Porcelain vs. Ceramic Tile: Which Floor Is Best?
Jul 19, 2021
Choosing Between Porcelain and Ceramic Tile
When it comes to installing new tile, both porcelain and ceramic are excellent materials. They are both durable, long-lasting, and come in an assortment of colors and styles. But, of course, there are some key differences and benefits of both materials. So, identify your top flooring priorities and see what material will work best for your next project.
Clay-Based and Kiln-Fired
Despite their numerous differences, ceramic and porcelain tiles are both clay-based. Porcelain tiles are considered a sub-type of ceramic tiles. Although both tiles are fired in a kiln, ceramic tiles are fired at a lower temperature, making them softer, less dense, and more porous. Porcelain tiles are the most durable type of tile as they are fired at a higher temperature.
The Fired Finish
When it comes to the finish of porcelain and ceramic tiles, there are options. If the tiles have gone through the kiln only once before installation, they are considered unglazed. However, both of these materials can be glazed, which means they will be fired in the kiln a second time with glaze applied. Glaze can be used to create different colors, patterns, and textures.
In addition, glazed, porcelain and ceramic tiles can be coated with sealants and finishes once they are installed in your home. Although this is not necessary, a penetrating sealer might help keep your tile lasting longer. Talk to Flooring America professionals and ask if they think an additional sealant is necessary after their expert installation.
Breaking Down the Pros and Cons
Ceramic tile is hands-down the more affordable option. Plus, it is easier to install due to its soft surface, and it’s more readily available. However, the soft surface can also be a bit of a concern as it is not as durable as porcelain. Ceramic should not be used in areas that are more exposed to water, like showers and patios, because it has a high absorption rate. Another point to consider, is that ceramic tile is naturally cool; it’s excellent for warm climates but might be uncomfortable in winter months or colder climates.
Porcelain, on the other hand, is more expensive. In fact, it can cost up to 60 percent more than the average ceramic tile. However, this cost doesn’t come without some fantastic benefits. It is durable, versatile, and is water-resistant, making it an excellent choice for bathrooms, patios, and laundry rooms. Although the durability is a terrific benefit, especially if you are installing in a high-traffic area, a wet saw with a diamond blade is necessary to cut cleanly through the material. Due to the tricky installation process, professional installation is the best option for porcelain tiles, which will add to your budget.
Let an Expert Help You Make a Choice
Sometimes it can be hard to choose the right flooring materials, especially when the options seem endless. Your local Flooring America experts are here to help, so stop by today, and let us find a floor that fits all your needs without compromising any of your style.
Visualize Your Flooring Dreams
Want a preview of how new floors will look in your home? Try our room visualizer, My Floor Style. Upload a photo of your room, select your style preferences, and get a virtual look at each different flooring style. With My Floor Style, there are no surprises. Only beautiful new floors.