Porcelains: Porcelain tiles are more durable and can be installed in more places than ceramics can. When we shop for tiles, we often hear about porcelain and ceramic tiles. Learn the main differences between ceramic and porcelain tile in our porcelain vs ceramic tile guide: porcelain is impermeable to water, and unglazed ceramic is not; porcelain is made of a harder material, while ceramic is softer; porcelain can have more body color options, while ceramic comes in natural clay colors like red or brown. The Spruce. Porcelain will definitely up your resale value, especially wood-look tile which is trending right now. Porcelain can also be left unglazed. High-quality porcelain is almost always more expensive than high-quality ceramic since it’s more dense and durable than the latter. The main difference between a porcelain and ceramic tile is the rate of water they absorb. If you’re planning to install tile yourself, especially in a situation where many cuts are required, you could find yourself in hot water. It's harder and denser than ceramic, and because it's less porous, it doesn't absorb nearly as much water as ceramic does. Natural Stone and other unglazed categories that are not rated. Note that in this example, the water is absorbed by the body of the tile and not through the top surface, as the top surface is glazed and technically impervious. The bisque is the body of the tile. This means it is more susceptible to stains, Impervious, with low water absorption of less than 0.5%, The surface of porcelain tiles is fine-grained and is smoother than ceramic tiles, Colour of cross sections will not be uniformed, Colour on the surface is the same throughout the cross sections, Due to its density, it has optimal strength, LOW – High water absorption makes it easy to crack during a cold snap, HIGH – Low water absorption as compared to ceramic tiles thus not easy to crack during cold frost, Does not burn easily, can restrict the movement of flames during a fire accident, Lighter in weight as compared to porcelain tiles, Heavier – due to the dense structure making it sturdier, Easier to cut as compared to porcelain tiles, Harder to cut due to the degree of compression, More expensive, but can last for decades making it a good investment overall. Porcelain tile is also made from clay but tends to be made using denser types of clay than ceramic. That means the body of the tile is the same color as the surface. Suitable for high traffic and high-moisture area, such as showers, bathtubs, pool and public area. Unglazed ceramic tiles have no extra finish added after firing. Porcelain tile is harder than ceramic tile and less prone to chips. The clay is often comprised of feldspar, kaolin, and quartz. At this point of time, these tiles are called “green tile” or “greenware.” That’s because the tile has yet to be fired or glazed. The differences between porcelain vs ceramic tiles are listed below: 1.Water Absorption – Water absorption test will be carried out to classify if a tile is a ceramic or porcelain tile. @FlooringInc This makes it denser and more durable than ceramic tile. Though, it is a more dense, finer clay that gets fired at far higher temperatures than traditional ceramic. Court Tiles vs. Court Planks: What’s the Difference? If you’re looking for a resale upgrade, both products would work well in your home! I mean, both porcelain and ceramic tiles are created using the same elements- clay, sand and water. You will see a decorative top layer, but the inside of the tile maintains the red clay color. Porcelain tile is created using dense clay and minerals that are then molded under extreme pressure. Porcelain Tile. This temperature both sets the glaze and bakes out moisture, creating a non-porous surface. Basically, it means they’re super dense now. Since it’s not as hard or dense as porcelain, it is more prone to chipping. Though glazed ceramic tile is non-porous, the creation of porcelain tiles ensures that it’s completely impermeable to water. Porcelain tile is impermeable to water, so you don’t have to worry about subfloor damage from water, or mold growth. The way both ceramic and porcelain tiles are produced and their looks are pretty much the same. @FlooringIncCom Read on to know the differences. Unfortunately, if you chip ceramic tile, you’re probably going to see the body color come through and it will be noticeable. If you’re worried about slipping, especially when it comes to outdoor tile uses, we recommend having a more textured tile. Most people want to buy porcelain because it is the same color and pattern all the way through the tile. This is especially true given the fact that porcelain is also more difficult to install and remove. Ceramic– made of red, white, or brown clay and kiln-fired at a lower temperature. Are you ready to learn more about these products in-depth? Porcelain tiles are baked at very high temperatures for long periods of time so that almost all the water is removed. Porcelain comes out on top when it comes to comparing the two. The differences between ceramic and porcelain will then affect the selection of tiles based on the application area, purpose, and budget. It works like a bodyguard to protect your tile from moisture and stains. #FlooringInc, Twitter It is not as strong as cement tile. Weighing the Pros and Cons of Porcelain Tile Known as the most durable type of tile on the market, porcelain is harder, denser, tougher, and less porous than ceramic tile. Porcelain isn’t a DIY-friendly material, as it requires a wet saw to cut properly. Ceramic tile has just as wide of a selection as porcelain tile. This is because porcelain tile is slightly harder than ceramic, so the cutting requires more labor and/or more expensive equipment. The patterning creates an effect that can be found in the homes of yesterday. This combination of clay and the higher pressure during construction makes porcelain denser than ceramic clays. After, a dryer removes some excess moisture, the tile is pressed into shape and left to dry on a rack. You will typically find 3 types of tile bodies to choose from. Porcelain tiles are fired at higher temperatures and for a longer time than ceramic tiles. Porcelain has become popular in residential flooring over the last several years. Karl Yeh: Okay. Porcelain is the more expensive of the ceramic tiles. Related Content >> Wall Tile Buying Guide. This institute gives each tile product a rating based on the hardness of its glaze- this helps determine what uses are suitable for that tile. Not only will the tile itself be a more budget friendly decision, the installation will too. Ceramic. It even has the popular wood-look planks! The difference between porcelain and ceramic tiles lies in their genetic makeup. The tile will then be further classified into different types according to its characteristics. Since it’s made from a denser material, you’re less likely to have scratches occur on porcelain tile. It’s known to be exceptionally impermeable to water. Additionally, the glaze can cause these tiles to be more slippery when wet so we recommend using a textured tile if you plan to use a glazed tile in a bathroom or water-prone area. Ceramic usually has the most inexpensive options, and that’s a great way to replace carpet flooring if you’re looking for an upgrade. However, it is likely that ceramic will be the more affordable option. Not recommended for outdoor applications. Porcelain tiles have a higher resistance to stain due to its low porosity, therefore easier to clean. Porcelain vs. Last, porcelain is fired at an extremely high 2500F, which is 500F higher than ceramic. Although Ceramic and porcelain tiles are quite similar in nature, small tweaks in combining the raw materials, temperature, and firing time during production can result in many variations with their own unique characteristics. Suitable for residential, medium commercial and light institutional applications. 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