***Update: This standard has been revised. ANSI A137.1:2019 – American National Standard Specifications For Ceramic Tile is available on the ANSI Webstore.
History of Ceramic Tile
Ceramics date back to antiquity, with clay figurines being contemporary to the cave paintings of Lascaux. Sometime later, ceramics were utilized for pottery. In fact, the origin of the word “ceramic” is the Greek keramos, meaning “of pottery.”
After humanity had grown more sedentary and civilization took hold, ceramic tiles emerged. Today, ceramic tile, much like the material’s purpose thousands of years ago, enhances the attractiveness of buildings and structures. And, for the past thirty years or so, ANSI A137.1 has guided the industry that creates and installs ceramic tile.
Ceramic Tile and ANSI A137.1
Ceramic tile is aesthetically driven, but the placement of these mosaic or simple tiles on walls, ceilings, and floors can conceal visual obstructions that ultimately do improve the R-value of buildings. Ceramics are not inherently water-resistant, even though ceramic tile is often utilized with this quality in mind. In fact, the waterproofness of ceramic tile derives from several treatment processes of the material, particularly glazing or firing. Ceramic tiles are available in an assortment of different types with varying characteristics, including glazed wall, mosaic, quarry, pressed floor, porcelain, and specialty tile.
Adherence to a document like ANSI A137.1:2017 grants trust and reliability for the materials on the market, providing assurance that ceramic tiles will perform as expected. For example, porcelain tile is defined, in accordance with ASTM C373, as ceramic tile that has a water absorption of 0.5% or less. The Certified Porcelain Tile logo placed on the packaging for tile meeting this stipulation is attainable with the help of the ANSI A137.1:2017 standard.
ANSI A137.1 Testing and Guidelines
ANSI A137.1:2017 serves as a reference standard for buyers and specifiers of standard and second grade ceramic tile, decorative tile, and specialty tile. In describing the available sizes and shapes of ceramic tile, as well as their physical properties, the basis for acceptance methods, marking and certification, and definitions, the American National Standard helps to guide producers in maintaining quality control while manufacturing ceramic tile.
Shapes, sizes, and grades of ceramic tiles are the primary categories for classification. Furthermore, ANSI A137.1:2017 sets forth five aesthetic classes—V0 (Very Uniform Appearance), V1 (Uniform Appearance), V2 (Slight Variation), V3 (Moderate Variation), and V4 (Substantial Variation). Several procedures exist for testing ceramic tile in the standard, such as that for establishing water absorption ranges.
ANSI A137.1:2017 – American National Standards Specifications for Ceramic Tile is available on the ANSI Webstore.