Which Are Better Porcelain Or Ceramic Tiles?

Choosing the right flooring for your home is a difficult decision. There are many factors to consider, such as which material is better for your space and which type of tile will fit your style. 

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Ceramic and porcelain are two of the most popular tile options for homeowners today. These clay-based materials are known for their durability, affordability, and timeless aesthetics. They are also a favorite of architects and designers, as they’re easy to install and can mimic the look of natural stone or wood. 

The Difference Between Porcelain and Ceramic Tile

Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are kiln-fired, but the process used to make them is different. For example, the clay used to make porcelain tiles is more refined and fired at a higher temperature. This gives them extra density, which makes them more durable and less prone to cracking. 

The main differences between these types of tiles are their water absorption rate and their resistance to staining. For example, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) classifies porcelain as having a water absorption rate of 0.5% or lower, while non-porcelain ceramics can absorb up to 14% of their weight from moisture. 

PEI, or Hardness of Tile

If you’re tiling indoors and don’t want to spend too much time researching which type of tile is best, you can always simply look for the PEI rating on the packaging of a new porcelain tile. This essentially indicates the hardness of the ceramic glaze or surface, not the body of the tile itself. 

Density and Durability

The key advantage of porcelain is its durability, especially when it’s glazed. It’s less likely to chip and break than other types of ceramic tile, making it a great choice for areas that get a lot of traffic. 

It’s also much less prone to staining from sauces, food, and other liquids that may splash on the floor. Because of its density, porcelain tile is also resistant to scratches and dents from furniture, such as kitchen chairs. 

However, it should be noted that porcelain is often more expensive than other kinds of ceramic tile. This is because of the labor involved in installing it, and a diamond-blade wet saw is needed to cut porcelain tile properly. 

Ease of Cutting

Ceramic tiles are softer and easier to cut than porcelain. This makes them more suited to DIY projects and makes it easier for a homeowner with minimal experience to install them on their own. 

Flexibility and Customizability

Ceramic tile can be shaped and painted into a variety of designs. This makes it versatile, and some experts find it easier to work with than porcelain. It’s also a good choice for backsplashes, where it can be a great way to create an eye-catching focal point and add dimension to your space.