How to shop for tile flooring

Tile flooring adds elegance and sophistication to your home, whether for the kitchen, bath, living area, or bedroom. While they are all beautiful, it’s vital to select correct grades and strength levels; the right ceramic tile makes or breaks an installation, affecting appearance, performance, and longevity. When shopping at tile shops in Georgetown & Lexington, be sure to visit us at Kevin's Carpets.

Floor tiles vs. wall tiles

Floor tiles are built to withstand the weight of foot traffic, while wall ceramics are thinner. You will see this on the box as C-1, C-2, or C-3. The C-1 rating is the thickest (¾-inch) and is appropriate for all uses, from heavily foot trafficked floors to walls. C-2 is a little thinner but can still be used on walls, and medium trafficked floors. Grade 3 tiles are the thinnest of all, 1/4-inch thick, and are appropriate for use only on walls.

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Other characteristics of tile


  1. PEI rating refers to a glazed ceramic’s ability to resist abrasions, scratches, and indentations. Created by The Porcelain & Enamel Institute, this is a rating system from 0 to V, with the following standards: PEI 0 is for wall use only, while PEI 11 can be used on low traffic floors, like the bath or walls. PEI Class 111 is used on moderately foot trafficked floors and walls and countertops, and PEI 1V is the heaviest for heavy-duty residential floors and light commercial ones. PEI V is for heavily foot-trafficked commercial floors.
  2. Porosity refers to a tile’s softness and water absorption. "Impermeable" means it is completely waterproof and can also be used outside in any weather. Vitreous can also be used, but only if there are no free-thaw conditions that can crack the tile. Semi-vitreous should only be used only indoors on floors and walls, while non-vitreous refers to soft-bodied and porous ceramics that should be used only for walls.
  3. Coefficient of friction, i.e., COF of grip. Some can be slippery when wet. For residential use, select one with a COF of at least .50, while commercial is .60. You can also increase traction by choosing a design with texture.

Tile experts in Georgetown & Lexington

Be sure to also tell our award-winning staff how you plan to use it so we can guide you to the right tile for your flooring--and give you a free quote. Kevin's Carpets has showrooms in Georgetown & Lexington, KY, convenient to Lexington, KY, Georgetown, KY, Midway, KY, Versailles, KY, Frankfort, KY, Nicholasville, KY, Winchester, KY, Paris, KY, Richmond, KY && Cynthiana, KY. Visit us to see all your tile flooring options.