Ceramic Tile Versus Porcelain Tile

At Echo Builders we are often asked how to tell the difference between ceramic tile versus porcelain tile. In this blog you will learn the key differences between these two types of tile and decide which is best for your project. Hardness and durability are very different between tile sold as porcelain versus ceramic.  Lesser grades of tile chip more easily and the color is only a glaze on the surface.  We’ll help you make certain you are using the right tile for your application.

Know the Difference

Porcelain and ceramic are made from clay. Ceramic is made from a type of clay which is less dense compared to porcelain. They’re both fired in an oven so they are very similar in that aspect. There are a few key differences, one being, the porcelain tile is fired at a higher temperature and at a longer period of time, thus making it a harder product and a more dense product.

Porcelain is best suited for a floor application for heavy residential, light commercial usage and all the way up to heavy commercial usage. Whereas a ceramic tile is a bit softer, it’s also a little bit lighter. This allows for the customer and the installer to have the benefits of ease of installation on areas such as the wall.

When you notice a ceramic tile, one of the first things that pops up is, they’re generally a red bisque tile on the back. When the tile is hanging it has no effect, but if you were to receive a chip on your tile, it will be more obviously shown. Whereas with the porcelain tile, you have a similar color bisque of your tile as the front. If you do receive a chip in your tile it’ll be a lot less noticeable.

Porcelain Tile Benefits

A porcelain tile also has a very low water absorption rate, less than 0.5% of water is absorbed into the porcelain tile. This makes it perfect for outdoor usage, whereas a ceramic tile is not recommended in any kind of outdoor environment.

Another benefit of a porcelain tile is, they have the ability to be cut with a rectified edge. This means that the edge of the tile has been filed and finished, so that each tile has a precise and consistent finish. It is important because the size of the product will allow some smaller grout lines, which is very popular in these days applications. With a rectified tile you can install anywhere from 1/16 to 1/8 inch grout line 

Nowadays, more and more customers and professionals are buying porcelain tile, because it’s more versatile since we can put it on the wall and on the floor, indoors and outside.

If you have any questions left unanswered please feel free to reach out to us via contact form, live chat or give us a call at (310) 356-0024.