Yes, porcelain tile can be installed outdoors. Because porcelain tile has a water absorption rate of less than .5%, it is impervious to water. This means that tile installed outdoors won’t be affected by moisture – including rain, snow and subsequent freeze/thaw cycles. To ensure the selected tile is safe to walk on in an outdoor location, it’s important to review the dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) rating, which measures the slip resistance of a tile. It’s also important to follow recommended outdoor setting methods to ensure tile is installed accurately and lasts for years to come.
Looking for a little extra support? Here are answers to commonly raised questions about our tiles and decors. If you don’t see what’s on your mind, reach out to us via phone, chat or email.
Yes, thanks to its water absorption rate of less than .5%, porcelain tiles are a perfectly acceptable material for showers and other wet areas. Before installing porcelain tiles on shower floors, we recommend checking the DCOF rating, which should be classified as “≥0.42 wet,” to meet the required slip resistance ratings of ANSI standards.
There is no “one size fits all” recommendation for tiles in wet areas, as tile size is best determined by desired aesthetic, environment (subfloors, shower pan, etc.) and skills and/or methods required to successfully install the tile. As some porcelain slabs or panels are not designed to be used as flooring material, it’s important to always check a products’ DCOF rating in a particular size to understand if its slip resistance is suitable for shower floors.
Yes, if properly grouted to reduce moisture absorption, white-body ceramic tiles are well-suited for shower walls.
As a general rule of thumb, Atlas Concorde USA recommends 1/8-inch grout size for non-rectified tiles and 1/16-inch grout size for rectified tiles. We always recommend checking with select manufacturers about particular product specifications.
While grout type will depend on installation methods, we generally recommend unsanded grout for a more refined result.
Atlas Concorde USA typically recommends matching the grout color with the primary color of the selected tile and can recommend a grout color for each of our tile collections. For particular design aesthetics, using either lighter or darker grouts that contrast with the selected tile can make patterns stand out.
After production, rectified tiles go through a process that “trims” the edges of the tiles to make perfect 90-degree angles on all four corners. Thanks to this process, tiles will always be the same exact size and can be installed with thinner grout joints. Non-rectified or “pressed” tiles are not trimmed after the manufacturing process. Unlike rectified tiles, they remain the same size after production. This adds more variation to each tile edge and requires slightly larger grout joints.
While there are several factors to consider when choosing between a rectified or non-rectified tile, the most important thing to take into consideration is the total surface area being tiled. It’s beneficial to use rectified tiles for projects with larger surface areas because the “trimmed” edges of rectified tiles allow for tighter, straighter grout joints. In other words, a more refined aesthetic.
Look for non-rectified tiles that are “calibrated” by the manufacturer to understand the tile’s dimensional consistency. If a tile is “calibrated,” it means there is a tighter standard on the variation of tile sizes. Tiles in the same box will have the same caliber and minimal variation of size. Using the same caliber tile for the same project or room is highly recommended. Atlas Concorde USA calibrates its non-rectified tiles, which allows for 1/8-inch grout joints. Most manufacturers do not calibrate rectified tiles, and these tiles often require 3/8-inch grout joints.
Shade variation is a measurement that indicates the overall consistency of color, texture and pattern on the surface of a tile in a particular collection. It helps you get an idea of what the tiled surface area will look like after all the individual tiles are installed. For example, V1 tiles have little variation. This means that once tiles are installed, they will appear more monolithic because they look similar to one another. V4 tiles have a high variation in color, texture and shade. When they are installed next to one another on the same surface area, there will be more variety in the overall composition.
Generally speaking, it’s slightly easier to get an idea of what the total tiled surface area will look like from a V1 tile sample. It’s a good idea to preview multiple samples of V4 so it’s easier to visualize the total surface variation of the tile.
A dye lot is a tile manufacturing industry term that refers to the slight color differences between different “batches” of tile. In other words, the same styles of tile can vary slightly in color if they were produced in different dye lots.
Tile samples should be used as references, and they are usually not from the same dye lot as the tile being sold. When purchasing tile, we recommend asking the dealer or distributor if the selected tile was manufactured in the same batch or dye lot.
Atlas Concorde USA does not recommend sealing porcelain tiles because they are impervious to water and designed to resist stains (unlike natural stone or ceramic tiles). Thanks to its moisture-resistive properties, porcelain is easy to clean without being sealed.
Technically speaking, yes. However, thoroughly reviewing the technical specifications of a particular product is highly recommended.
The Tile Council of North America (TCNA) defines a large format tile as any ceramic or natural stone tile with one edge greater than 15-inches and offers specific recommendations for installation methods. According to TCNA, “the most important thing to consider when setting large format tile is that substrate flatness” because it “is paramount to the success of the installation.” Large-format tiles do require an expert to successfully install to ensure they do not crack or shift in application. This is especially important in sub-floor areas, or other areas with slope variation.
Textured tiles typically have a grit or grooves added to increase its DCOF rating (slip resistance). This is to ensure the tiles are safe to walk on in wet areas. While textured tiles do retain dirt more than a “smooth” surfaced tile, they are just as easy to clean with the right product. A deck brush or pressure sprayer are best for cleaning textured tiles; a cloth mop will not be best for cleaning the tile’s grooves.
Because porcelain tiles are impervious to water, they can be considered waterproof. Grout, however, is not always waterproof. When installing tile in a wet area, it’s important to always put a waterproofing membrane down during the installation process. This ensures the structure of the install waterproof so even a minimal amount of moisture absorbed by the grout will not affect the sub-floors. When installed properly, porcelain tile is the most “waterproof” type of flooring, especially compared to other hard flooring applications like hardwood, vinyl and luxury vinyl tile (LVT).
Porcelain is waterproof, fire-resistant, extremely durable, easy to clean, inhospitable to bacteria, VOC free and scratch-, stain- and fade-resistant. Porcelain tile allows design aesthetics to easily continue from interior to exterior.