Ceramic tile is widely acknowledged as one of the most beautiful, durable, and healthful finishes for commercial and residential projects.
The array of ceramic tiles manufactured today can be combined in expressive design motifs. Whether trying to showcase the classic and intricate details of an artisan mosaic or a more streamlined contemporary design, tile can be successfully used for high performance interior, exterior, and special applications.
While there’s a tile for every job, not every tile is appropriate for every application. ANSI A137.1 American National Standard specifications for Ceramic Tile categorizes tile into 5 types:
The tile trade also encompasses:
Tile and the craft of tile setting aren’t limited to the types of tiles listed above. Manufacturing technology is constantly evolving, and as new materials come to market, BAC contractors and craftworkers are on the leading edge of training and installation for all tile types.
ANSI and ASTM standards establish the visual, physical, and environmental performance of tile and tile assemblies in the context of design.
The visual attributes of tile include its uniformity of color, shade, and texture, as well as dimensional stability. The physical attributes of tile define how it behaves physically, including its water absorption, durability, and bond strength.
The visual and physical attributes of the material, which are tested and measured to U.S. standards, work in concert to achieve assembly-wide qualities, including health benefits, ease of maintenance, fire and smoke resistance, watertightness, and design versatility. The environmental variables may greatly impact the design of the assembly. When considered together, the visual, physical, and environmental attributes of tile inform the materiality of tile as a finish assembly. This materiality should inform the design professional, specifier, owner, and end users as they make their material selections.
IMI’s free project support, technical assistance, and education is here to help you at any stage in your building’s lifecycle.
Our multidisciplinary team draws on decades of experience developing solutions for high-performing masonry and tile projects.
Have a complex installation? The Advanced Certifications in Tile (ACT) vets installer expertise in key skill areas: gauged porcelain tile, grouts, large format tile and substrate preparation, membranes, mortar/mud floors and walls, and shower receptors. Specify ACT for a successful, high-performing, and beautiful tile installation.
Here are some of the most common codes and standards that you may find helpful to reference when designing with tile. For a complete list, and for guidance on how to use these codes and standards, contact IMI.
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