A tile’s ability to withstand wear is determined by many factors, i.e. glaze composition, surface texture, traffic levels, maintenance procedures, etc. Ragno’s standard limited warranty addresses the issue of a tile’s conformance to industry standards regulating First Choice products. Any variation from those standards would be evident within a one-year period.

You can bet that the tile in those ancient installations looks much different now than it did when it was installed. More than likely, the edges are chipped; the surface is scratched and worn (in many cases through to the body); there are impact chips and structural cracks - all of which may seem acceptable in an historic site but less so on your kitchen floor!

This  situation is generally the result of receiving two different shades (dye lots) of tile that were produced at different times, possibly fired in different kilns, with slightly different glaze components. Many natural components are used to produce both the body and glaze of Ragno products.

Each time raw materials for a glaze are obtained from a supplier, each time the components of the tile body are mixed, each time a tile is pressed and fired slight variations may result. Generally, this presents no problem because a customer receives the same shade (dye lot) for each purchase; however, in an installation that evolves over a period of time, it may not be possible to obtain the same shade as originally installed. In such an instance, be sure to request the original shade (dye lot). If not available, request a sample of current shades for comparison before purchase or installation.

Firing temperatures for ceramic tile products in general are 1800° F. Ragno products are fired at temperatures greater than 2001° F.

There is no relevant test that relates ASTM E84.75, i.e. Steiner Tunnel Test, to measurement of performance of ceramic products for combustion, flame spread or toxicity. Maximum temperatures for conducting this test range only from 1202° F to 1562° F. It was developed to evaluate softer construction materials ranging from carpet to lumber because these products to ignite and may release deadly chemicals when burning. The fact that ceramic products actually originate at much higher temperatures renders such a test in the 1472° F range useless.

Tests conducted within the industry have shown bathrooms with tile tub surrounds that are left standing after the entire room has been burned.

More economical than natural stones like marble, granite, slate, hardwood, and solid surfacing, porcelain tile can capture the look of these products without the maintenance headaches.  Porcelain doesn’t require sealing, stripping or waxing; it doesn’t flake or stain; it requires no special cleaning agents (generally only hot water and a pH-neutral cleaner are necessary unless it is installed in a heavily-trafficked, commercial environment).  

While the initial cost for other flooring products such as laminate or vinyl may be lower, the lifecycle costs are significantly higher because the laminate or vinyl will not wear as well and will require more frequent replacement.