Are Darker Tiles More Passive Solar Effective?


Are Darker Tiles more Passive Solar Effective? - I consider installing porcelain tile in our family room(which is facing south and gets a lot of sunlight) to take advantage of the passive solar affect. For that purpose, is the passive solar effect increased if the tile is a dark color?

Also, I came across avaire interlocking floating porcelain floors. Do you have any information on the quality, passive solar capacity? It seems it would leave a lot of flexiblity of we want to sell our house in the future and new owners would not like the floor. Thank you for your time.


ANSWER - Ceramic (porcelain) tile or stone tile are passive solar effective to the extent of its mass.  The thicker the tile the more mass.  The more mass the more heat/cold stored, the more effective it will be.  The darker the color of the tile the more heat it will absorb faster versus lighter colors reflecting radiant energy and taking longer to absorb the radiant heat.

The tile assembly is further passive solar effective if it is being installed with cementitious adhesives and if the subfloor is cementitious.  So to bond directly to wood or to have a plastic interlocking back will limit the passive solar capabilities.  If it is installed over a cementitious backer board or over a concrete slap it can store more heat.  Good luck.

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