Porcelain and ceramic tiles have a traditional style and clean-lined appearance that make them ideal for any floor, countertop, or wall renovation.
Because of its strength, adaptability, and vast range of design options, homeowners adore these windows. Despite the many similarities between the two kinds of clay-contained tiles.
There are a number of fundamental characteristics that divide them, from their porousness and absorption to their longevity and cost.
No matter which tile you prefer — porcelain or ceramic — we can give you the upkeep tips you need to keep it looking like new.
Tiles constructed of polished clay and similar natural components are known as porcelain tiles. After being burnt in the kiln, the tiles are either kept in their natural state or are altered to resemble concrete, wood, stone, or other materials, depending on the application.
In spite of its clay-based construction, porcelain tile is more durable than any other tile variant and is therefore classified as a subtype of ceramic tile.
Porcelain tiles are available in both unglazed and glazed varieties. In a contrast to tiles with a glaze applied to the surface, unglazed or full-bodied tiles have color flowing through the complete thickness, making them more durable and less prone to chipping.
Pros Of Porcelain Tile
As previously stated, the composition of porcelain tile and the production process of ceramic tile are the fundamental differences between the two types of tile.
A finer clay combination is used in the production of porcelain, which is compressed under high pressures and then baked under hotter temperatures in the firing kiln.
Porcelain tile is distinguished by a number of essential characteristics. Porcelain tile has a higher density than ceramic tile, making it more durable and less susceptible to wear and tear.
As a result, it is more suitable for both commercial and residential applications. Porcelain tile is water-resistant. Porcelain haves a lesser water absorption rate than 0.5 percent, according to ASTM specifications.
Small chips in unglazed porcelain tile may not be obvious, owing to the consistent color of the material used in the construction.
Cons Of Porcelain Tile
There are some disadvantages to using porcelain tile, yet it is a suitable solution for many applications. Porcelain is quite a durable material.
Because of the hardness, you need special equipment to cut it. This can be difficult for a novice do-it-yourselfer to complete. A homeowner may decide to pay for expert installation rather than do it themselves.
Porcelain tile is quite an expensive option in terms of manufacturing. Its durability-though will pay you for the investment.
Comparing The Pros & Cons Of Porcelain Tiles
Porcelain tile, widely regarded as the most lasting type of tile available, is harder, denser, stronger, and not as porous as ceramic tile, making it the most durable option available.
Because of its low absorption rate, it is extremely immune to moisture damage, even after a lot of wear and tear. This property makes it an excellent choice for wet locations such as restrooms, patios, laundry spaces, and other outdoor spaces.
Porcelain can be perfect for commercial and residential purposes both because of its endurance in high-traffic areas. Higher costs and difficulty in creating shapes by cutting are the two main pitfalls that keep porcelain a few steps behind.
Ceramic tile is often more expensive than porcelain tile, according to industry statistics. Aside from that, because of the material’s density and hardness, homeowners often use a wet saw to cut smoothly through the material.
It is preferable to have a professional install your tiles if you want a beautiful finish with no broken tiles. If you’re seeking to tackle a DIY installation project on a budget, ceramic tile can be a better option for you than other materials.
Ceramic tile is a common choice for floors in both commercial and residential buildings all around the world. Also, ceramic tile can be used for walls, backsplashes as well as showers and bathtubs.
Ceramic tile is helpful to your home because it is used in nearly every room. Ceramic tile’s many benefits include being eco-friendly, reducing allergies in the home, increasing a home’s resale value, and being practical, utilitarian, and aesthetically pleasing.
Pros Of Ceramic Tiles
To under ceramic tiles better, here are some benefits of using the same: Because of the differences in components and preparation, ceramic tile is less expensive than other types of tile.
Ceramic tile is less difficult to cut, preparing it a better choice for do-it-yourself chores around the house. Ceramic tile, according to some experts, is more adaptable if you want to create a more artistic, detailed, and appealing design in areas such as backsplashes.
The use of ceramic wall tile may be advantageous in such circumstances. In addition, glazed ceramic can be personalized with a variety of colors and designs to suit your preferences.
Some ceramic tile variations have textures on the surface that creates a sense of depth and dimension in the design. Tiles elevated shapes and various designs are often found in the market.
Cons Of Ceramic Tiles
Ceramic tile is a popular choice for a variety of household applications. There are, however, certain additional concerns. The ability to withstand water is possibly the most important consideration when deciding between ceramic tile and porcelain.
Ceramic tile is more porous than other types of tile, and as a result, it absorbs more water. It should not be utilized in any other applications than those specified.
Ceramic tile does not have the same strength as porcelain tile. It should not be used in high-traffic locations.
Comparing Pros & Cons Of Ceramic Tile
Ceramic is a cost-effective and versatile solution for individuals who need to purchase big amounts of tile at a low cost. Not only it is a cost-effective option, but it also provides a simpler installation method.
The relatively soft surface of ceramic tile allows homeowners to cut the tile with just a simple tile cutter, which is a piece of cake when compared to the far more complicated porcelain tile cutting procedure.
Also advantageous are the clean-lined appearance of ceramic tiles and the fact that the durable glazed surface may be modified in a number of colors and designs.
Ceramic tile is less durable than porcelain, and because of its relatively high absorption rate, homeowners must clean up spills as soon as they occur on ceramic tile.
Using ceramic tile in locations that are frequently exposed to wet, like the shower and patio, is generally discouraged.
In addition, because of its proclivity as moisture absorbent, ceramic tile requires intensive cleaning on a weekly basis rather than on a monthly basis.
While the cold tile may be pleasant in the summer, it can be unbearably cold in the winter, depending on the weather.
Decorative ceramic tiles are polished with an impervious glaze, which allows the clay material underlying to be visible if a break or chip occurs on the tile’s surface. Ceramic tiles should be used in areas where there is little or no foot traffic, such as bathrooms and kitchens.
Differences Between Porcelain Vs Ceramic Tiles
When it comes to surface coatings, ceramic and porcelain tiles are commonly created with a glazed finish that makes them virtually indistinguishable at first appearance.
Porcelain tile has recently gained popularity due to its capacity to be manufactured to look like a variety of various materials.
In contrast to ceramic tile, which is often a solid color and design, porcelain tiles are available that are exceptionally adept at simulating natural stone like marble and even wood grains.
As a result, porcelain tile is an ideal solution for areas if you need the look of wood but don’t want the risk of water damage associated with wood.
In addition, the majority of basic ceramic tile, which does not fall under the category of porcelain, is a solid hue; simulations of genuine stone or wood grains are not prevalent with basic ceramic tile.
Winner: Porcelain Tile
For the simple fact that porcelain tile is available in a greater variety of patterns, colors, and textures on the surface, including tiles that mimic wood grains and natural stone, porcelain tile has the upper hand when it comes to visual appeal.
Heat & Water Resistance
Both porcelain and ceramic have excellent heat resistance and are therefore frequently used as countertops in kitchens.
The heavier, denser, and more water-resistant nature of porcelain tile makes it a better choice for outdoor applications than ceramic tile, albeit it should only be used outside in temperate regions unless otherwise specified. Porcelain tile has high heat resistance, making it a desirable option for countertops due to its durability.
Compared to natural stone, ceramic tile is slightly more sensitive to moisture infiltration, while the variations are minor if the tile is glazed.
As long as the ceramic tile’s face is glazed, the tile’s face will be resistant to water damage. Unglazed areas of the tile’s back or side will not hold up to water and will get discolored. Because ceramic tile is embedded in the mortar, the bottom of the tile is unlikely to come into touch with water.
In a similar vein, the sides of the tile, which are stuffed with grout, should be protected from water infiltration. As a result of its exceptional heat resistance, ceramic tile is a great choice for countertops.
Winner: Porcelain Tile
Ceramic has slightly superior water resistance than stone, so you can use it outside in milder climes and for longer periods of time in outdoor settings. Ceramic tile can’t be used in outdoor settings in any climate or climate zone.
Maintenance & Longevity
Porcelain is denser but less porous than ceramic clays, which makes them ideal for porcelain production. Porcelain tile becomes hard and water-resistant because of this.
As a result of its composition, it is regarded to be more durable and more suited for severe wear than porcelain tile. It doesn’t impact the color even if it is chipped, so the damage doesn’t affect the aesthetic the same and that makes it virtually pleasing, always.
Ceramic is a relatively simple material to maintain, with only periodic sealing of the grout joints.
Whenever you chip in a ceramic tile, you’ll discover a different hue beneath the top glaze, so that the chips are likely to be quite noticeable.
Ceramic tile is made from clays that are not as dense as porcelain clays, which implies that ceramic tiles are more prone to cracking and breaking than porcelain tiles.
Sealers may also be required for unglazed ceramic tiles, which must be treated to the entire tile surface rather than just the grout lines.
Winner: Porcelain Tile
Due to the fact that porcelain tiles are a tougher substance with a consistent color throughout, they are strong and durable, and chips are not typically noticeable.
Using a damp mop and a moderate water-soap solution, you can easily wipe up any spills on porcelain tile. It is necessary to seal the cementitious grout that fills the joints on a regular basis in order to prevent stains and mildew from developing.
Ceramic tile needs a similar level of cleaning and maintenance as porcelain tile.
Porcelain tile and ceramic tile require the same level of maintenance and cleaning.
The installation of both types of tile flooring is done in a similar manner. Tiles are bonded to a cement board underlayment with the use of a thin-set adhesive that is based on mortar.
The joints between the tiles are stuffed with grout after they have been set, and the grout is sealed against moisture once it has been allowed to dry.
Because of the changes in densities between porcelain and ceramic tile, there are subtle differences in how they are handled.
Porcelain tile is more fragile than ceramic tile, and it may necessitate the use of a professional tile-experienced setter’s hand to cut it effectively.
In order to cut porcelain tile, a tile saw is necessary, whereas an affordable snap cutter will usually do when cutting ceramic tile.
Due to the lesser density than porcelain, ceramic is less durable. But, if you are considering DIY, it is the ideal material because you can cut it easily according to your needs.
Winner: Ceramic Tile
Despite the fact that the processes are nearly the same, ceramic tile is a little easier to install due to the fact that it is a softer material that is less difficult to cut.
When it comes to simplicity of installation, ceramic and porcelain tiles are nearly identical for the ease of installation for homeowners that do their own tile installation.
Porcelain and ceramic tiles are both extremely long-lasting building materials, assuming that they are properly maintained. When it comes to longevity, homeowners will notice that there are differences between ceramic and porcelain tile.
Porcelain tile is a tougher product that retains more than ceramic tile, but because of its hardness, it is more susceptible to cracking when a building is subjected to structural displacement.
It is predicted that ceramic tile can last up to 100 years if you maintain the grout and perform sealing properly. While it is technically softer and does not last long like porcelain tile, it is more resistant to cracking as a result of structural shifting than porcelain tile, which is a plus.
Both materials have the potential to last long provided they are properly cared for.
Porcelain tile is costlier to make than ceramic tile, and as a result, its retail prices are greater. It can range between $3 to $35 per square foot.
Ceramic tile is cost-effective if the other factors are constant. Ceramic tile is often 60- to 70-percent less expensive than porcelain tile, depending on the manufacturer.
For $.50 to $35 per square foot, ceramics can be purchased. There are many ways to get a better deal on the tile when shopping online.
Winner: Ceramic Tile
Ceramic tile, as a broad category, is less costly than the vast majority of porcelain tiles. However, there is an unexpectedly wide variety in prices for ceramic tiles.
It is worth noting that the very best designer tiles, whether they are made of ceramic or porcelain, tend to cost about the same.
Given the high amounts of moisture in a wet room and the fact that porcelain is practically impervious, porcelain is the finest material to use when constructing a wet room.
Ceramic is an excellent material to utilize in a conventional bathroom, especially given the broad variety of designs available, some of which have anti-slip features.
With porcelain’s high level of water resistance, it is well suited to withstand whatever weather conditions. Ceramic tiles are susceptible to cracking in cold weather, resulting in the need for a replacement as soon as possible. Porcelain will provide you with peace of mind in this situation.
Wear & Tear
Ceramic tiles are extremely durable and can withstand heavy usage since they are scratch-resistant. They are therefore ideal for high-traffic areas.
Porcelain is the most durable material, whether it is used in a high-traffic area of the home, commercial area, or hallways.
If you compare ceramic tiles with other options like carpet or laminate, you will find that they are a more durable and long-lasting option.
In the event that you are working with a limited budget, ceramic is going to be the greatest option. Price-wise, the tiles will be less taxing on your wallet, and saving money on tiles does not necessarily imply sacrificing style.
Ceramic is available in a variety of designs and styles to complement any interior design scheme. There is something for everyone on the market today.
Ceramic tiles are much more convenient to work with than other types of tiles, which is great news for you do-it-yourselfers. Particularly in regions where a large number of cuts are required to properly install your tiles.
Porcelain is far more difficult to cut and necessitates the use of expert tools and talents in order to achieve the same look.
Hope this guide has helped you find the best material for your purposes. Ceramic and porcelain both are fantastic materials, but like everything else, they have their own advantages and pitfalls. Based on various factors, you must decide which one you must pick. All the best!
Jenny SteffensHobick is the full-time editor responsible for painting, flooring, bathrooms & home climate coverage at House Whirl. She is a home improvement expert with an eye for design and the skills to get the work done. She knows what turns a house into a home and has the advice and ideas to make upgrades easy and fun.