The distinction between porcelain and ceramic tiles is difficult to discern at first glance. This is because both items look and feel pretty similar.
Although they are both made in the same way, there are a few significant differences to be aware of when considering these tile flooring options.
If you want to choose the most excellent tile flooring options for your home, make sure you know about the latest tile trends as well as the differences between porcelain and ceramic.
Porcelain and ceramic are often used interchangeably by homeowners as though they are the same thing. This is comprehensible given that ceramic and porcelain tiles are used for similar applications, are put in the same manner, and have essentially the same benefits and downsides as a flooring or wall surface material.
At the same time, tile shop sales associates frequently assert that the two are vastly different, presumably to justify porcelain’s cachet and higher prices.
Porcelain and ceramic tile are parts of the larger type of tiles known as ceramics, which encompasses all rigid tiles made from natural, earthy clays and hardened by fire.
On the other hand, porcelain tiles have their own category in the current tile market, awarded to them because they match specific criteria.
What Are Ceramic Tiles?
Ceramic tile is typically made by combining a clay foundation with various minerals and water. A stoneware clay body will be burned at 1,800-2,000°F and absorb water ranging from 0.5% to 3.0%, with some as high as 20%.
The ceramic tile contains a coarser clay with a lower proportion of fine kaolin clay than porcelain tile, and it lacks some of the additives found in porcelain clay.
Ceramic tile is slightly more porous than porcelain tile, although the differences are negligible if the ceramic tile is glazed.
What Are Porcelain Tiles?
Porcelain tile is manufactured from clay, sand, and feldspar. Feldspar is a mineral found naturally in granite. The sand strengthens the combination, while the feldspar melts, fusing all of the ingredients to create a denser tile than a regular ceramic tile, making it stronger (30% stronger than granite) and stain-resistant.
Porcelain tiles will be fired at temperatures of up to 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit. The greater firing temperature will push out more water, and the feldspar will melt to produce a low-order glass, making the tile much more impervious to water.
A porcelain product must absorb less than or equivalent to 0.5 percent of water, according to TCNA (Tile Council of North America) regulations.
Differences Between Porcelain Tiles Vs Ceramic Tiles
|Particulars||Porcelain Tiles||Ceramic Tiles|
|Construction process||This type of tile is made with white clay, sand, and feldspar. It is Fired at a higher temperature. Harder and denser.||Red, brown, or white clay was used to make this type of tiles. Less dense and softer|
|Water resistance||Porcelain tiles are completely water-resistant. Water absorption is less than 0.5%.||Ceramic tiles can easily absorb water. Water absorption of these tiles is greater than 0.5%.|
|Appearance||The color or design of porcelain is carried throughout the entire body. So if they get chipped, it won’t be as noticeable.||The designs and colors of ceramic tiles are printed on the surface and then sealed with a glaze. Because the body of the tile is a different color than the surface, if these tiles are chipped, it will be more noticeable.|
|Uses||Porcelain tiles are more durable than ceramic tiles, making them ideal for use on external walls, counters, and even flooring (both indoors and outdoors).||Ceramic tiles are ideal for places with little traffic since they are more fragile. They’re also ideal for accent walls and kitchen backsplashes, thanks to the wide range of colors and design options available.|
|Cost of Tiles||More expensive.||Cheaper than porcelain tiles.|
|Ease of cutting||It is difficult to cut.||It is easy to cut and shape.|
|Interior/exterior use||Used in both exterior and interior||Interior only.|
|Density and Durability||Porcelain tiles are less permeable than ceramic tiles because they are denser. They’re more durable and absorb less water since they’re tougher. As a result, they’re better suited to high-traffic places that will get a lot of use.||Ceramic tiles are less thick, fragile, and simpler to work with than porcelain tiles. If you’re a DIYer, utilize ceramic to make your life a bit easier.|
|Stain resistance||Porcelain tiles are solid, highly impenetrable to most substances, and stains do not have the opportunity to soak in and set. It is highly stain-resistant.||It is difficult to clean stains in the case of ceramic tiles.|
|Weight||Because porcelain tiles are denser, they are slightly heavier than ceramic tiles and substantially heavier than other flooring options such as wood.||Less heavy than porcelain tiles and useful for lightweight floors.|
|Maintenance||Porcelain tiles are easy to maintain due to their highly durable properties.||It is difficult to clean ceramic tiles.|
|Lifespan||Porcelain tiles have the longest lifespan since they are extremely strong and difficult to break.||Comparatively these tiles have a shorter lifespan.|
Porcelain Tiles Vs Ceramic Tiles – Which Is Better?
Is it better to use ceramic or porcelain tiles? It is debatable. The many varieties of tile are appropriate for various areas of a home. Cost and water resistance are usually the two most important factors to consider.
Bathroom tiles made of porcelain are more water-resistant. They’ll function nicely in rooms with a lot of humidity. Bathrooms and showers commonly use ceramic and porcelain tiles.
Some designers recommend balancing functionality and budget by selecting ceramic shower tiles for the walls and porcelain shower tiles for the flooring when choosing between ceramic and porcelain tiles for shower installation.
Porcelain tiles have stronger water resistance, making them suitable for an outdoor patio or other external applications. This is especially suitable in colder climates, as porous tile is more likely to collect water and shatter when exposed to freezing temperatures.
Porcelain tile is denser and more rigid than ceramic tile. It is particularly useful in high-traffic areas like kitchens, mudrooms, hallways, and living rooms.
Ceramic floor tiles, on the other hand, have a softer texture. Walking on them is more pleasant than on porcelain. They are popular in houses in hotter areas because of their inclination to keep cooler than porcelain.
There is no clear winner when it comes to deciding between ceramic tile and porcelain tile. Both are similar building materials, and the majority of them can be used as flooring, wall coverings, or countertop surfaces.
While you should make sure the tile is suitable for the intended purpose (tiles designated for floors are usually thicker, and the product will mention that this is an acceptable use). Your decision of ceramic or porcelain tile comes down to whatever tile type visually appeals to you.
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