Believe it or not, the tried-and-true way to tell the difference between ceramic and porcelain is not hardness, sheen, or even price. It’s water absorption! Porcelain tiles must have a demonstrated absorption rate of 0.5 percent or less. Anything above that threshold is considered ceramic tile. But, this scientific metric aside, there are other important differences to consider when deciding on the best material for your home or commercial facility.
Let’s take a look.
Appearance: Porcelain can be made to mimic marble, wood grain, and other materials, whereas ceramic is more often a solid, uniform color.
Water and Heat Resistance: Both materials boast impressive heat resistance that makes them suitable for countertops. When it comes to resisting moisture, heavier, denser porcelain takes the lead over ceramic.
Cleaning: Both ceramic and porcelain are very easy to keep clean. A damp mop with mild soap and water will produce streak-free, shiny results in either case.
Durability and Maintenance: The dense makeup of porcelain makes it slightly more suitable for heavy usage and high traffic. Any chips will be hard to detect, revealing only more of the same colour beneath. Grout lines need to be periodically sealed. Ceramic colour varies between layers, making chips easier to spot. Ceramic is also more susceptible to cracks and breakage, and the entire surface of unglazed tiles needs to be sealed.
Installation: Ceramic has a slight edge over porcelain here, since it’s softer and easier to cut.
Lifespan: Both tile types promise a similar, impressively long lifespan.
For floors, walls, or countertops, you really can’t go wrong with either of these classic materials, especially when you seek a little guidance from the friendly, knowledgeable staff here at LFI Design! We’ll help you make sure that the tile you pick is one you’ll be happy to have in your home for decades to come. Give us a call or drop by to discuss your needs today!