Porcelain Tile vs Ceramic Tile

Stylish bathroom tile choices

Comparing Two Popular Tile Materials

The Similarities

Porcelain and ceramic tile are elegant surfaces commonly found in bathrooms, kitchens, backsplashes, and walls requiring a durable surface. Each comes in endless varieties and textures and can be used as mosaics. Consequently, both ceramic and porcelain tiles are also installed the same way. Thus, the real differences between the two have to do with the materials used to make them.

The Differences – Process

Both ceramic and porcelain tile are clay-based products. Each is created undergoing a process where the raw materials are heated in a kiln. Porcelain, however, is a type of ceramic. The clay that is used in porcelain is more dense and it undergoes the firing process in kiln for a much longer period of time. As a result, the porcelain is more durable. However, the interesting thing is that the two can be virtually indistinguishable in appearance. It does take a trained eye to discern between the two. So if they look the same, which one is better? Which one should you choose?

The most important difference to note between porcelain and ceramic is that porcelain is frost-proof. Let me explain. As previously noted, porcelain tile is more dense. This increased density lowers the water absorption rate, hence preventing the porcelain tile from absorbing water. So, if you are looking for tile that can be installed outdoors then porcelain tile is the best choice. Preventing water from absorbing also prevents the tile from cracking in freezing cold weather. Because of the density, porcelain is extremely durable, making it a brilliant choice for outdoor use.

Sophisticated tile arrangements
“As a result, the porcelain is more durable”

Cost And Installation

Although porcelain tile and ceramic tile are very similar in appearance, there is a difference in the cost. Porcelain costs more than ceramic tile. It is noteworthy the higher end ceramics and porcelain tiles both cost about the same. This is because they are generally categorized as designer tile. Though porcelain tile is more dense than ceramic, general installation costs are equal.

Both ceramic and porcelain tile are installed using a mortar-based adhesive. Once the mortar is set, grout is then applied between the joints. The tile must be measured and cut before the installation process begins. This can be difficult for a beginner so it’s always recommended to have installation performed by a professional. Don’t know anyone? Give us a call and we can refer you to a professional.


Both ceramic tile and porcelain tile can last for 50 years or more. You can expect your tile to last as long as its cared for. This being said, it is the grout that you have to worry about. As a result, the sales and service team at Tile Factory Outlet recommends that you have ceramic and porcelain tile installed by a professional. Proper installation means properly sealed grout. In order to maintain your porcelain or ceramic tile, you will have to reseal the grouts from time to time, so keep that in mind.

If you are in the market for tile for your remodeling or new construction project, you have most likely encountered both ceramic and porcelain tile. You may have heard the two terms use interchangeably, but the fact of the matter is there is a difference between porcelain tile and ceramic tile. The thought may or may not have occurred to you that there is a difference between the two, but what is that difference, really? The sales and service team here at Tile Factory Outlet has provided for you the following guide to help you decide which is better for your needs: porcelain or ceramic tile.

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