When it comes to flooring options, porcelain, and ceramic tiles are two of the most popular choices. Both materials are durable, versatile, and long-lasting, but they have different features that make them suitable for different applications.
Most homeowners do not even know if there is a difference between the both, though both tile flooring options share almost every threat in common such as the same applications, installation process, advantages, and disadvantages, both are not the same.
In this article, we’ll explore the differences between porcelain and ceramic tile flooring, and help you determine which one is better suited for your needs. Also, we have shared why each price differs and every other information that will help you make the choice of which is better for your home. BUT FIRST!
What is porcelain tile flooring?
Porcelain tile is made of refined clay that is fired at very high temperatures, resulting in a dense, hard, and durable material that is resistant to water, stains, and scratches. Porcelain tiles come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, and can be used for flooring, walls, countertops, and backsplashes. Porcelain tile flooring is a popular choice for bathrooms, kitchens, and other high-traffic areas, as it can withstand heavy foot traffic and is easy to clean.
What is ceramic tile flooring?
Ceramic tile is also made of clay, but it is fired at lower temperatures than porcelain, which makes it less dense and more porous. Ceramic tiles are available in a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes, and can be used for flooring, walls, and countertops. Ceramic tile flooring is a popular choice for bedrooms, living rooms, and other low-traffic areas, as it is not as durable as porcelain tile and can be more prone to chipping and cracking.
Which is better for your home?
When it comes to choosing between porcelain and ceramic tile flooring, it ultimately comes down to your personal preferences and the specific needs of your home. If you’re looking for a durable, water-resistant, and low-maintenance flooring option that can withstand heavy foot traffic and high moisture levels, porcelain tile may be the better choice. However, if you’re on a budget and looking for a versatile and easy-to-install flooring option that is suitable for low-traffic areas, ceramic tile may be the better option.
Porcelain Vs. Ceramic Tile Flooring: Description
Porcelain and ceramic are different types of tiling options that can be used for flooring or as walls in homes. It has its own unique advantages and disadvantages and what makes them a viable option for any homeowner.
Here is a description that gives you a clue about what porcelain or ceramic tiling options is;
Porcelain Vs. Ceramic Tile Flooring: What Is The Difference Between The Two?
As we have earlier established, although porcelain and ceramic are considered alike, they are actually different.
Following the review made by the Tile Council of North America, the difference between a porcelain tile and ceramic is the ability of the tile to meet a set of highly controlled water absorption criteria.
Beyond that, here are other distinguishing factors between tiles;
Fine kaolin clay
More than 0.5 percent
0.5 percent or less
$.50 to $35 per square foot
$33 to $65 per square foot
Indoor floors and walls
Indoor and outdoor floors and walls (in mild climates)
Softer than porcelain
Harder, and more brittle than ceramic
Resistance to Water
#1. Difference In Water Absorption Rate
Porcelain tile by design according to American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) section C37 has a water absorption rate of 0.5% or less. On the other hand, ceramic tiles have a water absorption rate of more than 0.5 percent which makes porcelain more impervious than ceramic tiles and also less subject to water infiltration.
#2. Difference In Appearance
Although both tile types are manufactured with a glazed surface coating, they have differing appearances. Porcelain on one hand has the ability to be manufactured to resemble different materials such as marble or even wood grains. On the other hand, ceramics are usually solid colors. This is why in terms of appearance, porcelain tiles have a better appearance than ceramic tiles.
#3. Difference In Water and Heat Resistance
Both ceramic and porcelain tiles have very good resistance to heat. However, porcelain tile has a higher resistance to heat when compared to ceramic tiles. This makes porcelain a good choice for countertop surfaces and flooring for outdoor locations.
#4. Difference In Care and Cleaning.
In this porcelain Vs ceramic tile flooring guide, a major difference between the two is the ease of maintenance. Porcelain is very easy to clean up. You can do this simply by damp-mopping with a mild water-soap solution. On the other hand, ceramic tile needs continuous damp-mopping and period sealing of grout joints.
#5. Difference In Durability and Maintenance
Porcelain is more durable than ceramic because it’s denser, less porous, harder and more impervious to moisture than ceramic tile. These qualities also make it quite easy to maintain. In comparison, porcelain tiles take the best spot for durability and maintenance.
#6. Difference In Manner Of Installation
Although both tiling options are installed in the same way, there is a slight difference in the manner of installation due to their differing densities. For instance, porcelain tiles are more brittle and as such requires the services of an experienced professional. Ceramic tiles on the other hand can be installed using a DIY technique which makes it best for installation in comparison with porcelain.
#7. Difference In Cost
One of the major differences between porcelain Vs ceramic tile flooring is the cost. Porcelain costs more than ceramic tiles when it comes to manufacturing which influences the cost of sale. Porcelain tiles cost between $3 – $35 per square foot while ceramics cost between $.50 – $35 per square foot. In other words, ceramic is cheaper than porcelain tiles.
#8. Difference In Lifespan
By some estimates, ceramic tile floors and porcelain can last from 75 to 100 years if maintained properly and sealed regularly with porcelain leading the chart.
Porcelain Vs. Ceramic Tile Flooring: Pros and Cons
Having established the difference between the two most popular tiling options, let’s examine what could be the advantages and disadvantages of making a choice between the two;
Advantages Of Ceramic Tiles
- Water Resistant
- Design Options
- Unglazed Ceramic
- Allergen Concerns
- CostCeramic tile is a more affordable option.
- Ceramic tiles are easier to install due to their soft surface.
- Also, ceramic tile is an excellent option for warm climates.
Disadvantages Of Ceramic Tiles
- Due to its soft surface, ceramic tiles are not durable.
- Due to its high absorption rate, ceramic tiles can not be used in areas that are more exposed to water, like showers and patios.
- Also, ceramic tiles might be uncomfortable in winter months or colder climates.
Advantages Of Porcelain Tiles
- It is durable.
- High Lifespan
- Liquid Resistant
- Low Maintenance
- Highly Stain Resistant
- Porcelains are versatile.
- Porcelain tiles are water-resistant, making it an excellent choice for bathrooms, patios, and laundry rooms.
Disadvantages Of Porcelain Tiles
- It can be Weighty.
- Porcelain is expensive.
- Due to the dicey installation process, professional installation is the best option for porcelain tiles, which will add to your budget
List Of The Top Ceramic and Porcelain Tile Brands
When it comes to choosing the right type of tile for your home, ceramic and porcelain are two popular options. These types of tiles are durable, long-lasting, and come in a wide range of styles and designs to suit any taste. In this article, we’ll be discussing the top ceramic and porcelain tile brands to help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right tiles for your home.
Marrazzi is an Italian tile brand that has a broad distribution in the U.S. Its products are even available at big-box home improvement centers. This brand is known for its high-quality ceramic and porcelain tiles that are available in a variety of styles and designs. They offer everything from classic subway tiles to modern geometric designs.
Daltile is another top brand that is owned by the flooring giant Mohawk. This upper-end manufacturer sells both ceramic and porcelain tiles at specialty tile stores and at its own showrooms. Daltile is known for its innovative designs and high-quality materials, making it a favorite among homeowners and contractors alike.
If you’re looking for a broad selection of ceramic and porcelain tiles, AmericanTile is the brand for you. This company offers a wide range of options, from tiny mosaic sheets to expansive floor tiles. There are also many affordable options available, making it a great choice for those on a budget.
4. American Olean
American Olean is another top brand that offers many lines of ceramic and porcelain tile. This brand sells mainly through specialty tile and flooring shops, as well as through contractor sales. They offer a wide range of colors and styles, making it easy to find the perfect tile for any space.
5. Shaw and Armstrong
In addition to these top ceramic and porcelain tile brands, many giant flooring corporations such as Shaw and Armstrong offer porcelain and ceramic tiles as well. These brands are known for their high-quality products and innovative designs, making them a great choice for anyone looking for the best of the best.
Choosing the Right Tile Brand
When it comes to choosing the right tile brand, it’s important to consider factors such as quality, design, and affordability. Each of the brands we’ve discussed in this article offers something unique, so it’s important to choose the one that best fits your needs and budget.
How to maintain porcelain and ceramic tile flooring?
To keep your porcelain and ceramic tile flooring looking its best, it’s important to follow some basic maintenance tips:
- Sweep or vacuum your floors regularly to remove dirt and debris.
- Clean up spills as soon as possible to prevent staining.
- Use a pH-neutral cleaner to clean your floors, as acidic or alkaline cleaners can damage the tiles.
- Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbers, as they can scratch the surface of the tiles.
- Use doormats at the entrances to your home to prevent dirt and debris from being tracked onto your floors.
- Seal your grout every 1-2 years to prevent stains and moisture penetration.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is porcelain tile more expensive than ceramic tile?
Yes, porcelain tile is generally more expensive than ceramic tile due to its denser and harder composition.
Porcelain Vs. Ceramic Tile Flooring Which Is Better For Bathrooms?
Porcelain tiles are better for bathroom flooring than ceramic due to their high level of water resistance. However, a glazed ceramic can work well in a powder room where the flooring isn’t exposed to much water if you want to save some money.
Do Porcelain Tiles Chip Easily?
By design, porcelain tiles are dense and heavy as such not prone to chip easily if installed well. However, they are prone to cracks if any shift occurs.
Porcelain Vs. Ceramic Tile Flooring Which Is Better For The Kitchen?
Because porcelain tile is harder and more durable than ceramic, it’s recommended for high-traffic areas, such as the kitchen. It’s also easy to clean and maintain.
Which Tile Is Stronger Porcelain Or Ceramic?
Both porcelain and ceramic tiles are made from a clay mixture that’s fired in a kiln at different heat levels. However, porcelain tile is made from more refined clay and it’s fired at higher temperatures which makes it denser and more durable than ceramic tile. So in comparison, porcelain tiles are stronger than ceramic tiles.
Can porcelain tile be slippery when wet?
Yes, porcelain tile can be slippery when wet, so it’s important to choose a slip-resistant finish for areas with high moisture levels.
Are porcelain and ceramic tile suitable for outdoor use?
Porcelain tile is more suitable for outdoor use than ceramic tile, as it is more durable and resistant to water and frost.
With this guide, we believe you have come to a perfect conclusion on the differences between porcelain tiles and ceramic tiles. An understanding of these differences and the pros and cons will help you make a decision on which tiling option is best for your home.
Ensure your choice of flooring is able to suit the need for which it was desired and is also cost-effective for you.
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