Choosing the right type of tiles for your projects can feel overwhelming when many options look similar.
When considering porcelain tile versus ceramic tile finishes, a few key characteristics set the flooring materials apart. Depending on your budget, maintenance preferences, and durability requirements, one option may suit your project better than the other.
Continue reading to learn the differences between porcelain and ceramic tile flooring so that you can make an educated choice for your tile needs.
The biggest difference between porcelain and ceramic tiles involves the water absorption rates. Porcelain tiles use a denser type of clay with a water absorption rate of only 0.5%, while ceramic is more absorbent. Because of this, porcelain tile flooring typically costs more:
Ceramic tiles work best primarily for indoor use because of their higher water absorption rates, while porcelain will handle indoor or outdoor applications well. Ceramic tiles also have a softer finish than porcelain, which may make them less suitable for certain rooms. Porcelain is typically stronger and more durable.
Both ceramic and porcelain tiles feature the same types of finishes, so they usually appear identical, though porcelain comes in a wider variety of colors and patterns. Both options offer similar cleaning regimens and installation methods.
Porcelain and ceramic tiles go through different manufacturing processes, causing varying durability and water absorption levels. The manufacturing process for each includes the following:
After the firing, both types typically receive a glazing solution containing liquified glass material for a glossy finish. After glazing, manufacturers add the pattern or desired color.
Sometimes, ceramic tile finishes don’t require glazing, though virtually all porcelain tiles will receive this coating. Once finished, both porcelain and ceramic tiles may appear similar, though their inner makeup sets them apart.
When selecting the best tile for your needs, consider the following factors:
Location: Porcelain offers better water resistance, so you may choose to use porcelain floor tiles in bathrooms or kitchens. Porcelain may also work best for a backsplash. Ceramic tile may be a more suitable choice for bedrooms or living areas.
Style preferences: Porcelain comes in more colors or patterns, so if you can’t find the design you like in a ceramic tile, consider porcelain. For example, you can choose options that mimic natural stone or choose a funky pattern for an accent piece.
Traffic: Porcelain offers better durability than ceramic, making it more suitable for high-traffic locations or areas that must withstand heavy furniture.
Budget: Porcelain typically costs more than ceramic, depending on the exact style. We recommend considering your budget and the factors above when picking your tiles.
Whether you want a porcelain or ceramic tile finish, the 99 Cent Floor Store is your go-to shop for high-quality tiles at the best prices available.