The Difference Between Ceramic Tile vs Porcelain Tile
- Benefits of Using Porcelain Floor Tile
- Benefits of Using Ceramic Tiles
At first glance, it’s tough to tell the difference between porcelain tiles and ceramic tiles. That’s because both of the products are very similar and they feel alike as well. They are both crafted from a similar process, but there are some very key differences that are important to realize about these tile flooring options. If you want to choose the best tile flooring options for your home, make sure that you understand the latest tile trends and how porcelain and ceramic are different from one another.
The major difference between porcelain tile and ceramic tile is how it’s made. Both tiles are made from a clay mixture that’s fired in a kiln, but porcelain tile is made from more refined clay and it’s fired at higher temperatures. This makes it denser and more durable than ceramic tile. That’s why porcelain tile is more expensive than ceramic tile and generally considered to be of higher quality as well. If you’re looking for the best tile flooring options, porcelain tiles are likely the best option for you.
Benefits of Using Porcelain Floor Tile
- Liquid Resistance
- Highly Stain Resistant
- Low Maintenance
1. Liquid ResistanceBecause of the way that porcelain tiles are crafted, they are denser and less porous than ceramic tiles are. They are highly liquid-resistant, making them perfect for use in bathrooms, basements and other damp locations.
When you need a flooring option that’s going to hold up well to moisture, there are few options better than porcelain tiles. The latest tile trends are showing porcelain tiles used more and more often, and generally, they are being utilized in damp locations where they can really shine as the best option around.
2. Highly Stain ResistantFor the same reasons that porcelain tile stands up so well to moisture, this material is also highly stain resistant. When stains get onto a surface they seep down in and set which is what makes them so difficult to remove. This is the reason that it’s so easy to stain untreated wood.
Porcelain tiles are dense, they are highly impervious to most substances and stains don’t have the chance to seep down in and set. That’s why porcelain tile is one of the best tile flooring options for kitchen use because spilled juice, coffee, and other substances wipe right up.
Porcelain tile works really well for pet owners for this reason as well because it’s simple to clean up after accidents, mud, and other debris that would otherwise be a problem. When you want a floor that stands up to stains well over time, porcelain is the best of the tile flooring options.
3. DurabilityCareful construction practices help enhance the strength of porcelain tile, preventing cracking and other issues that are more common with ceramic tile from happening. If you want to use tile in a commercial environment, or in a high traffic location, porcelain tile is likely the better option. This highly dense material is much more difficult to break, and it will withstand heavy use over time well. Porcelain tile can even stand up to heavy furniture better than ceramic tile can. In terms of durability, porcelain tile is just easier to rely on overtime.
4. LifespanThere are few flooring options that hold up as well over time as porcelain tile does. That’s because porcelain tile is tough to break and it’s exceptionally hard, which means it is difficult to scratch or chip as well. When looking for the best in the latest tile trends, porcelain tile is a good solid option for consideration. Of the different tile flooring options, porcelain probably has the longest lifespan overall.
5. Low MaintenanceBecause of their highly durable properties, porcelain tiles are simple to maintain. Simply wash them off regularly and clean up the grout in between and they will remain in good shape for years. Even if they become cracked or damaged they will continue looking decent because they have a uniform color all the way through.
- Cost to Install
1. Cost to InstallBecause porcelain tile is so tough, it’s also more difficult to work with, making it more expensive and time-consuming to install compared to softer tiles. Contractors aren’t as interested in installing porcelain tiles because they know the job is going to be more difficult. If you do decide to have these tiles put in, you should expect to pay significantly more for installation. Out of the different tile flooring options, porcelain tile is one of the most expensive to purchase and to install.
2. WeightOne of the biggest advantages of porcelain tiles, their high density, and strength, can also be a disadvantage if you are worried about weight. That’s because the denser tile is slightly heavier than ceramic tile and much heavier than flooring solutions like wood.
If you have a room that isn’t built with large floor beams, it could be risky to floor it with porcelain tiles. There are other tile flooring options that are lighter, and plenty of flooring options that would be significantly lighter such as vinyl flooring. Always consider whether your current floor can handle the weight of porcelain tile before installing it, and think about using a different solution if the space you’re flooring simply can’t handle all the weight of tile.
3. GroutEven though porcelain tile is easy to maintain on its own, you need to consider the maintenance that grout adds to the equation. Grout is the filler material that must be used in between tiles for a good water-resistant installation.
When having tiles put in you’ll need to have a good grout installed between them, and you’ll have to take steps to maintain that grout over time. This means adding more grout as necessary, and scrubbing any dirt and grime away that accumulates on the grout over time.
It also means applying a good sealer to the grout every few years to prevent moisture penetration from becoming a problem for your backer material. If you aren’t willing to take all these steps with your flooring, you should consider something that doesn’t require grout. There are plenty of tile flooring options, but most require some form of grout and you’ll need to be prepared to maintain it.
Benefits of Using Ceramic Tiles
- Unglazed Ceramic
- Water Resistance
- Design Options
- Allergen Concerns
1. Unglazed CeramicFor certain applications, it’s possible to go with an unglazed ceramic tile that will have a more natural feel to it. This is a major advantage over other tile options that require a glaze to function properly. Unglazed ceramic tile is affordable, and durable, but not nearly as water-resistant as the glazed variety.
2. Water ResistanceIf you need flooring in a damp environment like a bathroom or a basement you need something that holds up well to moisture. Ceramic tile is an excellent option in these instances.
This flooring is heavily water-resistant and excess water is easy to wipe away before it has a chance to seep down to the underlayment below your tile. As long as it’s installed properly with good quality grout in between, ceramic tile is a good solution for most damp applications. It’s even used in rooms with hot tubs or swimming pools in some instances, and ceramic tile has been used in shower applications before.
3. Design OptionsSince dyes are added to ceramic tiles when they’re created, they are one of the most diverse tile flooring options out there. You can get these tiles in just about any color that you like, and they are sold in complex patterns as well if you’re looking for something more unique.
You can also mix and match different colors and sizes to create complex tile patterns in your home if you like. There are so many different design options when it comes to ceramic tiles that you really have endless options to work with. When you’re trying to achieve a specific look, ceramic tiles give you more control than other flooring solutions do.
They’re really valuable for getting the perfect look, so choose these tiles if you want a specific floor that you simply can’t replicate with other tile flooring options or other flooring options entirely.
4. Allergen ConcernsPeople that suffer from severe allergies don’t want a flooring type that holds hair, dust and other allergens in places like carpet or even wood to a lesser extent. Ceramic tiles are perfect for these type of people because they are very easy to clean up and they don’t harbor allergens over time. Often just getting rid of carpet for ceramic tile is enough to reduce problems with allergies in your home.
5. CostWhen cost is a big issue for you when searching through the different tile flooring options, ceramic tiles probably look like one of the best options for you to consider. That’s because this form of flooring is very affordable compared to something like porcelain. You’ll spend considerably less money on ceramic tile, and it will cost less to be installed as well.
That means that you can put your money toward other enhancements that you want to make in your home, and going with ceramic tiles can help you lower the overall cost of a bathroom or kitchen renovation. Just remember that you get what you pay for and that while you’ll save money by buying ceramic tile, you might have to deal with increased maintenance and make more tile repairs over the years than you would have to with a more expensive solution like porcelain tile.
- Difficult to Clean
1. Difficult to CleanEven though the latest tile trends would have you believe that ceramic tile is easy to clean, that doesn’t consider the grout in between. Grout can be very difficult to clean and you’ll find yourself scrubbing it and sealing it often to keep it looking fresh. This is a real concern for tile flooring options.
2. WeightCeramic tile flooring is very heavy and can be too much weight to bear for a lightweight floor. Make sure that the floor you are installing tile over is tough enough to withstand all the weight that the tiles add.
Ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles are both excellent tile flooring options, but you need to consider the benefits and drawbacks of both to help you select the best option for your own needs.