Porcelain vs. Ceramic: Talkin' About Tiles!

Posted on Jan 12th 2015 Posted by Meredith — Comments ↓

Here’s a little fact some of you lovely readers may not be aware of: porcelain is ceramic.

Mind. Blown.
Shocking, I know. Porcelain is a member of the larger, more general family of products called ceramic. Why is there such a to-do about the distinction between the two, then? One word, friends. One simple word:


Of course, some differences remain, and I’m here to walk you through them. Easy peasy, right? Right! Let’s get into it.

Density: Since porcelain clays contain more density than ceramic tiles, porcelain is a denser material.

Durability: Despite its more delicate-sounding name, porcelain is the tougher of the two.

Price: As a rule, ceramic tiles are cheaper than porcelain.

PEI Rating: The PEI Rating represents hardness and how much traffic a tile is suitable for. Porcelain tile tends to have a higher PEI Rating, making it suitable for higher levels of foot traffic, even up to heavy commercial use!

Cutting Ease: Due to its lower density, ceramic cuts easier than porcelain.

Location: As with all floors, it’s all about location, location, location! Is your tile going outside? If so, you need a tile that will withstand winter weather without cracking. A frost-resistant tile is essential.

Ceramic can’t be used outside, so if you’ve got your heart set on a fabulous garden mosaic to accent your prize-winning hydrangeas, you’re going to want a porcelain tile.

Regardless of which type of tile you choose, there are a few common factors to keep in mind. For all tile floors, the Coefficient of Friction rating is important. This rating conveys how much traction a floor has under either wet or dry condition. Ever gone sliding across a bathroom floor fearing for life, limb, and personal safety? Then you understand why this matters. Anti-slip coatings are available commercially, but always examine your tile floor’s specifications and consult an expert before applying one.

For commercial settings, complying with government safety standards is building priority number 1. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is designed to provide accessibility for differently abled individuals, and so having a floor that satisfies these requirements is essential.

Have questions about porcelain, ceramic, or finding the best tile for your home? Our flooring experts are standing by to answer your questions and make sure you get the floor of your dreams at a price you love!   - - - - Meredith Foster is a content writer at Floors To Your Home. Away from the office she's a published author, hockey fan, music lover, and mom to a vampire-fanged rescue cat.    

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