Ceramic vs Porcelain Tiles

It can cost thousands of dollars to replace your floor. This simple decision can impact every room in your house from its durability to its resale value. In fact, simply changing your flooring can potentially add thousands to your home’s value.

With so many options how do you know which flooring option is right? Well, we’re here to help. We’ve picked the two most popular tile materials and put them to the test.

Here, we’ve laid out the ultimate showdown between ceramic vs porcelain tiles, to help you make the right choice for your home.

Ceramic vs Porcelain Tiles What Are They Made Of?

Porcelain and ceramic tile are terms that are often used interchangeably when it comes to tile flooring. But what’s the real difference, is what they’re made of.

Though both porcelain and ceramic are part of a broad category known as ceramic tiles.

To understand the materials that makeup porcelain we need to look at its history. Originally porcelain was a dense semitransparent material that’s extremely durable. 

Although porcelain contains different things today, this reputation helps market porcelain and sell it at a higher cost.

Current porcelain contains sand, feldspar and finely ground white clay. These materials are then cooked at a high temperature that makes them dense and resistant to absorbing moisture. These tyles comes in 2 different types glazed and unglazed. 

The unglazed variety is also called full body and is less prone to cracking and chipping because the color is inside the tile rather than just on top.

Ceramic, on the other hand, is more straightforward. It’s usually made of either white, brown or red clay. The clay is then painted with glaze and fired in a kiln. The surface comes in a variety of colors and patterns.

Though they can both be glazed ceramic tiles are fired at a lower temperature making them more porous. The clay used to make it is often less refined and of lower quality.

The different types of material are the primary difference between porcelain and ceramic tiles. But to tell the difference most companies subject the tiles to a variety of absorption tests. 

Which is More Affordable?

In the battle of porcelain vs ceramic tiles, ceramic has one distinct advantage you can put it in yourself saving you thousands on installation fees. This also means you can put ceramic tiles in areas with a large amount of space with ease — making ceramic both time and cost effective.

There’s another sneaky way that porcelain is more expensive than ceramic. Porcelain is considered more high quality because of its connection to the porcelain in fine china.

Because porcelain is denser, it requires specialized tools to cut and install it correctly, making it more expensive both to buy and install.

Which is More Durable?

In short, if you looking for the tile that’ll last the longest, then porcelain tile is the best for areas that have a lot of foot traffic, or if you expect the area to see a lot of wear and tear. It’s also resistant to water and moisture making.

Because porcelain is much denser than ceramic tiles it can withstand heavy water and rain damage as well as being more stain resistant. For example, tiles used in subways used to come from porcelain.

Ceramic is more prone to breaking and cracking especially during winter. This, combined with its tendency to get stained, means it can’t be outdoors. 

Ceramic tiles are much cooler in winter, which is a plus in summer months when it’s warm, but can be uncomfortable when its cold in fall and winter. 

Where Should You Use Each Tile

Porcelain scores the most points for versatility.

It can be used in almost any environment and can easily stand up to traffic and wear. Porcelain can be used outdoors and still remain in good condition. 

This tile is the best choice for bathrooms, kitchens, patios and laundry rooms. It also works well for countertops.

These tiles can also be shaped to look like other materials like hardwood, concrete or stone.  

Ceramic, though not able to withstand every environment, is versatile in one way. It comes in a variety of colors so it can be used to blend into a different room.  

Maintenance and Upkeep

Because of its softer surface ceramic has much heavier upkeep. Spills and stains must be cleaned immediately. They also must be deep cleaned frequently about once per week rather than once per month. 

Though it usually isn’t as durable as porcelain it can be cleaned, which will preserve it and keep it looking good for a very long time.

To clean ceramic, you first have to sweep or vacuum the floor. Though ceramic can stand up to dust pretty well, its surface can still become dull and matted. When mopping the tile you should use a mild detergent and chamois mop or rag. 

Keep in mind that soap can also leave a residue that will damage your tiles if left on for too long.  

Remember to dry the floor with a clean lint free cloth quickly after washing and to prevent water stains.

Need More Help Making Flooring Decisions?

In the battle of ceramic vs porcelain tiles, the clear winner for versatility and durability is porcelain, but the winner for cost is ceramic. But no matter which you pick, both these options can improve the value of your home.

If you’re looking to upgrade your flooring then contact us today!

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