Published in: 8 Jul 2022
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So, depending on what you’re looking to achieve in your next project, this article is designed to help you make the right choice between ceramic or porcelain tiles.
How they’re made
Made from red, brown or white clay, they’re fired at around 900 degrees celsius. This results in a softer, less dense material.
These tiles are made from white clay, sand and feldspar and fired at higher temperatures; at least 1200 degrees Celcius. This makes porcelain harder and denser than other materials.
The less dense nature of ceramic tiles works to make them less brittle and prone to breakage than porcelain. This makes them easier to cut and more flexible when fitting.
However this flexibility and ease of cutting is due to a higher water content, and does mean they can be prone to cracking in cold weather. Because of this, ceramic tiles can only be used indoors where the outdoor temperature dips regularly below freezing.
Because they’re more dense, porcelain tiles absorb very little water, and much less than ceramic. This density does mean that porcelain can be more difficult to cut, but also works in its favour for durability.
Their impermeability and resilience to wear means they are perfect for high-traffic areas. Plus, tiles made from porcelain can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Both tiles can be glazed in a multitude of glazes and finishes. And, thanks to modern printing methods, they are both able to be highly decorative.
If you’re tied between similar designs which are made of porcelain and ceramic respectively, consider your application and budget to help decide between them.
Ceramic does tend to be cheaper than porcelain, coming in at approximately £24/m2. Porcelain is usually priced starting at around £33/m2.
However, depending on where you’re planning to use it, an economic choice can quickly add up. Using ceramic in busy, humid or outdoor spaces could require more rapid replacement.
Bathroom or Kitchen
Due to its lack of absorbency, porcelain makes a great choice for rooms where moisture is a consideration. Also, it can be finished to be non-slip and is - by nature - heatproof.
Ceramic is great for decorations in these rooms, but should be kept away from splash-prone areas.
When it comes to the hallway, kitchen or commercial floors, almost any tile represents a better choice than wood or carpet. However, out of the two materials in question, porcelain is the better choice in these applications as it’s incredibly hard-wearing.
Ceramic tiles are prone to cracking in cold weather, so if it’s a warm weather only application - go ahead! Otherwise we’d recommend using porcelain to prevent the need to replace tiles sooner than necessary. Although the initial cost may be higher, the long-term savings will make up for it!
There are multiple factors that will affect your tile choice, including personal taste. But thinking about the manufacture, key qualities, appearance and cost will all play their part in your decision. Most important, though, is starting with your application. By understanding the environment in which the tile will be used will help with your selection.
Considering Porcelain? See our Best Selling tiles
Porcelain lacks none of the variation or versatility of ceramic and is available in a range of beautiful colours and finishes. Many of them are indecipherable from their natural counterparts, and offer a durable alternative. See our customers’ favourites and get some inspiration below.
Onyx Effect tiles provide a wider range of colour and texture options, while still retaining the luxury feel of real stone. The Harmony Onyx range is our customer favourite and is available in colours spanning Ivory, Pink, Green, Blue and Black.
Wood Effect tiles are a modern classic, perfect for indoor or outdoor spaces. Consider Tahoe Wood tiles in your internal settings, and Florence or Matera collections for your outdoor needs - garden pavements, patios, terraces, porches and many more.
Terrazzo Effect tiles are the top choice for customers wanting something timeless and traditional. Our Genoa terrazzo collection has a choice of 6 beautiful colours, and pays tribute to the marble-grit floors innovated by master craftsmen. Used since antiquity, terrazzo showcases the beauty of combining simple, natural elements.
Can't decide which tile design or pattern to go for? We are here to help - simply contact our customer service team at any time. Our experts can provide help and advice on all of our porcelain tiles and assist you with your order.
BROWSE OUR WIDE RANGE OF PORCELAIN TILES TODAY!