Tile Certification Categories


Porcelain Certification Program

In November 2007, the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA) and the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) launched the Porcelain Tile Certification Agency (PTCA) to certify porcelain tile.

Porcelain tile is defined as an impervious tile with a water absorption of 0.5% or less as measured by the ASTM C373 test method. There are, however, many instances in which tile not meeting this standard is advertised and sold as porcelain tile. Marketplace confusion, installation problems and even liability concerns can result when non-porcelain tile is misrepresented in the marketplace.

Under the PTCA certification program, manufacturers who want to prove that their tile is porcelain – meeting the 0.5% water absorption criteria – can have their product tested to determine compliance with that requirement. They may then use the PTCA certification mark on their product packaging, marketing materials, etc., as confirmation of that compliance.

The program is designed to benefit manufacturers, distributors and end users who are all impacted by the misrepresentation of non-porcelain tile. Marketplace confusion currently exists over what is and is not porcelain. Porcelain certification will verify that the samples tested all met the water absorption criteria.

The Certification Process
Manufacturers may apply for certification by submitting samples of the lightest color in each series for qualifying tests and by paying for the testing as well as the initial and annual certification and participation fees.

The PTCA will conduct the porcelain certification program, educate the public on the benefits of porcelain certification, conduct research activities, and assist in the development of tests or test methods for porcelain tile.

For more information, please read the PTCA brochure (PDF).





UL Environment’s GREENGUARD Certification program helps manufacturers create–and helps buyers identify and trust–interior products and materials that have low chemical emissions, improving the quality of the air in which the products are used. All certified products must meet stringent emissions standards based on established chemical exposure criteria.

UL Environment, a business unit of UL (Underwriters Laboratories), acquired GREENGUARD in 2011, further advancing its mission of promoting global sustainability, environmental health, and safety. GREENGUARD Certification is broadly recognized and accepted by sustainable building programs and building codes around the world. Additionally, the GREENGUARD Product Guide serves as a free online tool for finding certified low-emitting products for offices, hospitals, schools, homes, and more.

For more information, please visit: http://greenguard.org/




ADA Certification

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted in July of 1990, provides civil rights protections to people with disabilities. Not only does it protect those individuals from being discriminated against in terms of employment but it also addresses design to ensure that they are not physically impeded from access to areas that able-bodied people routinely enjoy. Structures that need to be ADA compliant are places of public accommodation and commercial facilities in the private sector, as well as all federal, state, and local government facilities. The Act applies to structures that are built new or altered.

The Act has greatly impacted design and choice of materials in the past 15 years. In drafting the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG), accessibility at places as varied as fishing piers and amusement parks is outlined and the structure of things ranging from automated teller machines to floor and ground surfaces is also addressed.