[GUIDE] What to choose - Ceramic or Porcelain?
They're tiles right? What does it matter if they're ceramic or porcelain?
Well my young friend, it can be very confusing unless you’re familiar with how they differ. We'll attempt to explain this in words, that even we understand, and when best to use ceramic, and when to use porcelain.
So what's the big difference?
Don’t worry, there's no 'Death by PowerPoint' coming where we take you through the differing manufacturing processes of each type of tile! Basically, they are both from similar base materials, just in different amounts and slightly different manufacturing processes.
Your average porcelain tile is 'once fired' , that is it goes through the kiln one time, ceramic tiles will typically be 'double fired'. The different processes create 2 different tiles, having their own strengths and weaknesses.
Photo: Ceramic Wall in Barberology using Honey Puddle Glaze from The Branded Tile Company
Ceramic tiles lend themselves to more uses than porcelain tiles which can be heavier and harder to fit. Ceramic tiles often come in many more shapes, colours and designs. However, the process to make porcelain tiles gives them a heavier finish but makes them harder wearing than ceramic.
Ceramic tiles offer themselves as both a wall and floor* coverings (porcelain can be too heavy sometimes for wall fitting). They are hard wearing and a simple surface to keep clean and bacteria free. There are significantly more colours and designs available and it should be easier for you to find the 'look' for your project with ceramics.
*Here at The Branded Tile Company the one 'No' we have for ceramic tiles is that they shouldn't be used on floors. In our experience the harder wearing nature of porcelain makes them, for us, the sole choice for usage on floors.
Photo: Porcelain Floor in a Victoria Terrace using Godwin tile from The Branded Tile Company
You will typically find porcelain tiles in many commercial settings, restaurants, retail outlets etc. as with their stronger make up they are a good choice for high traffic areas.
They are a great choice for floors in the home as well, they can take a lot of abuse and footfall. Walls can be a different matter, however, recent developments of super slim porcelain wall tiles mean they can now be fitted to many walls but these specialist tiles can be very expensive.
The fact that porcelain is less porous than ceramic tiles also makes them a great choice for outdoor use. There are many options and sizes now available for outdoor placement.
As we say to all our customers, if you're unsure as to which tile is best for you, contact your local tile retailer or tile fitter who will be able to give you advice based on your specific project.