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What is the difference between porcelain and ceramic tiles?

Both tiles are popular in bathrooms, so how do you know which is best for your bathroom?

Well, it all depends on where you plan to use them.

Both types of tile can be used as wall or floor tiles. However, porcelain tiles are often favoured as floor tiles as they are stronger, more hard wearing, as well as moisture and stain resistant, making them perfect for high traffic or wet areas.

The differences:

The main difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles would be the clay and raw materials used to create them and the firing temperatures used. There are two types of porcelain tiles: Through-body and Glazed porcelain.

Through-body porcelain tiles have no glaze and the colour of the tile can be seen all the way through the thickness of the tile. These tiles can have a polished, semi-polished, matt or even slip resistant surface.

Glazed porcelain tiles have an impenetrable, baked on glass-like coating that creates the colour and patterns on the surface of the tile, the colour is not carried though the tile thickness.

Both are great for bathrooms, it just depends on the look you are after.

How can you tell if the tile is porcelain or ceramic and which one should I choose?

Porcelain tiles have low water absorption. That means the water will remain on the tile surface for many minutes. Whereas on a ceramic tile, the water will be absorbed by the tile within a minute or less.

Porcelain tiles are considerably harder to cut than ceramic. This is readily apparent if you ever go to cut them or drill through them! They are denser and you can often tell from just holding a porcelain tile that it feels heavier than a ceramic of identical size.

When it comes to pricing, porcelain tiles are usually up to 40% more expensive than comparable ceramic tiles. So, you will want to consider your tiling budget.

You might also want to consider the look and style of the tile. Porcelain tiles are often factory cut with lasers to ensure 90-degree edges and near perfect sizing. Ceramic tiles tend to have greater size variance and are not subjected to laser cutting.

Are porcelain or ceramic tiles better?

When it comes to choosing tiles it will depend on what areas you are intending to tile, your budget and taste. Increasingly porcelain is preferred over glazed ceramic for the extra durability and performance it offers throughout all areas. But, ceramic tiles still do the job if that’s the tile you prefer.

If you would like advice on which tiles would suit your needs, then reach out to us here at Bathroom Genie.



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