Ceramic and porcelain come from the same family. They are often considered as twins or cousins. Many people use the term interchangeably, and there’s usually a lot of confusion between the two. However, some significant differences between the two set them apart.
Depending upon your space and type of project, you need to choose one of the materials between ceramic and porcelain that suits you better for your tiles. Here’s a comparison of ceramic floor tile and porcelain floor tile.
Ceramic Floor Tile VS Porcelain Floor Tile at a glance:
The main difference between ceramic floor tile and porcelain floor tile lies in their genetic makeup. Ceramic tiles are comprised of brown, red and white clay that is baked at a higher temperature to remove excess water and reduce water content. On the other hand, porcelain tiles are produced in the same way, but the only difference is that it is produced using white clay only. Finely-ground feldspar and sand are also the main components of porcelain which is baked at higher temperatures as compared to ceramic tiles. As a result, you get harder, denser and less porous tile.
It is the permeability of these tiles that decides the classification of porcelain and ceramic. Here, also keep in mind that porcelain tiles are harder and difficult to shape as compared to ceramic tiles.
Thus, it is the manufacturing process that acts as a dissimilarity between the two tiles.
Properties of ceramic floor tile and porcelain floor tile
Although the thickness of tiles plays a vital role in determining its strength, it is not the only factor to determine the strength of tiles. There are other factors as well that determine the durability, such as their composition of the tiles. Moreover, the duration of baking and firing plays a vital role in determining durability. These factors play an essential role in determining the strength of these tiles.
To help you determine whether you are choosing the right kind of tile, we have gathered the properties of these tiles.
- Construction of ceramic and porcelain floor tile
Ceramic tiles are made up of red, white and brown clay. The method to reduce the water content is pretty simple, the clay is fired at a very high temperature. Porcelain tiles, on the other hand, is constructed with the help of a specific clay.First of all, let’s discuss the water absorption rate of porcelain. It has a high water absorption rate that goes as high as 0.5 per cent. This tile contains fewer impurities as compared to ceramic. Moreover, it is often rectified and consists of more kaolin as compared to ceramic. Porcelain tile is comprised of clay, quartz and feldspar. These materials are fired at higher temperatures that go as high as 1400 degrees. However, the composition of ceramic is also same as that of porcelain. The only difference is in the water absorption rate between the two.
- Cost of material
Ceramic tiles are cost-effective as compared to porcelain. That is why it is most commonly used. Unless there is any difference in quality, ceramic flooring will always be cheaper than that of porcelain tile. Porcelain had always been expensive when it comes to manufacturing as well, which results in its high prices.
- Density and Durability
It is essential to compare the durability and thickness of porcelain tiles and ceramic floor tiles. Porcelain tiles are thicker and denser as compared to ceramic tiles which makes it less porous. It means that they are harder, and consequently, they absorb less moisture. Due to this property, porcelain is excellent for heavy use.Not only porcelain is denser as compared to ceramic tile due to the robust composition, but it is also more durable. Also, keep in mind that both ceramic and porcelain are fired at high temperatures, but porcelain is baked for a longer time as compared to ceramic.Now, we are not saying that ceramic is not ideal for use. Since it is less dense and brittle, so it is easier to work with it. If you want to make your life easier for you, then ceramic can be an ideal material for you.
- Ease of cutting
The next property that matters a lot when it comes to porcelain is the ease of cutting. When it comes to tile density, each tile has a good side and a bad side. As ceramic tile is not as dense as that of porcelain tile, that is why it is easier for the DIYers to cut it manually with a tile cutter or tile saw.Porcelain tile is quite brittle, and that is why it requires a professional hand of a tile-setter. For porcelain, we recommend using a wet tile saw as this tile is expensive, and it is essential to prevent it from cracking.
Which one should you choose?
If you are confused between selecting either of these tiles, consider the following conditions to ease your selection:
Condition#1-The moisture level
Since porcelain tiles don’t absorb much water as compared to ceramic tiles, that is why it is ideal to use in the areas where there are higher levels of moisture. The best example, in this case, is your bathroom where there are more moisture and water on the floor as well as in the air. Likewise, you can also consider using porcelain floor tiles in your kitchen as it is more prone to spillage. The low absorption rate of porcelain tile means it is less likely to stain, which is another indication that it is ideal for the kitchen.
Thus, due to the waterproof nature of porcelain, it is best to use when installing a shower or wet room. There is also a wide array of designs available when it comes to porcelain. The best thing is that porcelain tiles also contain anti-slip properties which further makes it ideal for showers and wet rooms.
Since porcelain tiles are stronger and harder than ceramic tiles, so they are more prone to withstanding high pressure, abrasion and rough use. Therefore, these tiles are suitable for entrance ways, utility rooms and hallways. Ceramic tiles, on the other hand, are more likely to crack or chip when it is exposed to severe pressure.
If you have pets or children at home, then you should use porcelain tiles as it better at withstanding pressure, wear and tear.
When it comes to outdoors, such as a balcony or patio, you should choose porcelain tiles. As they are less porous, these tiles are better at holding up precipitation and rain. Thus, they are incredibly impressive for colder regions. On the other hand, ceramic tiles, being more porous, are more prone to expanding in the colder weather that can eventually cause its breakage. So, if you want peace of mind, then porcelain can be the best option for you as it is highly resistant to water and damage.
Another critical factor that plays a vital role in choosing between porcelain and ceramic floor tile s your budget. If you have a tight budget, then the best option for you is the ceramic floor tile. Since it is less expensive as that of porcelain floor tile so it will remain kinder on your budget and bank account. Here, keep in mind that cheaper ceramic tiles don’t mean that you will need to compromise on style or quality. Ceramic tiles come in a vast variety of patterns and styles and patterns, and they can suit any look you want. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that when it comes to ceramic tiles, there’s something for everyone.
Condition#5-High foot places
Porcelain tiles are durable, so they are the best options for high traffic areas. Due to this property, they are also much resistant to scrapes and resistant. Now you need to decide which area inside your home is the highest traffic area and then use the porcelain tiles in those areas. This property makes it the best for commercial uses.
However, if you compare carpet or laminate with ceramic, then ceramic floor tiles are still the most hard-wearing and durable option.
If you are a DIYer who loves to get handy, then the best materials that you can use are ceramic tiles. They are brittle, and that is why they are easier to work with. They are especially ideal for the area that requires cuts for the neat installation of tiles. Porcelain, on the other hand, is stronger and harder to shape and cut, and that is why they need professional expertise and tool to get the same effect.
Benefits of ceramic floor tile
Following are the benefits of using ceramic floor tile:
- Most of the tiles need a glaze to work correctly. That is not the case with ceramic floor tile. Ceramic tile also comes in the unglazed form. It is durable, affordable and water-resistant. If you are planning to use in a damp environment such as a basement or bathroom, then ceramic can be the best option for you. However, we need to install it properly for a wet climate.
- Ceramic tiles come with plenty of design options. They are available in many colours and patterns, especially if you are looking for an affordable option.
- People who suffer from allergies such as dirt, dust and other allergens should use ceramic tiles. These tiles are ideal of such people to get rid of allergens.
- When it comes to looking for an affordable option, ceramic tiles can be an excellent choice for you. You will spend less money on it as compared to porcelain tiles.
Benefits of porcelain floor tile
Let’s look at the benefits and perks of using porcelain floor tile for domestic and commercial use.
- The first benefit of using porcelain floor tile is that these tiles are less porous and highly resistant to liquids. This feature makes these tiles ideal for damp locations.
- The second benefit of using porcelain tiles is that they highly stain resistant due to their dense and highly impervious nature. That is why porcelain floor tile is one of the best tile flooring options when it comes to kitchen and bathroom. Due to this reason, porcelain also works very well for people who are keeping pets.
- Porcelain is durable and doesn’t crack or break even when exposed to high pressure. It can also withstand heavy furniture.
- Porcelain tile has a longer lifespan, and it is tough to scratch it.
- Another reason why you should be using porcelain floor tiles is that it is easy to maintain it. All you need to do is to wash the tiles simply, and they will remain useful for years.
- Porcelain tiles are fireproof and don’t burn that quickly.
- Porcelain tiles are easy to repair as well.
Drawbacks of ceramic floor tile and porcelain floor tile
While there are many benefits of ceramic and porcelain floor tiles, there are also many disadvantages to these tiles.
- It is difficult to clean the ceramic tiles as compared to porcelain.
- Ceramic tile can be very heavy to bear the weight.
- Porcelain is much costly to install as compared to ceramic tiles.
When choosing a tile, it is essential to not only look for style but also the quality. Your tiles should be capable of bearing pressure and resisting various conditions and test of time. For all those who are planning to update and renovate their kitchens or those who have got pets or children around the house, one of these tiles can be ideal. Although all tiles are hard and durable, the composition of each tile matters a lot. Therefore, it is essential to consider the composition and construction of every material before using it in your home.
Porcelain and ceramic are almost identical, except when it comes to the water absorption rate. The water absorption rate of porcelain floor tile is 0.5 per cent or even lower as compared to ceramic tile. Porcelain is also more durable, as well as harder. Porcelain tile is an ideal option to use in high-moisture areas in the house such as in the bathtubs, pools and showers.
Happy tile hunting!