Choosing the perfect tile for your home is hard enough but the question that always comes up is the difference between porcelain and ceramic tiles. Often people wonder if they are different and which will suit their space. These are common questions, so we’ll break it down for you.
Those looking for a quick summary can rest assured that despite the similarities in appearance there are significant differences that require explanation but include tile density, fit and resistance. In general, porcelain tiles are considerably denser, harder to wear and are therefore suitable for both indoor and outdoor (indoor/outdoor) wear and tear. The difference in density starts at the production stage and is a result of different materials and processes being used during the manufacture of the tiles. While ceramic tiles are often multifunctional and can be used for interior walls and floors, porcelain tiles are usually the most effective for floors because they are considerably more resistant to chipping and scratching that occurs on the floor. In general, porcelain tiles are harder because they have a lower water absorption which means they are suitable for outdoor areas (regardless of weather conditions) kitchen floors, entrances and commercial use . They are suitable for these areas because of the lack of glaze which means that the color seems to pass through the tiles making it difficult to see wear or chips in the surface. However sometimes they can be glazed in which case the color regardless of whether it is a ceramic or porcelain tile will show through the chipped glaze. This is an unlikely event because most tiles will not be exposed to chipping.
It is not surprising that porcelain and ceramic tiles are similar in appearance because they are both made of the same material, clay. However, the real difference lies in the treatment that the clay experiences and the manipulation during production. During the manufacture of ceramic tiles, the natural clay is treated with a durable glaze that is transplanted onto the surface of the tiles. The clay is then baked at an extremely high temperature which effectively removes most of the water content in the tiles. Porcelain tile production is significantly different. First of all, they are denser in nature because during manufacture finely ground sand is added to the mix and creates a different density than their ceramic counterpart. After that, the materials are then pressed and fired at a higher temperature than that of ceramic tiles. In addition it is done for a considerably longer period of time, thus removing more of the water content from ceramic tiles. It is this process during manufacturing that makes porcelain tiles considerably denser, less porous and generally harder than ceramic tiles.
Now the bit you’re really waiting for… Which tiles should I use in the interior of my home? In terms of usability and that they are good for your space there is no black and white answer. Ceramic tiles are generally considered easy to work with as they can be easily trimmed with the right tools making them the ideal choice for those who like a bit of DIY at home. On the other hand, porcelain tiles can be more difficult to work with for flooring novices. They can often require a professional with the correct tools to do the job properly. Therefore, the process can take considerably longer with porcelain tiles compared to the ceramic equivalent.
In general, you can expect porcelain to be more expensive than the ceramic equivalent due to the harder wearing nature and the need for professional attention. However, this is not always the case and it is important to shop around as they can vary significantly from one price point to another depending on the provider you choose. Look out for some fantastic deals on luxury porcelain and ceramic tiles imported from Spain and Italy at https://tesorotiles.co.uk/