Tile is one of the most common flooring and counter top options available on the market, largely because of the wide variety of different shades and the high degree of customization that they offer. The two most common types of tiles are porcelain and ceramic, each of which carries a distinct set of material features. Understanding the differences between porcelain and ceramic tiles can help you choose the best option for your construction project.
Porcelain tile is extremely durable, and will withstand a great deal of physical wear and tear without altering its appearance. It is also non-porous, which means that it will not absorb water which can cause damage to the actual structure of the tile over the long term. This makes it ideal for installations in rooms that experience a high degree of water exposure or that have high humidity, like bathrooms.
However, porcelain flooring does have a couple of downsides. First of all, it is a fairly expensive building option, both due to material costs and the fact that it requires specialized equipment to cut and size (due to its high durability, you'll need a special blade to cut it). This means that professional installation is often the only option for installing porcelain tile, making it less than ideal for projects with tight budgets.
Ceramic tile, on the other hand, offers a more affordable price point when compared to its porcelain counterpart, making it ideal for budget projects. Ceramic is lighter weight, which makes it easier to install (cutting down on labor costs if you have it professionally done), and also does not require any specialized equipment to cut – just a normal tile cutter (which makes do it yourself installation possible).
However, ceramic comes with a few considerations. Firstly, the glaze and the material of ceramic tiles are not as durable as porcelain, which means chipping and wear is possible. This can increase the amount of long run maintenance that you have to do, as individual tiles may have to be replaced as they become damaged. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, ceramic tile is an absorbent building material, which means that spills need to be cleaned up immediately or you run the risk of staining occurring on your tiles. This makes ceramic tiles not the best choice for rooms that have a high amount of moisture, like bathrooms, or on counter tops where food is prepared, as it can become easily stained and even allow for mildew growth.
Companies like KC Marble & Tile can help you with what you need.