Ceramic vs Porcelain Tiles: Which Is Best For Your Kitchen
There are several factors to consider when picking between porcelain and ceramic tile, including quality, durability, application, and pricing. Ultimately, your decision will be based on the project; therefore, you shouldn’t worry excessively about it.
While related, porcelain and ceramic tiles are more like cousins than identical twins. There are certain differences between porcelain and ceramic tiles, despite the fact that some people will use both terms interchangeably. Hence, one could be more beneficial for your project than the other.
The difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles
The key distinction between porcelain and ceramic tiles is whether or not they can pass a rigorous set of requirements for water absorption. There is typically a surface glazing applied to both ceramic and porcelain tile that obscures the differences between the two.
Porcelain tile has an absorption rate of less than 0.5 per cent. The fired tile is weighed before being boiled for five hours and given a 24-hour soak in water to test this. It is then weighed once more.
Impervious porcelain is a tile that weighs less than half a per cent more due to water seeping into its surface. To the average consumer, porcelain is a dense, fine-grained, smooth tile that is more moisture-resistant than conventional ceramic.
Ceramic tile often lacks some of the additives in porcelain clay and uses a coarser clay with a smaller proportion of fine kaolin clay. While these variations are relatively insignificant if the ceramic tile is glazed, ceramic tile can be slightly more vulnerable to water intrusion than porcelain tile.
Ceramic Tiles vs Porcelain Tiles
There are many parallels between porcelain and ceramic tiles. The distinctions between them are relatively challenging to distinguish to the untrained eye, so here’s how you can identify them.
Appearance and Design
Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are frequently produced with a glazed surface layer, making them possibly indistinguishable at first appearance.
One significant advancement in porcelain tile manufacturing is the capacity to make them look like various materials, making it ideal for the kitchen. It’s possible to find porcelain tiles that are surprisingly adept at recreating the patterns found in marble or even wood. When you want the appearance of wood without the vulnerability of wood to water damage, porcelain tile is a great option.
The majority of ceramic tile that isn’t considered porcelain is solid-coloured. However, you can still get imitations of genuine stone or wood grains in ceramic tile, which is also a great alternative for kitchen applications.
Similar techniques are used to install both types of tile flooring. With the support of a thin-set adhesive based on mortar, tiles are attached to a cement board underlayment.
After the tiles are installed, mortar-based grout fills the spaces between them. As the grout dries, it forms a waterproof seal. Ceramic and porcelain tiles require slightly different handling techniques based on their different densities.
Due to its slightly greater fragility, porcelain tile may need to be cut with the skilful precision of a trained professional tile-setter. On the other hand, ceramic tile is much easier for do-it-yourself homeowners to work with, even if it is less dense than porcelain tile.
Maintenance and Durability
In comparison to ceramic clays, porcelain clays are denser and less porous. As a result, porcelain tile is tougher and more resistant to moisture than ceramic tile, making it a great option for a kitchen setting. It is regarded as more durable and more suited for heavy usage than ceramic tile because of its through-body composition and ease of cleaning.
Ceramic tiles are slightly prone to breaking and cracking because the clays used to make them are less dense than those used to make porcelain tiles. In addition to sealing the grout lines, unglazed ceramic tiles may require sealants to be applied to the entire tile.
Heat and Water Resistance
Porcelain tiles provide excellent heat resistance and are occasionally used for countertops, making them an ideal alternative for kitchen applications. For outdoor use, porcelain tile is preferable to ceramic tile because it is denser, heavier, and more water-resistant, yet outdoor use is only advised in moderate climates. A porcelain tile is a wonderful option for countertop surfaces because of its great heat resistance, making it ideal for a kitchen setting.
Ceramic tile is slightly more prone to moisture intrusion, although the variations are minimal if the tile is glazed. The ceramic tile’s face will resist water as long as it is glazed and in good condition.
Which To Choose?
There is no clear winner when deciding between ceramic tile and porcelain tile for your kitchen. These are comparable building materials, and most of their forms work well as countertop surfaces, wall coverings, and flooring.
Although you should check the tile’s rating for the intended application, the decision between ceramic and porcelain tile mainly comes down to your personal aesthetic preferences.