4 Ceramic Tile Hardness Groupings

Clay based ceramic tiles are common these days, and for good reason. Thanks to major technological advances over the past couple hundred years it has only become easier and easier to mass produce these tiles. And because of this you can find ceramic tiles populating many rooms in your home as well as subway walls!  

In your home, ceramic Carreaux Metro tiles are commonly found in the kitchen and the bathroom, but you might find them in other places too.  You might also find them lining a basement floor or in the laundry room. Ceramic tiles are most widely used in counter tops, wall decorations, and flooring.   They are available in a wide variety of sizes and colors and can be interchangeable or work together to give you lots of design options.

All ceramic tiles feel hard to the touch but they actually come in a few different hardness classifications.  In fact, tiles are produced to meet very specific needs. That means if you look close enough you can actually see they have different thicknesses but they might also have different chemical compositions based on which materials might have been used in the forging process.  Speaking of the forging process, different tile groups can be forged at different temperatures in order to achieve different characters.


The first group, of course, is the “weakest”.  You want to use group 1 tiles for areas with very light foot traffic.  These might best suit, for example, a residential bathroom, particularly since ceramic tiles are easy to install and cut to fit the smaller spaces traditionally characteristic of a bathroom.


The second group, of course, would allow for a little more foot traffic.  These tiles are designed for interiors where you might find a little more abrasion (but still not too much). Obviously you could install these tiles in a bathroom but a laundry room might be good too.


The third group, basically, is your all-purpose ceramic tile.  You would install these in any room with moderate traffic. That means a group three tile would be fine in a kitchen or bathroom, laundry or mud room.


The fourth group is reserved for spaces that have pretty heavy and steady traffic.  Generally you would use these more in a commercial setting than residential; though an entry way might require group four tile.