A Complete Guide for Tile Shopping

A Complete Guide for Tile Shopping

A Complete Guide for Tile Shopping

The majority of people consider only the color, shape and size of tiles while buying them for kitchen or bathroom remodeling in Los Angeles but there are lots of other things you must consider. Color and shape are the most obvious traits of a tile and manufacturers mention other properties as well on the box. However, these things are mentioned in codes so you need to know what they are to understand the actual meaning.

Of course the better you understand the tiles and their properties, the better you can manage your project and save money. Let’s see what these codes say and how understanding these can help you in decision making.


Every ceramic and porcelain tile comes with mentioned grade; the grading depicts its rigidness and quality. Usually there are one to three grades where the grade one is considered the highest quality in that tile. Grade two is slightly less rigid and of less quality. Usually these two grades are used for floor tiling because of their stability and their ability to carry the weight. Grade three tiles are considered of least quality and they are not suitable for floor tiling as they can’t carry the weight.

You can use grade one and two tiles on walls too (although it would be more expensive considering the higher price of high quality tiles) but it is not recommended to use grade three tiles for flooring.


In Los Angeles, glazed tiles have five ratings and unglazed tiles have four ratings. These are friction rating, frost, tone, water resistance and wear rating. On ceramic and porcelain tile boxes, you would see all of these ratings. Let’s see what these ratings mean and why it is important for you to understand to buy the best tiles for the application.

Wear Resistance

Wear rating is something that is exclusively associated with glazed tiles. Unglazed tiles are not rated with this; wear rating is also known as PEI (Porcelain and Enamel Institute) that simply denotes the tile’s ability to withstand scratches and wears. This rating is used to decide whether the tile would be a good fit for the floor based on the lifestyle, traffic and other factors that may vary from buyer to buyer. There are five ratings which are called PEI I to PEI V.

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PEI I and PEI II are for show-only and they cannot be used as floor tiles because they cannot bear people walking on them. These tiles are highly abrasive and only suitable for walls. PEI III rating ceramic tiles are recommended for residential use because they are wear resistant and cost efficient. PEI IV tiles are for high standard residential applications and some small commercial projects.

PEI V rating tiles are highly wear resistant and only suitable for high standard corporate application with lots of traffic. There is no need to use PEI V and even PEI IV in some residential projects because they are expensive.

Water Resistance

Water resistance is an important property of a tile and it should be considered while choosing tile for an outdoor or wet area. Water resistance is usually denoted as water absorption rate or simple WA rating. These categories have names and the percentage of water absorption. There are mainly four categories which are non-vitreous, semi-vitreous, vitreous and impervious. These categories have more than 7%, 3-7%, 0.5-3% and less than 0.5% water absorption rate respectively.

Non-vitreous tiles that absorb more than 7% water are not suitable for wet areas, semi-vitreous tiles could be used indoor in dry areas, and vitreous tiles could be used outdoor and wet areas while impervious tiles are suitable for highly moist areas which are in direct contact with water. Interestingly, porcelain tiles which are also impervious come with a higher price tag but you can use ceramic tiles with the same properties at a much lower cost.

Friction Rating

Friction rating is important in almost every application however it might be a deciding factor in application like bathroom floors and commercial areas which have to meet Americans with Disabilities Act. Friction is measures in Coefficient of Friction which is also known as COF. It is calculated by considering the weight of an object and the force required to slide that object on a surface.

Higher COF means the tile provides high slip resistance and lower COF means the floor would be smoother and more slippery. Usually 0.50 and above COF is recommended for residential applications while 0.60 and above COF is recommended for commercial applications to comply with the Act mentioned above. Carefully consider the COF rating of tiles while selecting them for specific applications like bathroom floors.

Frost Rating

Unlike other factors mentioned here, frost rating is a simple Yes/No rating where Yes refers to the abilities of a tile that can bear freezing temperature in outdoor applications while a No means the tile should be used indoor. This rating only matters in outdoor applications in cold areas otherwise you don’t have to consider it at all.

Tone Rating

The tone rating refers to the deliberate variation of tile tone to make it appear like a natural stone tile. Tiles with solid and consistent colors do not have tone rating.

How to Select the Right Tile Size?

Many people wonder about the right tile size and interestingly, there is no universal formula to calculate the tile size as it depends on the application and what you like. All types of tiles are available in different sizes and you can even get custom size at a slightly higher price. Usually the recommended size for wall tiles is 10cm to 60cm and for floor tiles is 30cm to 60cm. interior designers suggest using tile with appropriate size as compared to the application area. For example, 60cm tiles could look good in a bigger bathroom but they won’t look good on a smaller bathroom.

Why People Want to Renovate Their Homes and How Much They Usually Spend

Why People Want to Renovate Their Homes and How Much They Usually Spend

Why People Want to Renovate Their Homes and How Much They Usually Spend

People in Los Angeles renovate their homes for a number of reasons and interestingly how much they spend vary drastically. So there is no easy way to answer the questions like, how much kitchen remodeling in Los Angeles costs?or how much bathroom renovation in Los Angeles costs? However, based on a recent study conducted in USA, some valuable data has been collected from around two thousand people that tell us why people want to renovate their homes, bathrooms and kitchens.

This data can also help us make a realistic estimate of the overall expenses. Let’s dig a little deeper.

How Much People Spend On Bathroom Remodeling?

Based on results of the study, people spend from less than $2,500 to more than $75,000 on bathroom remodeling. These numbers vary significantly because some people only install new floor, wall tiles and other things while some people renovate from their bathrooms from scratch. Interestingly, more than 76% of the people spent $5,000 to $50,000 on bathroom remodeling.

  • Around 5% of the people spent less than $2,500.
  • More than 10% of the people spent $2,500 to $5,000 on bathroom remodeling.
  • Around 23% of the people spent $5,000 to $10,000 on the project.
  • 34% of the people spent $10,000 to $25,000 on bathroom renovation.

Although these numbers give a basic idea of the bathroom remodeling cost yet the study wasn’t exclusive with Los Angeles so you might see a little different in the actual cost based on the material and labor cost in your geographical area.

Why Homeowners Decide to Renovate Their Bathrooms?

The study also concluded the major reasons why homeowners decide to remodel their bathroom. However, these numbers are overlapping as most of the people had two or more reasons to do so. Around 45% of the people said that they can’t stand the old bathroom and that’s why they are doing a total renovation. 38% of the people said that theywanted to do that for a long time and finally now their financial situation allows them to do so.
Interestingly, around 20% of the people were doing bathroom remodeling because they just bought the house and they want to make it new. Why this part is interesting? Because 10% of the people said that they are renovating the bathroom as they are selling the house and they want to increase its value.

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What Are the Main Things People Upgrade in Bathrooms?

94% of the people wanted to improve their bathroom space by fixing plumbing issues and that’s the most common reason. But unless it is a complete plumbing job, it is considered a small task as compared to the idea of bathroom remodeling itself. On the other hand, more than 90% of the people wanted new wall tiles or wall paint.
More than 90% of the people wanted new tile floor, 90% of the people wanted countertops, 89% of the people wanted to install sink or upgrade it. It is pretty clear that tiling is the major reason why people remodel their bathrooms.

How Home Renovation Can Improve Your Lifestyle?

Home renovation (especially bathroom and kitchen remodeling) is not something we do every day. However, this investment can pay off in multiple folds in many ways. Some of those ways are pretty obvious, like improving the value of the house before selling while some simply improve the overall lifestyle of the residents. Let’s see how home renovation can improve your lifestyle.

Efficient Use of Space

Sometimes, especially when you buy a new house, you find that many of the things are not built efficiently and they are not compatible with your lifestyle. For example, some of the space is being wasted and by improving the use of space, you can improve the overall look and functionality.

Safety and Comfort

These renovations are mostly related to installing/fixing windows and other similar interfaces and windows get the most damage from weather conditions like freezing cold temperature and rain etc. Based on your geographical location and weather conditions, you might want to renovate the house to increase the level of comfort and the sense of safety.

Proper Maintenance

Regardless of how carefully you build everything, houses are not built to last forever and they need proper maintenance every now and then. Different parts of the house wear and tear at different speed; high quality bathroom tiles or kitchen floors can last for 15 years (if you maintain them properly), windows and doors can last many seasons but eventually you need to pay attention to things.


If you recall, 45% of the people said that they renovated their house because they can’t stand the old one anymore. Sometimes this happens when people get frustrated by the design itself but most of the times it is related to functionality. If a kitchen or bathroom is not built according to your preferences and needs, chances are you won’t like it using and eventually you would want to do bathroom remodeling.

Improving the Value of House

Almost 10% people renovated their house before selling it and this phenomenon is getting more and more popularity everywhere, especially in Los Angeles as people are realizing that the investment on home renovation is a smart investment that always pays off. In case improving your house value is your purpose behind kitchen or bathroom remodeling, you need to spend money strategically on things that matter the most – like tile installation.

Energy Efficiency

If you live in a low or high temperature climate, then you need to thing about energy efficiency too as by making some smart renovations, you can save a significant amount of money on utility bills every month. For example, installing new windows or installing tiles that are suitable with the climate, you can reduce the power consumption of ceiling fans and AC units.