New York Office - Italian Ceramic Tile Center
33 East 67th Street, New York, NY 10065

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the difference between monocottura and bicottura tile?
2. What is the difference between ceramic and porcelain tile?
3. Can I use floor tile on the wall?
4. My tile has an arrow on the back. Is this a guide for installation?
5. What do I look for when buying ceramic tiles?
6. If I have a problem with my tile (defective) what should I do?
7. What is P.E.I.?
8. What is co-efficient of friction?


1. What is the difference between monocottura and bicottura tile?back to top

Monocottura is a popular Italian term given to single-fired tiles, one of the most common types of tiles. ex. glazed single fired tiles (this technique consists of single firing both glaze and body at the same time.  Bicottura is another Italian term given to tiles with special glazes and designs that require two firings. The latter is generally limited to wall tiles.

2. What is the difference between ceramic and porcelain tile?back to top

Ceramic Tile is a generic name for ceramic surfacing units that are relatively thin in relation to facial area; made from clay or a mixture of clay, and other ceramic material. Like all ceramic materials, tiles are hard, strong, hygienic, easy to clean, not combustible and fire resistant.

Porcelain is a type of ceramic tile having specific properties. ANSI A137.1 American National Standard Specifications for Ceramic Tile defines porcelain tiles as being dense, smooth and impervious- with water absorption of .5 percent or less.

3. Can I use floor tile on the wall?back to top

Yes, but wall tile is never recommended for floor use.

4. My tile has an arrow on the back. Is this a guide for installation?back to top

No. This is a guide for loading the molds into the kilns (ceramic firing oven).

5. What do I look for when buying ceramic tiles?back to top

For a manufacturer to sell their products in a competitive world they should have test results to confirm their products quality. All product details must be set out in the order (manufacturer, catalog listing, format) together with the tile class and other features that have been specified. Class: Top quality is defined by the standards. Concerning visual blemishes, no more than 5 tiles per hundred may display such blemishes. Other classes (second class, third class, top commercial quality, kiln output, etc.) are of lower quality and may contain a greater number of defects. These lower quality tiles obviously cost less than the Top Quality tiles. Choice Class Definitions may, however, vary from one manufacturer to another.

IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER:
If you are buying tiles of a quality that is inferior to Top Quality, you should therefore ask the manufacturer, via the dealer, to explain what he means by a given class.

6. If I have a problem with my tile (defective) what should I do? back to top

Our advise is that you should contact your supplier or if you are in the United States, the Tile Council of America is available to do comprehensive product testing through its Product Testings Services program.Click here to go to their website. Tile Council is a corporate member of
ANSI (The American National Standards Insitute), and is an associate member
of CERLABS (The European Network of Ceramic Laboratories).

7. What is P.E.I.?back to top

Porcelain Enamel Institute is responsible for research, testing, and analysis of ceramic materials distributed in the United States.

8. What is co-efficient of friction? back to top

The co-efficient of friction (slip-resistance) is an important consideration when selecting ceramic tiles for use on floors and high traffic areas. With the legislation for the Americans with Disabilities Act, certain walking surfaces are now required to have higher than normal slip-resistant characteristics. Unglazed tiles have a coefficient of friction meeting or exceeding these requirements. Many glazed tiles also meet or exceed these requirements. Ceramic tile manufacturers make available current test results detailing the coefficient of friction of their products so architects, designers and owners can make knowledgeable selections of ceramic tile for use on walking surfaces.

If you have any questions that are not answered here, please refer to our technical publications by clicking here or contact us for more information.