slip tiles. It is worth remebering that as a rule the greater the anti-slip finish on the tile, the harder it is to keep clean.

There are specific slip resistance tests carried out on tiles which grade a specific tile for its suitability to given conditions.

DIN 51130 classifies tiles with ratings of R9 to R13 for slip resistance:

Rating R9 Suitable for 3 to 10 slopes
Rating R10 Suitable for 10 to 19 slopes
Rating R11 Suitable for 19 to 27 slopes
Rating R12 Suitable for 27 to 35 slopes
Rating R13 Suitable for slopes above 35

DIN51097 also classifies tiles from A to C for non-slip suitability for foot traffic in wet areas:

Rating A > for a slope up to 12
Rating B > for a slope up to 18
Rating C > for a slope up to 24

There is also the Pendulum Skid Resistance Test, which also gives the following rating which applies to both dry and wet tiles:

Rating <25 Very Slippery
Rating 26-35 Average
Rating 35-65 Good Skid Resistance
Rating 66+ Excellent Skid Resistance

Many of our products are designed to be non-slip, and meet the European non-slip standards, but can in certain situations become naturally and unavoidably slippery.

To preserve the non-slip surface the tiles must be kept clean. If tiles installed in external or public areas are wet following cleaning with detergents or soap, the areas concerned must be clearly marked as hazardous and closed off to the public, until such time as they are dry.

The website of CERAM (www.ceram.com) contains very useful guides to Maintenance and to Slip-Resistance tests.

More recently a research project, co-financed by the European Commission F6 program, and led by CERAM amongst others, have produced SlipSTD PAD, an attempt to classify hard floor coverings according to their contribution to reducing the risk of pedestrian slipping.

Broadly speaking this offers a range of slip classification taking into account not only the tile surface but also the likely, indeed necessary, cleaning regime in place once installation has been carried out. In our opinion this offers a more coherent and useful standard to assess tiles for their suitability for the various areas.

As this plethora of tests might cause some confusion,we are pleased to supply information on the ratings of any of our tiles.