Ceramic Vs. Porcelain Tiles

Posted on Dec 12, 2015

One question that is commonly asked regarding a remodel is whether or not is best to use ceramic or porcelain tile in a bathroom. Everyone can agree that bathrooms are one area of the house that tends to be the busiest, and they can be an expensive room to remodel.

Since the bathroom is the area of the house that gets the wettest, one of the first things a person should keep in mind is to make sure it is as durable and waterproof as possible. This is even more important than the color and design scheme. When choosing materials that are water resistant and durable, a person will need to think about not only the tile, but also what is placed behind the tile. There are two distinct characteristics that a person will need to look for in the tile. First, it should be load-bearing and capable of handling high-traffic. Second, the tile should be non-porous to avoid water seepage into the home. A person can then begin to look at secondary features such as aesthetics, cost and abrasion resistance after the two characteristics have been determined.

Choosing Tile

There are only two main choices that provide the need for water-resistance and durability, and those are ceramic and porcelain tiles. Today, modern manufacturing techniques have made both options affordable for homeowners. However, it is important to note that porcelain tiles tend to be more expensive than ceramic tiles. This is balanced by the better performance porcelain tile can provide in the long run due to its greater durability and density.

Ceramic Tile

Those who are new to tile installation will appreciate that ceramic tiles are easier to cut. They are also less expensive, stain resistant, difficult to scratch, easy to clean and readily available at most local distributors. Unfortunately, they are less durable than porcelain, and they are not typically “through-color”. This means that the color within the tile may not be the same as it is on the surface. Ceramic is also more permeable than porcelain, which makes them less water-resistant.

Features of Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tiles are dense, hard, and tough. They are about 30 percent stronger than granite. Non-glazed porcelain tiles are usually the same color all the way through its thickness. They stand up to weather including frost and have a higher durability rating than ceramic. Polishing can give porcelain tiles a high sheen. Since porcelain tiles can be cut to smaller sizes, they can be used for complex patterns. They allow the installer to achieve tighter grout lines.

The downside of porcelain is that a person needs special knowledge and training as well as specialized tools to cut it. It is recommended that latex acrylic mortar be used as an adhesive. Larger sized tiles need to be placed on a substrate that is very flat. If not they will break when a heavy load is put on them.

Determining the Best Option

When deciding whether to use porcelain or ceramic tiles, the homeowner must take into account how long he or she intends to live in the home. For short-term use, ceramic tile may be the answer, as it is less expensive and easier to install. On the other hand, for long term use, porcelain is the better choice, because it is long-lasting and of higher quality overall. If cost is not a big factor, porcelain is the winning choice.

Grout Medic Denver is an expert in tile and grout cleaning in Denver. They are recognized by tile and grout manufacturers as experts in the after care of grout and tile.