What’s the best tile? Porcelain vs. Ceramic

Woman trying to select the best tile in a construction store.

Tile has quickly become the material of choice in many areas of the home. Where wood and carpeting once went, tile is now taking over.

Two of the most popular types of tile are ceramic and porcelain. The two materials are similar in many ways, but each has different pros and cons. Let’s look at each material to help you decide which would work best for your home renovation.

How These Tiles Are Made

Ceramic and porcelain are made using very similar processes. Both are kiln-fired, but ceramic tiles are fired at lower temperatures than porcelain, making them softer and more porous.

Porcelain is made out of refined clay and other natural elements and is kiln-fired at a higher temperature.

Maintenance and Durability

Maintenance is a huge consideration to make before choosing any flooring. If you have kids and pets, the last thing you want is a delicate tile that breaks easily, or that has to be constantly cleaned.

When it comes to durability, porcelain is the best tile for the job. It is more dense and less porous than ceramic, which makes it harder, tougher, and less likely to chip.

Porcelain is also very easy to clean, and thanks to its low absorption rate, you won’t have to worry about staining. You’ll only need to sweep or mop a couple of times a month, depending on the traffic the tiles see.

Ceramic tile may not be as durable as porcelain, but it is no delicate flower. As long as the tiles are properly installed and the tile isn’t used in ultra-high traffic areas, they can last for decades.

Just like porcelain, ceramic tiles are very easy to maintain and can be kept clean with soap and water.

Best Tile for Different Uses

Since porcelain is practically water resistant, it is the best choice for your bathroom, laundry room, or in areas with high humidity. Porcelain can also be used on outdoor patios or walkways since it won’t be affected by the elements as much as ceramic tiles.

Ceramic tiles are great to use as backsplashes since they tend to be lower weight, easier to cut and can be customized into more colors and patterns than porcelain.

They tend to be softer than porcelain, making them great for flooring in lower-traffic areas. This is especially true if you live in a warmer climate since ceramic tiles stay cooler than porcelain.

Other Considerations

Although porcelain is more durable, versatile, and a great addition to just about any space in your home, it is more expensive. Since ceramic tiles undergo a simpler manufacturing process, it is far less expensive than porcelain which is why many homeowners choose to use them.

Another thing to remember is that you don’t have to go with one or the other. Using porcelain in higher-traffic areas and ceramic in places that aren’t used as much is a great way to reduce costs.

The same goes for the shower, where you could choose ceramic tiles for the walls and porcelain for the floors. If you have more questions about which materials to include in your home renovation, please reach out. We are here to help from start to finish!

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