Porcelain or Ceramic 101

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Since both offer an endless array of styles, colours, textures and sizes, the answer depends less on aesthetics than functionality.  Your tile choice is determined by the amount of traffic in the area, the flooring’s exposure to moisture (kitchen, bathroom) and where the room is located in the house.

A few key differences are listed below about ceramic and porcelain tile.

Ceramic:

  • Generally made up of red or white clay fired at high temperatures in a kiln
  • Since ceramic material is porous, the top surface is usually sealed with a glaze. The glazed surface is referred to as the design layer since it determines the tile’s finished color, design and texture

Porcelain

  • Porcelain tile is a form of ceramic tile, however it is composed of much finer clay, primarily sand, quartz and feldspar. It is also fired at higher temperatures than ceramic.
  • The end result is a very dense material with a water absorption rate that is less that 0.5%¾ making it resistant to moisture
  • Not all porcelain tiles are “through-coloured” products. This means that glazed porcelain tiles will show the colour beneath the top layer if ever chipped

Benefits of ceramic and porcelain:

  • Stain resistant
  • Scratch resistant
  • Fire resistant
  • Won’t fade from sun light
  • Easy to Maintain
  • Suitable for residential & commercial use
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