The Difference Between Ceramic and Porcelain

When it comes to selecting which tile to choose, we want to know what the difference is between Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles. The difference is hazy and hard to define. So what do we chose? What is the difference? Which is better? These are questions frequently asked. Hopefully, we can clarify a few things for you.

Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles

Most people assume Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles are one of the same and others assume they are vastly different. Both these assumptions are not correct. Although they are largely the same, there is a difference.

Both Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles fall under the term “Ceramic Tiles”. It is easier to understand if you classify the larger category of ceramic tiles into porcelain and non-porcelain tiles.

The process of choosing whether a tile is non-porcelain or porcelain happens at the start of the manufacturing process. The properties of the clay composition and the pressing and firing processes, will determine if the tile is porcelain or standard ceramic.

What are the qualities for a ceramic tile to be given the title of porcelain tile?

1. Low water absorption

A porcelain tile is denser, making it harder and more impervious than non-ceramic. Tiles needs to have a water absorption of 0,5% or less to be porcelain. If it is more porous, it is classified non-porcelain.

2. Durability

Due to porcelain’s density and body composition, the porcelain tile is harder and more durable. This makes it more suited for high-traffic areas. Due to it being thicker, a bit harder and more durable, the porcelain tile is harder to cut and a professional may be needed to ensure the tile does not crack.  Ceramic tiles are more fragile and chip easily. These tiles scratch easier than porcelain tiles. Therefore, they need to be used in areas with less traffic.

3. Through-body composition

Appearance of tiles can vary in colour, however porcelain tiles can withstand a lot more than the standard ceramic tiles. The design goes through the entire tile, whereas the ceramic tile design is only on the surface.

If you want an impervious tile that is durable and fashionable, with state of the art decoration and finish that is able to withstand any condition, porcelain tiles are your best option. These tiles give an upmarket, modern, clean look, with perfect sizing for use in all areas of your home.

With problems such as high water absorption and irregular tile sizing, combined with poor technical properties, the old standard clay ceramic tile is outdated, cheap and restricted to limited finishes and small tile sizes.