Porcelain vs. Ceramic Tile

A question we hear regularly from our customers is regarding tiles, and which would work best for their project. Most tiles are made of either porcelain or ceramic, but what is the difference between the two?

Porcelain vs Ceramic Tile

The Difference is Baked In

Both porcelain and ceramic tiles are made of kiln-fired clay. The main difference between the two is that porcelain is made of more refined materials and is fired at a higher temperature. This process gives porcelain a more dense structure that is less porous than ceramic tile.

As such, porcelain tiles are less absorbent and are well suited to moisture-prone areas such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, and even outdoors. Stronger porcelain tiles are also better able to withstand heavy traffic and bumps, which could result in chips and cracks in lighter ceramic tile.

Porcelain and Ceramic Tile

Going Pro or DIY?

Porcelain tiles do have a few drawbacks, however. These tiles can cost around 60 percent more than ceramic options, and because they are harder can be more difficult to cut cleanly without special sawing equipment, and are better-suited to professional installation.

Ceramic tiles are easier to handle for the Do-It-Yourself-er, as they can be cut using a simple tile cutter, but beware of spills! Due to its higher absorption rate, ceramic tiles may be more susceptible to stains if not cleaned quickly.

Durable and Built to Last

When selecting a porcelain tile, it is good to choose one that has through-body color. This means the color is baked into the tile itself, and not simply a ceramic glaze on the surface. In the event that a tile chips, through-body color would make the chip less noticeable, where a chipped glazed tile would show white, tan or red clay base.

If durability is not a key concern, ceramic tiles are a budget-friendly option. These tiles are available in many of the same styles as porcelain. Whether you are looking for a wood-look, stone-look, solid color or pattern, there is a tile that is perfect for your project.

For wet areas where safety and accessibility are a concern, look for tile that has texture or friction to reduce slips and falls.

For more information, or to find the tile that is right for you, contact us today! Our knowledgeable team can guide you through the process of updating your home while keeping to your style, needs, and budget.


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