Certifying Porcelain Tile
May 2nd, 2008

May-June 2008

Now it is possible to have the real porcelain tile stand up!

The Porcelain Tile Certification Agency (PTCA) has officially begun accepting applications and testing to certify porcelain tile. In the past, sorting out genuine porcelain tile from other ceramic tiles in the marketplace has been impossible without actually submitting the tiles for testing. As a result, marketplace confusion, installation problems and even liability concerns have been the norm when non-porcelain tile is misrepresented in the marketplace. “Porcelain ceramic tile” is specifically defined as ceramic tile having a water absorption of 0.5% or less, when tested in accordance with ASTM C373.

Porcelain ceramic tile offers specific wear characteristics. For example, porcelain’s dense, impervious body is sometimes necessary to meet the environmental and wear demands of the installation. Also, because of its low water absorption characteristics, porcelain tile is considered “frost-proof” and can be used in external applications in cold environments.

When non-porcelain tile is misrepresented, or if there is simply no proof that a tile meets the ANSI definition of porcelain, the wrong tile may be installed for the specifications. This often results in costly tile failures that are both time-consuming and expensive to repair. In a move to correct this situation, the Porcelain Tile Certification Agency (PTCA) offers manufacturers and importers/distributors the opportunity to certify that their product meets the standard for porcelain. And end users who purchase porcelain tile have the knowledge that the product will meet the required specifications.

How Certification Works
Manufacturers and distributors may apply for Porcelain Ceramic Tile Certification by submitting samples of each tile series to be tested to determine compliance with the standard. Manufacturers seeking certification pay the costs of testing as well as initial and annual certification fees. Recertification of tile at least every three years is required. Manufacturers may then use the PTCA certification mark on their product packaging, marketing materials, and more as confirmation of that standard compliance.

A number of major tile manufacturers have already submitted products for porcelain certification.

The Porcelain Tile Certification Agency (PTCA) was established jointly by the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA), representing distributors, and the Tile Council of North America (TCNA), representing manufacturers. PTCA is a result of their belief that misunderstandings on the definition of porcelain ceramic tile and mislabeled products result in complex and often costly problems. They have agreed that a product certification program for porcelain tile will help mitigate these problems.

For more information, contact PTCA at (630) 942-6588.

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