Ceramic Tiled Walls

Q: We have an old shower room that our administration wants to use for a maintenance workshop. In this room they will be storing paint and supplies. The walls and floors are lined with ceramic tiles. I read where ceramic tile has a fire-resistant rating. Would these ceramic tiled walls and floor comply with the requirement to have a fire-rated room for the maintenance workshop?

A: No. The Life Safety Code requires a new maintenance shop that stores paint to have 1-hour fire-rated walls, with doors that are ¾-hour fire rated, self-closing and positively latching. While ceramic tile may have some sort of fire resistance value, the actual walls and floors must comply with an approved assembly that is listed by an independent testing laboratory. The fact that the walls and floors are covered with ceramic tile does not meet this requirement. If you are unsure if your walls meet the 1-hour fire rating, I suggest you consult with a design professional to make sure.