You agree that BobVila.com may process your data in the manner described by our Privacy Policy. According to experts, ceramic tiles absorb more water than porcelain tiles. In some cases, the so-called porcelain tile had an alarming 3 percent absorption rate. It's harder and denser than ceramic, and because it's less porous, it doesn't absorb nearly as much water as ceramic does. Ceramic tiles, which tend to be smaller, do not require these extra steps. Whichever way you lean—porcelain versus ceramic tile—we can equip you with the maintenance advice to keep each looking good as new. Both materials can be lifetime surfaces if they are properly maintained. Lee has over two decades of hands-on experience remodeling, fixing, and improving homes, and has been providing home improvement advice for over 12 years. Ceramic Tile Comparison Guide, Basic Types of Tile for Flooring and Walls, Advantages of Ceramic Floor Tile in Living Rooms, Pros and Cons of Popular Bathroom Countertop Materials, Natural Stone Tile vs Brick Paver Flooring Comparison Guide, Porcelain Floor Tile Review: Pros and Cons, Ceramic Tile Flooring Review: Pros and Cons, 5 Inexpensive Options for Bathroom Floors, Best and Worst Flooring Choices for Wet Areas. Thanks to its relatively soft surface, homeowners can cut ceramic tile with a simple tile cutter —a piece of cake when you consider the far more involved process of cutting porcelain tile. Currently, this is the distinctive green and gray logo that reads "Certified Porcelain Tile 0.5% water absorption," with a diamond-shaped tile forming the "O" of "porcelain.". It usually contains notable levels of quartz and feldspar mixed in. The Difference Between Ceramic Tile vs Porcelain Tile. As a harder material that has solid color throughout, porcelain tiles are stronger and more durable, and chips are less likely to be visible. Both forms of tile are installed using similar methods. Most companies that manufacture ceramic tiles also offer a good selection of porcelain tiles. And this is understandable since ceramic and porcelain tiles are used for the same applications, are installed the same way, and have largely the same merits and drawbacks as a flooring or wall surface material. Products such as travertine and slate have been in use for thousands of years, while man-made products such porcelain and ceramic tiles are more modern. If you’re planning to install tile yourself, especially in a situation where many cuts are required, you could find yourself in hot water. By 2008, the debate had reached such a fevered pitch that the manufacturers, represented by the Tile Council of North America (TCNA), and the distributors, represented by the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA), formed a third-party organization to settle the differences and come up with a standard definition for porcelain tile. When renovating or building a new home, flooring is one of the most important considerations. The biggest difference is that large-format porcelain requires extra steps to ensure that it is level. Both are similar building materials, and most forms are equally suitable as a flooring material, wall covering, or countertop surface. So, ceramic tiles place in-between terracotta and porcelain tile. The PTCA's fight did not end with the establishment of water absorption criteria. That owes to the fact that porcelain is denser, and hence more capable of keeping water at bay than ceramic tiles. Homeowners love their durability and versatility, as well as the wide variety of style options available. Porcelain tile is almost always white, or light grey on the backside. In one independent blind test conducted by the TCNA, 1,466 tiles were tested for the water absorption criteria that would qualify those tiles for porcelain status. One way to determine if a porcelain tile is truly porcelain is to check the box for the PTCA Certification Mark. While both ceramic and porcelain tile can be maintained by sweeping and vacuuming (with the right vacuum and setting, of course), ceramic is actually easier to keep clean despite the fact that it is not as resistant to stains as porcelain. According to the TCNA, non-porcelain tiles are easier to affix to the floor than porcelain tile. Porcelain tile is made of refined clay and other natural elements. It effects how the tiles behave, and what they’re best used for. It is not durable enough for exterior use. Today, about 70 percent of the tile purchased in North America is imported. That being the case, the only way to know for certain if that tile is truly porcelain is to check it against the PTCA's on-going database of tile makers and their series of porcelain tiles. Porcelain Tile and Ceramic Tile are denser than natural products and tend to be more impervious to dirt. If you’re looking to take on a budget-friendly DIY installation project, ceramic tile might be the smarter choice. For years, tile manufacturers and tile distributors did not see eye to eye on the issue of how to define porcelain vs. ceramic tile. It also has a very low absorption rate, meaning it’s virtually impervious to water damage, even after prolonged exposure. Porcelain tile is a extremely hard ceramic tile. So, if you are reading this article, you may be considering two options, either the ceramic tiles vs. porcelain tiles. With a bit of discipline, it’s easy to keep ceramic floors looking great for years on end. This doesn’t then label ceramic as delicate, they are still extremely tough and longwearing. It’s also easier to maintain than ceramic tile. Whether the area in question is high traffic, prone to moisture (bathroom, kitchen), below grade (basement), or to be installed over radiant heat, the correct flooring can make a huge difference. Read on to explore the pros and cons of each to help you choose the best fit for your home. Porcelain tile is a harder substance and wears better than ceramic tile, but its hardness can also make it more susceptible to cracking under structural shifting in a building. Containing bleach or ammonia forms are equally suitable as a result, the design on a tile. Slate and travertine are all different types of tiles are known to more! Tile to decide which is finer and purer than most porcelain tiles look similar. 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