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Porcelain tiles are generally made by pressing porcelain clays and baking at a higher temperature in the kiln than for most ceramics.  The tile is dense, impervious, fine grained, and smooth with a sharply formed face.  The color may run consistent through the body of the tile (full-body) to minimize the appearance of chipping.  
Glazed porcelain tiles are much harder and have more wear- and damage-resistance than ceramic tiles, making them suitable for any residential and light commercial application.  Glazing also results in a Porcelain tile usually having a much lower water absorption rate than ceramic tiles, making them more frost resistant though not frost proof. 
The benefits of Porcelain tile include greater wear-resistance due to the hardness and full-body color.  Porcelain tiles may take on the appearance of natural slate and other types of stone.  The durability rating usually starts at 5, which makes them the hardest wearing tiles on the market

Class 0    Generally not recommended for use on floors
Class 1   Light traffic, for residential bathroom floors
Class II   Medium-Light Traffic, residential interiors with the exceptions of kitchens, stairs, landings and areas near  external entries
Class III   Medium-Heavy Traffic, all residential applications.  Commercial applications which are similar in traffic to residential    applications.  Specifically excepted are areas of prevalent circulation or turning points
Class IV   Heavy Traffic, all residential and most commercial applications such as the public areas of exhibition halls, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, shops and schools.
Class IV+   Extra Heavy Traffic, all residential and commercial applications similar to Class IV where extra durability may be required.

Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) Ceramic and Porcelain Tile Wear Ratings, the current rating system for ceramic tile, is the only reliable gauge for consumers to use in determining wear expectations for a particular tile application.  PEI has developed a rating scale that can effectively guide any consumer through the process of choosing the right tile for their particular application.  This rating system is shown below and recommended by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM C-1028-89).

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