The Difference Between Porcelain Tiles And Ceramic Tiles
The difference between porcelain and ceramic tiles lies in what they are made from.
Ceramic tiles are cooked at very high temperatures to reduce water content, and then the patterned glaze is applied. Porcelain tiles however are produced using only white clay and finely-ground sand and feldspar and then cooked at higher temperatures than ceramic tiles. As a result, you get a harder, much more dense tile, which is less porous.
All tiles are subject to a water absorption test through water submersion to determine how porous they are. Ceramic tiles are more porous than porcelain tiles because they absorb more water during this test.
There are then two different types of porcelain tile – full body porcelain tiles and glazed porcelain tiles.
Full body porcelain have no glaze on them and are the same design and colour all the way through. However, glazed tiles, as the name suggests, have a painted glaze on top which gives the tile its pattern and colour.
In relatively high-traffic areas, full body porcelain tiles may well be a better option. This is due to the fact that chips and dents in glazed tiles are much more noticeable as the colour underneath shows through.
Porcelain Or Ceramic Tiles?
There are certain instances in which one is more suitable than the other.
CHOOSE PORCELAIN IN AREAS WITH HIGH LEVELS OF MOISTURE
Porcelain tiles are more suited to areas with high levels of moisture. The most obvious example is the bathroom and showers..
CHOOSE PORCELAIN IN AREAS WITH HIGH TRAFFIC
Porcelain tiles are harder than ceramic tiles and can better withstand the abuse of high foot traffic. Ceramic tiles are slightly more likely to chip.
CHOOSE PORCELAIN IN AREAS OUTDOORS
Being less porous, porcelain tiles will hold up better in rain and snow than ceramic tiles. This is incredibly important in cold weather because if the moisture freezes then it will expand, which could cause the tile to crack.