Ceramic and porcelain tile flooring can bring amazing beauty and functionality to your home, but to the eye and the touch, they are very similar. There are some differences, however, so if you like the look of ceramic and porcelain, it’s worthwhile to do a little research to figure out which is best for your needs.
Porcelain and ceramic tiles are both made from clay that’s been fired in a kiln. The main difference between the two is in the quality of the clay that’s used. With porcelain, the clay is more refined. It is also fired at a higher temperature, ultimately making it sturdier and more durable.
When it comes to kitchen flooring, both choices are super-practical, versatile, and stylish, but homeowners have various reasons to prefer one over the other. Let’s take a closer look to see what’s what.
- Porcelain is extremely dense and is, therefore, virtually impervious to liquid. This makes it an excellent choice for areas that see a lot of moisture, like bathrooms, basements, and laundry rooms.
- Ceramic, although slightly more porous than porcelain, is still highly water-resistant when properly installed and sealed. Glazed ceramic makes for easy cleanup in damp areas.
- Porcelain, thanks to its density, is highly resistant to stains. Because it is non-porous, there is nowhere for staining substances to enter, making it ideal for kitchens or households with pets.
- Ceramic is easy to clean, although unglazed ceramic may absorb stains more easily than its glazed counterpart. Its surface can be cleaned with most ordinary household cleaners.
- Porcelain. Few flooring materials will last as long as porcelain does. Because of its density, it’s extremely hard and resistant to chips, cracks, and scratches. It can withstand high levels of traffic and holds up well under heavy furniture.
- Ceramic, while it is still quite durable and resistant to scratches and stains, is more prone to shattering. It can’t match the lifespan of porcelain, but then, few flooring materials can. Its shorter life may necessitate repairs and replacements somewhere along the line.
- Porcelain comes in lots of different styles, and can even mimic the aesthetic of natural stone and wood.
- Ceramic offers an incredible range of design options. Dyes in every color of the rainbow can be added, and patterns are also available for aficionados of bold design. With ceramic, the style choices are pretty much unlimited.
Ease of Maintenance
- Porcelain. A regular wash will keep your porcelain looking fresh and beautiful for years to come. Even if they do eventually crack, you may not even notice because they are the same color all the way through. The grout between the tiles requires a bit of scrubbing to get rid of accumulated grime, but this is an issue you’ll encounter with any grouted flooring.
- Ceramic tile, either glazed or unglazed, is easy to clean with good sweep and mop. Like porcelain, however, you may run into difficulty cleaning your grout. Prepare to put in the elbow grease for any flooring material with grout.
- Porcelain, because it’s considered the best, it only makes sense that it would have a price tag to match. Porcelain can be quite expensive, especially if you’re using it to cover a large area of flooring.
- Ceramic is less expensive than porcelain, unglazed ceramic even less so than glazed varieties. Overall, ceramic is significantly more affordable than porcelain, making it the perfect choice for budget-conscious homeowners. However, it may need maintenance over the years, so be wary of that when you consider the price.
- Porcelain’s density can actually end up being a double-edged sword. Because of its hardness, it can be quite difficult to manipulate. It’s also marginally heavier than ceramic tiles. You should check your home’s foundation and support beams to see if they can support porcelain before purchasing. Contractors often find working with this textile to be a headache, which means you can expect to pay a hefty installation fee if you choose porcelain for your floors.
- Ceramic, like porcelain, is also quite heavy, so make sure that your house can support its weight before making your selection. Unlike porcelain, however, ceramic is much less expensive to install.
Whether you decide on porcelain or ceramic, you’re bound to have a beautiful floor that will last you for many years to come. Let J.T. McDermott take care of the design and installation – we’ll give you tile with style! Reach out today, and let’s get started.
Brittany received her interior design degree in 2010 and recently earned her kitchen and bathroom certifications. She sees her job as much more than just picking out pretty colors and materials – it also involves exact measurements, plenty of planning, and determining how to have a space accurately reflect the lifestyle of its occupants.