Wednesday , August 10 2022

Porcelain vs. Ceramic Tile: 5 Cases Where One is a Better Choice Than the Other

Porcelain vs. Ceramic Tile: 5 Cases Where One is a Better Choice Than the Other

While porcelain and ceramic tiles may belong to the same family, it’s important to acknowledge they’re two notably different products — one more appropriate than the other in certain situations.

Although they are manufactured with two different types of clay, the key difference between porcelain and ceramic tile is water absorption. Porcelain tiles absorb less than 0.5 percent of water, while ceramic and other non-porcelain tiles absorb more than 0.5 percent.

Here’s are five cases where one makes a better choice over the other:

Case 1: Installing tile in a space with high moisture content.

Best Choice: Porcelain

Because porcelain is naturally dense, which means it’s harder to penetrate, it does not absorb much moisture. In fact, it’s nearly waterproof. This property alone makes porcelain the obvious choice for bathroom installations, as well as other high-moisture areas of your home.

This doesn’t mean that ceramic is a bad choice for bathrooms. Ceramic is actually a popular choice for homeowners for showers and bathroom floors. All this means is that porcelain is a better choice between the two, as it ensures the best protection against moisture.

As another wet zone (due to food prep, sinks and dishwashers), the kitchen is another space where porcelain flooring might be a more appropriate choice to withstand spills and leaks. The mudroom is another, as it sees a lot of action from dirty shoes coming in and out of your home every day. You may also prefer porcelain in the laundry room as well.

Case 2: You have a small-budget project.

Best Choice:

It’s true that not all porcelain tile is expensive, but for the most part it’s generally more expensive than ceramic. For tight budgets, ceramic tiles will certainly do the job. As far as pricing goes, it’s challenging to find a quality porcelain tile under $3 per square foot, and high-end porcelain tiles start at $5 per square foot. Ceramic tiles seldom cost more than $4 per square foot, and many styles can be found for under $2 per square foot.

The best part? Budget doesn’t mean you have to settle for outdated or unfashionable designs when it comes to ceramic tiles. You’ll easily be able to find styles in the latest trends.

Case 3: You’re tiling a high-traffic area.

Best Choice: Porcelain

When compared to other flooring types like laminate, hardwood and carpet, both ceramic and porcelain excel in high-traffic areas. However, because porcelain is a denser tile, it provides better long-term resistance to scratches and scuffs. Especially scratch resistant is through-body porcelain, where the color on the surface of the tile permeates throughout the tile’s body. Hallways and living rooms are perfect candidates for porcelain flooring, especially in households with children and pets.

Another space that can see a lot of foot traffic is the kitchen. If your kitchen serves as your home’s social hub and is a popular gathering place for family and guests, porcelain is the optimal choice.

Case 4: You’re a DIY guru.

Best Choice:

This is where density can be a negative. Not only are ceramic tiles easier to cut and install than porcelain, they are also easier to secure to the floor. So if you’re planning on installing tiles yourself, especially when a lot of cuts are necessary, ceramic tiles would make a better choice.

Regardless of what you choose, be cautious as the job could turn sloppy fast. You might find yourself spending extra money to have your mistakes corrected by a pro.

Case 5: You’re remodeling patio floors.

Best Choice: Porcelain

This is another situation where the impermeability of porcelain wins out over ceramic. As we all know, the great outdoors can prove unforgiving. Because ceramic tile absorbs moisture, when the tile freezes in cold temps, that moisture causes the ceramic to expand and break. This means you could be faced with a flooring replacement much sooner than anticipated.

Put plainly, if you live in an area subject to hard freezes, ceramic tile should not even be an option for your outdoor space. If freezes are uncommon or occasional where you live, then ceramic is considered risky at best — weigh your decision carefully.

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