Difference Between Ceramic and Porcelain Tile

Ceramic vs Porcelain Tile

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. All ceramic tiles are made of clay that is fired in a kiln. But 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.

Another major difference pertains to styling patterns on the tiles. In ceramic tile, these patterns are on the glazing and for some reason if the tile chips, the body color of the tile become visible which looks bad. On the other hand, 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 tiles are much harder and durable than ceramic tile as they are fired at higher temperatures. Thus they are suitable for all applications, including those where they have to face harsh environments. On the other hand, due to glazing, ceramic tiles are a little brittle and thus mainly used in homes and outdoors where heavy traffic is not expected.

But this harness of the porcelain tiles makes them harder to cut. On the other hand, ceramic tiles being softer are easy to work with. Ceramic tiles easily bond with the floor. Porcelain tiles require special cutting machines and also take more time to bond with the floor. You can get ceramic tiles installed even by a layman, while you need a professional to install porcelain tiles.

In brief:

• 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