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Ceramic vs Porcelain

Whats the difference?

When choosing floor or wall tiles for any area of your home or office, you will be faced with many different choices, not just in colour, texture and finish but the actual material used to create the tiles.

This is something you must be aware of, as some of the choices available will need more maintenance than others or may not be suitable for the area you want to tile. Here we look at the differences between ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles.

Tile Differences

Ceramic tiles are made from a ‘biscuit’ of red or white clay which are kiln-fired, then finished with a ceramic glaze which carries the colour and pattern. Ceramic tiles are easier to cut than porcelain – making them easier to work with. However, they are more porous which means they are less resistant to frost, you are more likely to get chipping and signs of wear and tear after time.

Porcelain tiles come in two types – fully vitrified, which is porcelain all the way through and porcelain glazed, a ‘biscuit’ which has a porcelain glaze on the top (like a veneer on teeth), both are more hardwearing than ceramic and are frost resistant. They are also available in a wide range of colours, textures and finishes. These tiles can be used indoors and outdoors.

Where should I use them?

Based on the above, a porcelain tile is best used for flooring with high traffic as it is more durable and will stand the test of time, they can be used indoor and outside of your home. However, special tools are required to install this type of tile because they are harder to cut due to their density.

Ceramic tiles are better suited for inside use on walls or floors, and their special glaze makes them highly resistant to scratching. A good quality ceramic tile is very similar to a porcelain tile of the same class; however porcelain tiles bring a higher price with their higher quality.

Cleaning & Maintenance

The advantage of both porcelain and ceramic tiles is that cleaning is just a sweep and a mop with a quality cleaner such as Lithofin, whereas natural stone products will require sealing periodically and therefore involve more maintenance. The ease of cleaning also means that they are the best choice for allergy prevention, as dust mites, pollen and pet hair can’t hide because of the high density of both porcelain and ceramic tiles.

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