Beyond the Surface: Understanding the Robinson Test for Tile Durability
Frederick M Hueston StoneForensicsc.om
If you’ve ever embarked on the journey of picking out ceramic tiles, you know it’s not just about choosing the prettiest pattern or the color that perfectly matches your curtains. There’s a whole world behind those glossy (or matte) surfaces that ensures your chosen tiles not only look good but also last. Enter the Robinson test, a lesser-known but crucial player in the tile selection process. So, grab your coffee, and let’s talk about what this test is and why it should matter to you.
The Robinson test, named after the Robinson Floor Test method, is like the unsung hero of tile durability testing. While the PEI rating talks about how well a tile can resist wear from foot traffic, the Robinson test takes it a step further. It assesses a tile’s overall durability and its ability to stand up against a variety of stresses. This means looking at how well the tile can handle things like impacts, scratches, and even the weight of heavy furniture.
Think of it as putting tiles through a boot camp. The test involves placing a tile in a machine that simulates real-life conditions—everything from high heels clicking across the surface to a heavy sofa being dragged over it. It’s pretty rigorous, aiming to mimic years of use in a relatively short amount of time. The outcome? A rating that helps you understand how well a tile will perform in different settings.
Now, why should you care about the Robinson test when picking tiles? Imagine you’re renovating your kitchen. This space is a heavy-duty area where dropped pots, spilled liquids, and constant foot traffic are part of daily life. A tile that’s passed the Robinson test with flying colors means it’s more likely to withstand this kind of action without showing signs of distress too quickly.
Or, let’s say you’re eyeing some gorgeous tiles for your bathroom floor. Bathrooms, while not subjected to the same kind of heavy furniture movement, still need tiles that can handle moisture and the occasional dropped shampoo bottle. The Robinson test ensures that your chosen tiles won’t just survive but thrive under these conditions.
The beauty of the Robinson test is that it doesn’t box you into choosing tiles solely based on where they’ll be placed (e.g., floor vs. wall). Instead, it gives you the flexibility to focus on the tile’s performance under stress, allowing for more creative freedom in your design choices without sacrificing durability.
In a nutshell, while the PEI rating gives you a good starting point for choosing tiles based on foot traffic, the Robinson test rounds out the picture by considering other real-world challenges your tiles will face. So, the next time you’re tile shopping, don’t hesitate to ask about the Robinson test results. It’s a simple step that can give you peace of mind, knowing your beautiful tiles are as tough as they are attractive.
So, cheers to making informed choices that ensure your tiles aren’t just a pretty face but also have the strength to back up their beauty!