What is the difference between porcelain and ceramic tile? It’s all similar, isn’t it? And yet, why are so many people tormented by the choices they make?
Which tiles are more durable, which are more expensive, which are more cost-effective in the long run? Choosing a tile is one of the basic elements when it comes to home design. The tiles you choose, whether ceramic or porcelain, you won’t change any time soon. Because of that, before making your selection, consider all the options, study the differences and take your time – one afternoon is not enough for picking and shopping – and in the end be sure and happy with your selection.
A quick comparison
The main difference between a porcelain and ceramic tile is the rate of water they absorb. Specifically, porcelain tiles absorb less than 0.5% water, while ceramic and other types of tile absorb more than 0.5% water. This is down to the stuff used to make porcelain tiles. The clay is denser and so less porous. It effects how the tiles behave, and what they’re best used for. Porcelain tiles are an extremely durable type of ceramic tile because they are manufactured under high pressure and temperature.
The Porcelain Enamel Institute rating (PEI rating) is a quick and easy way to see which tile is suitable in your home depending on how many times the area you are tiling is walked over.
Tiles are graded from 0-5 depending on the hardness of the tile:
- PEI 0 – No foot traffic (wall tiles)
- PEI 1 – Very light traffic (e.g. bathroom)
- PEI 2 – Light traffic (e.g. bathroom and bedroom)
- PEI 3 – Light to moderate traffic (suitable for most domestic floors)
- PEI 4 – Moderate to heavy traffic (suitable for domestic floors and some commercial uses)
- PEI 5 – Heavy traffic (suitable for all domestic and commercial uses with heavy footfall)
Most ceramic floor tiles are graded between 3 and 4. Porcelain tiles tend to have a rating between 3 and 5.
Is porcelain tile better?
According to many experts in their field, the main difference between tile materials is not only in their technical characteristics but also in the field of application, since each of them has its advantages, disadvantages and unique properties. For standard wall in the bathroom at home or in the kitchen, ceramic tiles are ideal if you want them to last you many years. The average strength class of this type of material is exactly what is needed because the impact of climate, temperature and other factors outside the home will be minimal.
Porcelain tile is ideal for industrial and public places and is often chosen for saunas and public pools. Also, porcelain tile is even suitable for lining the facades of the house, because even the heaviest frost is not going to harm it. However, if you are going to buy this type of outdoor installation material, be sure to choose a trusted company that sells quality products.
Often, designers and decorators choose porcelain ceramics to deal with a modern fireplace, since this material is considered fireproof so on high temperatures, you don’t need to fear cracks and chips. Even ceramic tile of maximum strength and high class is hardly comparable to porcelain stone.
Which is more profitable?
If you’re on a tight budget, ceramic tiles are likely to be the best solution. The price will be kinder on your bank account, and cheaper tiles don’t have to mean compromising on style. Ceramic tiles are available in a wide range of patterns and styles to suit any look. There’s something out there for everyone.
Things to consider before selecting ceramic or porcelain tile
In order to make the right choice for this or that material, there are several important factors to consider, including:
- Functional purpose of the room.
- Load on the surface (we often talk about the floor, not the walls).
- Temperature mode and its possible differences.
- Possibility of tiles getting damaged.
- Style of the room.
Porcelain and ceramic tiles have their advantages and disadvantages and it is almost impossible to decide which are better. Porcelain tiles are more water-resistant, easier to maintain and suitable for outdoor use, while ceramic tiles are more affordable and easier to install. The choice between these two types of tiles is individual and depends on the location within the home or commercial space. Tiles and floors are something that stays in your home for many years and is not so easy to change. It is for this reason that when buying you should be very careful and confident in your choice.
However, if you are still not sure what to choose or if you have any questions feel free to get in touch. As full-service tiling company, Greenstone tiling is able to offer friendly and professional advice on all matters relating to tiling.