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Commercial Tile vs. Residential Tile

Tile For A Lifetime

Whether you’re remodeling your home or upgrading a commercial space, tile experts know that you want flooring and walls that are durable and long-lasting. At Westside Tile And Stone, we live by the words “For the love of tile” because tile is our passion and area of expertise. Besides an array of options when it comes to styles and designs, there’s a lot more behind tile specifications such as material, hardness, and slip resistance.
Learn the difference between commercial and residential tile–depending on the foot traffic of your living spaces, you might want to consider installing commercial-grade tile floors (and walls). Learn what exactly Commercial Tile is.


Commercial Tile Vs. Residential Tile Tips

The main differences between residential and commercial-grade tile is that the latter requires thicker material to withstand heavier foot traffic as well as have a higher slip resistance rating to prevent any risk of injury and/or liability. When upgrading your public commercial space or private residence, keep the following in mind when choosing tile for your new and improved flooring:

Commercial Spaces:

  • Public areas like hospitals, kitchens, and etc. ought to use tile with a SCOF or DCOF rating of at least 0.80.
  • Places that are exposed to water by means of pools or fountains should not install polished or glazed tile flooring unless the tile material has an SCOF or DCOF rating of 0.60 or higher.
  • For floor surfaces at an incline or decline, tiles should have a SCOF or DCOF rating of 0.80 or higher.

Residential Homes:

  • For kitchens, in particular, avoid installing glazed tiles in places where they risk exposure to water, oil, or grease–unless the SCOF or DCOF rating of the tile is higher than 0.60
  • Using cleaning products that aren’t recommended by your tile provider or following improper care methods can cause your tile flooring or walls to become slippery or damaged.
  • Like commercial areas, tile suppliers recommend that any floor surfaces in your home with an incline or decline should use tile with a SCOF or DCOF rating greater than 0.60.
Read this related article to know more: Ceramic vs Porcelain Tile for Commercial Grade Flooring

Choose Your Tile Type

As you can imagine, the type of material you choose for your tile will be a major deciding factor for its durability and overall function. We’ve listed some of the most popular types of tiles for both residential homes and commercial spaces.


Primarily made from clay, ceramic tile is formed using a variety of methods, and alongside the natural stone, is one of the largest categories of tile material.

Non-Porcelain + Porcelain:

Made from white, red, or brown clay and minerals, traditional ceramic tile is non-porcelain. On the other hand, porcelain tile incorporates the same clay and minerals but is also fifty percent feldspar, which is a white crystal that makes ceramic more glass-like. Either non-porcelain or porcelain can be glazed, adding extra protection to your tiles when it comes to stain and scratch resistance, traction, and less water absorption. However, between the two, non-porcelain is the more economical tile choice because it offers natural stain resistance and better durability.


Formed from lava or magma that has solidified, granite is a very dense type of rock that is crystallized by the presence of minerals. Because of its solidity and beauty, granite is a popular choice for tile in kitchens or other high-traffic spaces.


A type of metamorphic rock, marble has been exposed to heat and pressure, making it more porous and less durable than granite. Marble is not recommended for tile flooring in kitchen areas unless it is regularly sealed and honed by the homeowner.


Offering a more natural, earthy appearance, granite is a type of sedimentary rock that is less dense than both granite and marble. Because of this, granite is more susceptible to scratches and stains, making it less suitable for kitchen flooring and spaces with high foot traffic.


Combining crystallized minerals with earthy tones, travertine is a type of limestone that’s soft and porous. While including natural divots, this type of tile requires a lot of maintenance and upkeep and is not recommended for kitchen flooring.


Mostly offering darker natural tones, slate is a type of metamorphic rock that is very dense and durable, making it perfect for kitchens and commercial spaces that experience a larger amount of foot traffic.

Technical Specs To Keep In Mind

In addition to choosing the right type of material for your commercial or residential tile, there are additional specifications and classifications to think about when it comes to the durability and safety of your flooring.

PEI Ratings

Standardized by the Porcelain Enamel Institute, PEI Ratings classify tile on a scale of one to five for its overall hardness and density. Let’s have a closer look at each rating!

  • PEI 1: A fragile yet beautiful class of tile that’s exclusively suited for walls.
  • PEI 2: Tiles with this rating can handle light foot traffic yet are not recommended for kitchens, walkways, or entryways.
  • PEI 3: A standard tile rating perfect for either residential or light commercial use in places like offices, reception areas, interior walls, or hallways.
  • PEI 4: A more durable tile option that lends itself well to both outdoor and indoor use in spaces like schools, homes, businesses, and etc.
  • PEI 5: The most durable tile rating that can withstand heavy foot traffic and industrial use.

Slip Resistance

Additionally, tiles are given a metric according to how slip-resistant they are. There are two major methods for determining how slip-resistant tile material is. Though similar, you should be aware of both when in the market for commercial or residential tiles.

Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF):

As the oldest method of measuring slip resistance, this rating is less accurate since it measures the slip resistance of tile when standing still, or static.

Dynamic Coefficient Of Friction (DCOF):

A newer method for measuring slip resistance, this metric and rating is highly recognized as the most accurate within the world of tile. With DCOF, slip resistance is measured in a way that incorporates the average human stride. This is especially helpful and crucial for choosing tiles in wet areas, such as pools.

Westside Tile & Stone, Your Tried & True Tile Supplier

Do you have additional questions about the main differences between commercial and residential tile? At Westside Tile And Stone, we’ll help you choose the best performing and longest lasting tile for either your home or commercial space. We believe tile design should fuse the ultimate beauty and function effortlessly. Contact our team today to get started on your tile adventure! (818) 704-9222

Canoga Park
Beverly Hills