Carpet Roll

January 2, 2021

Do you need to choose between ceramic and porcelain tiles? Although the terms ceramic and porcelain are often referred to as the same thing, they are different. Each one comes with a list of pros and cons, so it is up to you to decide which one would be the best fit for your project. In this post, we bring out their features so that you can make the final choice.

Porosity

When we talk about porosity, ceramic is classified as more porous material. During the production process, it is exposed to lower temperatures. Ceramic is more prone to water penetration, so a layer of glaze can make the tiles waterproof. Hence, when you need less porous tiles stay away from the unglazed ceramic tile. If you have a preference regarding the strength, you can find tiles with grade 1-4. When you need more durable tiles, opt for the higher strength grade.

Porcelain, on the other hand, is dense because it is made of refined materials. They use special kaolin clay to enhance the density and therefore make the tiles less porous. Also, it is treated at higher temperatures which contribute to reducing the porosity. However, it is only available in strength grade 5.

Price

When it comes to pricing, the glazed ceramic tile is the leader. With an average price ranging from $3-$4 per square foot, this is the ultimate choice for projects on a budget. The tiles are soft, which makes them convenient for cutting. The costs for labour vary from $60 to $100 per hour.

For porcelain tiles, expect to pay around $4-$8 per square foot. Keep in mind that the material is quite hard and can be cut only with a diamond saw. Besides, the labour costs are slightly higher and range from $60 to $120.

Do It Yourself project

If you want to install the tiles yourself and avoid the labour costs, keep in mind that both materials are different. As we already mentioned, ceramic tiles are easy to work with. They are easy to cut and install, which makes them the perfect choice for DIYers.

On the other hand, porcelain tiles require professional installation. The tiles are heavy and difficult to cut, so you will need to hire a pro for this project.

Water resistance

We already mentioned that ceramic tiles are porous, so this means that they are prone to water retention. Alternatively, porcelain has a low absorption rate as it is denser. Therefore, choose porcelain when tiling rooms with high levels of moisture.

Stains absorption

Stains are another huge concern for homeowners. The ceramic tile is more porous, which makes it vulnerable to stains. On the other hand, porcelain is denser and more stain-resistant. If the room isn’t exposed to stains, you are free to go for ceramic tile.

Designs

When it comes to designs, the ceramic tile offers a wide range of options. Whether you prefer matte, glossy, or high gloss finish, you can find the thing that works. You can also find more exclusive designs, such as wood initiations and hand-painted patterns.

Porcelain tiles also come with different designs, colours, and patterns. Recently, the designs that mimic stone and wood are trendy. This will introduce a dose of natural texture into the space, while keeping the surface waterproof.

Repairs

No matter which type of tiles you use, you might have to face repairs at a certain point. Keep in mind that ceramic is easier to fix. Since porcelain is difficult to cut, the repairing process is more complicated. If you expect frequent repairs due to the activity in the room, stick with ceramic tile for convenience.

Ceramic tile or porcelain?

When you know the pros and cons of each, you can make a final decision. It all depends on your needs, so choose according to the room. Besides, we offer suggestions based on the features and advantages.

Kitchen countertops

When you need to decide about the right tiles for your kitchen countertops, keep in mind that both options work. Ceramic tiles are prone to heat and come with proper glaze to enhance the waterproof ability. Porcelain is also a good option, as it has all you need to withstand the heat and moisture. It won’t crack when exposed to heat and has better moisture resistance properties. Porcelain won’t get stained, and it is prone to acids.

Living room

When you need to decide about the right tiles for your kitchen countertops, keep in mind that both options work. Ceramic tiles are prone to heat and come with proper glaze to enhance the waterproof ability. Porcelain is also a good option, as it has all you need to withstand the heat and moisture. It won’t crack when exposed to heat and has better moisture resistance properties. Porcelain won’t get stained, and it is prone to acids.

Outdoors

Porcelain is a better choice, but only if you live under mild climate conditions. It is waterproof and UV resistant, so you don’t have to worry about the outdoor conditions damaging your flooring. On the other hand, ceramic tile isn’t recommended for outdoor use. When exposed to heat, it can change shape or even crack.

Bathroom

Porcelain is more prone to water damage, so this should be your choice or bathroom floors and shower walls. It is water-resistant and can withstand humidity. Although ceramic is considered to be more vulnerable to stain and water, the suitable glaze and sealing can protect it. Also, it is a cheaper option because of the low material cost and the possibility of DIY installing.

Basement

Porcelain is also a proper choice for basement flooring. This space is prone to moisture and flooding so porcelain tiles can withstand such conditions.

DIY projects

If you are a passionate DIYer, then the ceramic tile is the right choice for you. As we already mentioned, they are easy to install and cut. When you need repairs, you can easily change the broken tiles without spending money on professional maintenance.