Lead in Tiles: The Results of Professional Lead Testing of 64 Tiles



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  • Digital download
  • Digital file type(s): 1 PDF

This digital e-book outlines the results from a study of lead in 64 porcelain and ceramic tiles, across 14 brands, and 5 major retailers in the US. Many of the tiles will be available in Canada as well.

The tiles can be purchased from Flooring Inc, Stone Tile Depot, Build Direct, The Tile Shop, and Home Depot.

The 64 tiles were tested by a hand-held XRF analyzer and the lead results are reported down to 0.00 mg/cm2 alongside photos of the tiles.

12.5 % of the tiles contained 0.09 mg/cm2 or more lead, 3% contained 0.1 mg/cm2 or higher which is the level of lead in paint for it to be considered lead-containing paint.

While lead in tiles is not considered a risk when the tiles are in place (in almost all circumstances), the dust produced when cutting or demolishing the tiles could produce a lead risk.

While there are no official guidelines for lead in tiles, I break down the tiles into three categories and show the results for each tile:

1. Lead containing tiles (as defined by the limits outlined for paint)
2. Tiles that are, in my opinion, in the middle between trace and the limit outlined for paint
3. Tiles that tested 0.00 or contain what is, in my opinion, trace levels of lead

(Please note that legally there is no official limit on what is considered "trace". I divided them up based on a number that is legally and officially arbitrary and is only based on my opinion).

While this e-book is for informational purposes only, you may choose to take any actions you wish based on the lead testing results. Some may up their level of dust remediation based on the expected level of lead in the tile. Others may still choose to take full precautions with the dust regardless of which tile they choose. Some may choose to support the companies that tested well.

This book also points to a couple of brands that seem to be reliable in their efforts to reduce lead glaze in tiles. The tiles that test positive also have a pattern.

The e-booklet is in a downloadable PDF format and is 24 pages long.

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Corinne Segura

Corinne Segura

Owner of MyChemicalFreeHouse

Message Corinne

8 shop reviews

4 out of 5 stars

Crystal Clinger 19 May, 2020

5 out of 5 stars

So helpful! We are looking to rent a new place and I am sensitive to mold. Thanks so much!

Purchased item:

Angela Ngo 27 Jul, 2020

5 out of 5 stars

Very helpful and up-to-date information! The suggestions and reviews of the products were instrumental in helping me find nontoxic options for my home.

Purchased item:

Sarah McNanney 24 Oct, 2021

5 out of 5 stars

For someone whose life is complicated by sensitivities to their environment, this is a must have book.

Purchased item:

David 15 Mar, 2021

1 out of 5 stars

The piece is very good but all of the brands are out of date. Home Depot didn’t have most of the products listed. I don’t mind paying for good information but out of date information was a waste of my time and money. Update this piece and it’s 5 stars!

Response from Corinne Segura

Only the "solid wood prefinished" was becoming hard to keep up to date. This type of flooring is the same anywhere, so I have removed brands. I found that listing brands leads people to start backwards trying to track down brands instead of looking for options close to them that are available and in their style. The pandemic has also caused major shortages among big brands. I have updated and added more examples of specific brands in the other categories where it makes more sense (it doesn't make sense in prefinished solid wood). Please keep in mind links to online stores change constantly, you likely want to buy more locally.

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