We have a number of tile choices to select from when we are remodeling our home. One of those difficult choices is selecting between porcelain and ceramic tiles. Their wide range of applications in every corner of the house makes them more desirable than their other counterparts. This perplexes us when we have to choose between them for our bathroom, kitchen etc.
It is quite an unknown that porcelain is also a ceramic. Both forms of tiles undergo the same manufacturing process – coating clay with a glaze and exposing it to extreme heat which breaks down clay and glazes chemically into a glass-like coating. They are differentiated by their rate of water absorption by the Tile Council of North America. Porcelain absorbs less than 0.5% of water whereas ceramics and other non-porcelain types absorb more than 0.5%.
Manufacture and Applications
Porcelain Tiles – Porcelain is a newer ceramic variant which is becoming more popular due to their ability to resist more water and withstand more wear and tear. Porcelain is baked at a much higher temperature than normal ceramics which increases their water resistant properties. This, however, takes a toll by making the glaze appear slippery when wet. They are harder, denser and available in glazed and non-glazed types. Glazed has a color added while the latter has a clay color. They are ideally used in areas with high exposure to water such as kitchens, bathrooms etc.
Ceramic Tiles – The clay used in the manufacturing of ceramic tiles is not as refined as that used in porcelain. The clay is heated to lower temperatures which makes it softer, porous and less durable than porcelain. Being less durable in nature, the tiles need to be cleaned quickly in the event of spills to avoid absorbtion. Lesser durability also means that the tiles are more prone to damage. Due to this, they are used at areas where the tiles are less prone to damage.
Pros and Cons
Comparing different aspects, each type has its own advantages over the other:
- Price – The ceramic option is cheaper and provides a much wider range of choices to choose from than porcelain.
- Installation – Since it is denser and more durable, porcelain is tougher to install as it requires special tools to cut it into the desired shape before tiling.
- Maintenance – It’s softer and more porous build requires the ceramic to be maintained more frequently. Porcelain can easily withstand wear and tear for a long time.
- Damage Protection – A sealer must be applied on grout joints and the unglazed tile. Specialized products much are used for this cleaning process. After cleaning, the area should be washed to remove excess solution traces and then the water must be wiped off.
Thus we see that the final choice between the two rests not only on our budget and requirements but also on the term of usage. While ceramics have more styling options, porcelain triumphs in the long run. For more details visit www.Tilesbay.com for a perfect solution to all problems related to tile choices, tiling, and renovation. We help you determine the best flooring choices giving valuable inputs and a wide inventory to choose from.