26 Oct 2017

Which is Better Porcelain or Ceramic Tiles?

Which is Better Porcelain or Ceramic Tiles? When it comes to selecting tiles and the terms ‘ceramic’ and ‘porcelain’ we find people refer to these tile types interchangeably but they are not the same and it good to be aware of the differences before you make your tile selection.

To begin, we should state they are of the same ‘breed’ and they’re both in the ‘ceramic’ family. This being said, there are some key differences!

Water Absorption Rate - Firstly, the water absorption rate for porcelain is around 0.5% which is lower than that of ceramics. When making porcelain, it starts with fired tile, which is boiled at high temperatures, before resting in water for 24 hours. If the tile has increased by less than 0.5% in weight after soaking in the water, it can be considered ‘porcelain’.

Certification - Next, porcelain can only be called and branded ‘porcelain’ when it has the right certification. Before the certification process was introduced, there were many issues with distinguishing between different materials. Now, it now needs to meet certain standards before being called porcelain.

Interior v Exterior - Typically, ceramic is not durable enough to survive the conditions outside. When used in this way, it’s likely to crack on the first winter freeze. On the flip side, although porcelain is not the best material for external use, it’s certainly the better of the two.

Durability - With porcelain, you have a denser material which helps to keep water out (as we explained previously). Furthermore, porcelain also has a through-body composition which makes it ideal for heavy usage. If you chip ceramic material, you’ll come across different colours. After chipping porcelain, the same colour continues throughout and the chip itself will be tough to see.

Summary - With all these differences, plus the addition of ceramic being easier to cut due to its lower density, which is actually best? In truth, they both have benefits and drawbacks so it completely depends on its intended use. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with House of Tiles!