Difference Between Ceramic and Porcelain Tile

Ceramic vs Porcelain Tile
 

Knowing the difference between ceramic tile and porcelain tile will aid you in choosing the right tile for your floor. Ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles are the two main types of tiles available in the market. Tiles are available in different sizes, colors and textures, and are used all over the world for flooring and wall purposes. People are often confused about the difference between ceramic and porcelain tile as they do not have the right information. Here is a brief and straight forward answer to this conundrum. This may come as a surprise, but yes, porcelain tile is effectively a ceramic tile. The difference lies in the processing of the two types of tiles.

What is Ceramic Tile?

All ceramic tiles are made of clay that is fired in a kiln. In ceramic tiles, the patterns are on the glazing and for some reason if the tile chips, the body color of the tile becomes visible which looks bad. Moreover, due to glazing, ceramic tiles are a little brittle and thus mainly used in homes and outdoors where heavy traffic is not expected. Then again, as ceramic tiles are softer they are easy to work with. Ceramic tiles easily bond with the floor. You can get ceramic tiles installed even by a layman.

Difference Between Ceramic and Porcelain Tile

What is Porcelain Tile?

Unlike ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles are made of sand that is more refined and also fired at a higher temperature. This makes the material denser inside it and this is precisely why it is harder and more durable than a ceramic tile. This processing makes porcelain tile less water absorbent than ordinary ceramic tiles. This is of particular significance to homeowners as this quality makes tiles stain and frost resistant. If a homeowner uses porcelain tiles for outdoor application, he can be relaxed as these tiles will not absorb water. Moreover, porcelain tiles have full body designs, and if any tile cracks or chips, the same pattern will show up. Thus, chipping does not make much of a difference in the case of porcelain tiles.

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tiles are much harder and durable as they are fired at higher temperatures. Thus, they are suitable for all applications, including those where they have to face harsh environments. But this harness of the porcelain tiles makes them harder to cut. Porcelain tiles require special cutting machines and also take more time to bond with the floor. You need a professional to install porcelain tiles.

What is the difference between Ceramic and Porcelain Tile?

• Even porcelain tiles are a variety of ceramic tiles.

• They are processed at a higher temperature and pressure making them harder.

• Porcelain tiles are more durable than ceramic tiles.

• Ceramic tiles are easier to install.

• Porcelain tiles absorb less water than ceramic tiles, thus proving more suitable for outdoor applications.

• Another major difference pertains to styling patterns on the tiles. In ceramic tiles, the design appears on the glaze of the tile. So, if the tile chips, you can see the body color that is underneath. However, since porcelain tiles have full body designs, cracking and chipping is not a problem to them. It cracked or chipped, the same design shows.

• Porcelain tiles cost more than ceramic tiles.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. Ceramic tile by Ian Alexander (CC BY-SA 3.0)
  2. Porcelain tile by PJM  (CC BY-SA 3.0)