Ceramic and porcelain are two of the most popular choices when it comes to tile material. You could be wondering if they are the same, and if they are not, you could be wondering what their differences are. The key difference between the two materials is their water absorption rates. Ceramic and other tiles apart from porcelain can absorb more than 0.5% of water whereas porcelain is incapable of absorbing more than this rate. Porcelain absorbs less water because it is dense making it extremely difficult for moisture to penetrate.
This subtle difference between the two tile materials makes each tile suitable for different scenarios. There are some instances when ceramic would be the better choice, and there are others where porcelain would be the better choice.
For instance, if you were to install tile in a room that contains a significant amount of moisture, such as the bathroom, your best choice for tile material would be porcelain. Remember, it absorbs less water than other tile materials, making it the most suitable for areas with high moisture content. This impermeability of porcelain provides you with the ultimate protection against moisture damage.
The bathroom is not the only place that you should consider a wet zone. The kitchen is also a wet zone because of the constant clean up, and presence of the sink. Hence, you should strongly consider installing porcelain tiles in this area. Other moisture-intense areas you should consider installing porcelain include the mudroom and the laundry room.
If you are worried about keeping the remodeling project within the budget, then you should probably go for ceramic tile. Porcelain is more costly than ceramic, and so if your remodeling budget is tight, then you should stick to the less costly option, which is ceramic.You can easily find a ceramic tiles pattern that costs less than $2 for every square foot whereas most porcelain tiles and patterns go for more than $5 for every square foot.
Having a small budget does not necessarily mean that you are only left with boring choices. The ceramic tile is highly versatile, and there are many trendy ceramic tile patterns available.
When selecting tile for a space, you will need to consider the amount of foot traffic in that space. If the space has a lot of traffic, then the prudent choice between ceramic and porcelain would be the latter. Both ceramic and porcelain are better for high foot traffic areas compared to the other tiling options available in the market.
However, porcelain is denser than ceramic, and can thus withstand high foot traffic for longer. It is highly resistant to scruffs and scratches, and thus will be able to serve you on a long-term basis.
If you have children and pets, then you might consider taking advantage of porcelain’s stellar scratch resistance by using it for your floors. High-foot traffic areas that may require porcelain tiles include the kitchen, hallway, and the living room.
Outdoor flooring is a tricky issue mainly because you cannot control the temperatures outside. The best tile for outdoor flooring is porcelain owing to its high degree of impermeability. Ceramic would be a poor choice in this scenario because if the temperatures get too cold, it is bound to freeze. When it does so, it is absorbing moisture, which will eventually lead it to break apart forcing you to replace the broken tiles. Replacing the tiles is an expensive and time-consuming venture, making it a scenario you would like to avoid in the future. Porcelain does not absorb moisture well, and as such, it is the preferred tiling option for outdoor areas such as the patio.