You’ve considered all of your options and finally settled on tile. But your job is not finished yet. Now you need to decide between porcelain and ceramic tile. You might think that tile is tile, but this is far from the truth. While porcelain and ceramic are similar, they do have some distinct differences that could ultimately sway you one way or the other.
How Are They Made?
While both porcelain and ceramic tiles are fired in kilns, making them quite durable, they are made differently. Ceramic tile is made from a mixture of clays and other materials. Porcelain, on the other hand, is made specifically from porcelain clays that are fired at much higher temperatures and longer than ceramic. This is only one of many differences between the two.
What’s Your Budget?
How much money do you plan to devote to your tiling project? The answer to this question could be a deciding factor when deciding between porcelain and ceramic. Ceramic tile tends to run from less than two dollars per square foot to about four dollars. It rarely costs more than that. Porcelain, on the other hand, tends to range from three to more than five dollars per square foot. If you are on a tight budget, ceramic may be the way to go. You can find several beautiful styles of quality ceramic for a decent price, but porcelain tiles that are on the less expensive side tend to be poorly made.
How Much Traffic Does the Area See?
While both tile choices are strong, porcelain is the more durable of the two. Having been fired at higher temperatures it is denser, and therefore allowing it to last much longer against damage. If the area you are planning to tile sees a lot of foot traffic, or you have pets or children, porcelain is your better choice. It will hold up much better to scratches, stains and other damages.
What’s the Water Situation?
Some rooms in the home see more water than others, such as the bathroom, kitchen or entryway. While either tile could work for any of these areas, but to ensure that your tile lasts a long time, porcelain is a better choice. As stated earlier, it is denser. Therefore, it is less porous, making it more difficult for water to penetrate the surface.
Are You a DIY-er?
Do you like to do your own home renovation projects? If you are planning on doing your own tile work, you might want to consider ceramic over porcelain. Ceramic is a softer tile, making it much easier to cut than porcelain, which can be tricky. Even if you are an experienced DIY-er, having to make several cuts can make working with porcelain a much more tedious, time consuming project. You can save yourself a lot of time and a huge headache working with ceramic.
Indoors or Out?
Finally, are you planning on tiling an indoor space or an outdoor one? Either tile is a great indoor addition, but when it comes to outdoors, porcelain takes the crown. It is weather resistant. Ceramic, on the other hand, absorbs water when it freezes, making it susceptible to expansion and breakage, porcelain does not. Even if you live in an area where freezes are unlikely, by using porcelain, you are ensuring that your outdoor tile job is long lasting.
Tile is a great addition to your home. It looks beautiful, comes in many styles and colors and is very strong. While they may seem the same, there are some significant differences that could ultimately be the deciding factor between porcelain and ceramic tile. Considering tile for your next remodeling project? Contact your local Windows Floors & Decor rep to find out whether porcelain or ceramic tile will be best.