Tile has long been an exceptionally popular choice for home flooring. Tiles are available in a vast range of shapes, sizes, colors, finishes and patterns. They are a fantastic way to add something extra to your decor by making a bold choice. Or, to add some subtle flavor to your rooms.
Tiles are hard-wearing, long-lasting, and significantly easier to keep clean than other flooring options. Their easy maintenance and durability make them a popular choice for families, people with pets, and in bathrooms and kitchens.
The two main types of tiles are porcelain and ceramic. Both are popular and can look similar, but there are plenty of differences underneath the surface.
To the untrained eye, when it comes to ceramic vs porcelain tile, there’s very little difference. Both types of tile can look fantastic and completely rejuvenate the rooms in your home.
But there is a big difference. While the processes are similar, porcelain tiles are baked for longer. This means that they are much harder and less likely to crack or break.
Porcelain tiles will also absorb far less water than ceramic and other types of tile. Porcelain absorbs at a rate of around 0.5%, as the clay used is denser and less porous, making them significantly more hard-wearing and durable in damp rooms such as your bathroom.
When looking for tiles, you’ll often hear ceramic and porcelain used interchangeably. But, they aren’t the same, and understanding the differences, and benefits of each will help you to make the right choice for your home.
On face value, it can seem as though porcelain is the obvious choice, but ceramic tiles have benefits of their own. Because they are softer, they are more flexible and easier to use, and easier to cut to alternative shapes. They are also easier to produce and so available in a more significant range of designs and styles, and far more intricate patterns.
Ceramic tiles are also lighter, which can make them the ideal choice if you are looking to tile walls, as well as flooring. Depending on the designs, ceramic tiles can also be cheaper than porcelain.
The main benefit of porcelain tiles is that they are far less likely to crack or break. They are harder than ceramic tiles and able to cope with higher levels of footfall and wear and tear. This makes them ideal for outdoors and commercial areas, as well as inside homes. However, porcelain tiles are often too heavy for walls, more expensive and available in less intricate designs.
Tile sellers tend to recommend expert installation of your new tiles, but many people avoid this, trying to save money on the cost of their new floor. However, expert installation is crucial if you want your new tiles to look great and last the test of time. An expert will ensure your floor is entirely flat before laying the tiles. Tiles don’t bend to suit the shape of the floor under them, so if it’s uneven, they are likely to crack. Expert installation can help your tiles last longer and look better, whether they are ceramic or porcelain.