When considering floor, wall and counter top material keep porcelain and ceramic tile on top of mind for their classic and clean lined appearance. Homeowners love their durability and versatility, as well as the wide variety of style options. Advancements in digital technology have created tiles that portray a strikingly near replica of natural stone and wood that are durable and easy to maintain.
Despite the fact that ceramic and porcelain tiles look very similar, there are plenty of notable differences. Porcelain tile is dense and less porous than ceramic tile. This makes porcelain more durable and suited for heavy traffic areas. Porcelain is also fired at extremely high temperatures and for a longer time than ceramic tiles, making them harder and stronger. Porcelain tiles are highly resistant against chipping and scratching as well.
Porcelain tile has a through-body composition, meaning the color goes all the way through the tile. If you do encounter a chip, it is the same color throughout and hardly noticeable. Ceramic tile, on the other hand, can chip easily and the glaze is only on the top layer and the color underneath will be different, making it highly noticeable.
Ceramic tile is more cost effective and easier to cut making it popular for the do-it-yourselfer. Porcelain is dense and much harder to cut, requiring a wet saw and diamond blade to cut properly. Professional installation is required.
Porcelain and ceramic tiles, if installed properly, will stand up amazingly well with everyday use. As mentioned earlier, porcelain tile is highly resistant to cracking and breakage, but always keep an extra box or two on hand in case a problem arises and you can easily replace that tile rather than replacing the whole floor.