Ceramic vs. Porcelain: What’s the Difference?

The terms “ceramic” and “porcelain” often get thrown around interchangeably, but they’re not one and the same. Here are some important differences to keep in mind as you consider your options for tile:

Differences Between Porcelain Tile and Ceramic Tile

What are Porcelain and Ceramic Tiles?

Both porcelain and ceramic tiles are similarly manufactured from baking clays, however what really separates them is their density and durability.

  • Porcelain tiles are fired at higher temperatures for a longer time than ceramic, which makes them more durable and denser—practically completely water-resistant
  • Ceramic tiles are more delicate and less porous, meaning they can easily absorb water.

Appearance of Porcelain vs. Ceramic

Another factor that sets these types of tiles apart is their appearance. With today’s technology and ever changing trends, both tiles can be any color or pattern imaginable.

  • Porcelain’s color or design is carried through its entire body. So if they happen to get chipped, it’s not as obvious.
  • Ceramic tile designs and colors are printed on the surface and protected with a type of glaze. So if these tiles get chipped, it’ll be more noticeable since the body of the tile is a different color than the surface.
density of ceramic and porcelain tiles
Density of each tile
Photo courtesy of wikihow
colors of ceramic and porcelain tile
Photo courtesy of mkrs.info

Cost of Porcelain vs. Ceramic

While both ceramic and porcelain are less expensive than most renovation materials, their price differences are due to their density differences. Porcelain tiles are therefore more expensive than ceramic tiles.

Uses of Porcelain vs. Ceramic Tile

  •  Ceramic tiles, since they’re more delicate, are great for areas that don’t have excessive traffic. And with the vast amount of colors and design options available, they’re perfect for accent walls and kitchen back splashes.
  • Porcelain tiles are typically more durable so they’re great to use on exterior walls, countertops or even as flooring (both indoors and outdoors!) We often see porcelain tile as living room and bathroom flooring because of their capability to withstand foot traffic.
Ceramic Tile: SomerTile Kings collection in Bretangne available at Avalon Flooring
Vaprice blue patterned porcelain tile
Caprice 7 7/8 x 7 7/8 Patterned Tile in Sapphire

There are pros and cons for both porcelain and ceramic tiles, but there’s no denying that each one can be a great addition to your space renovation. It’s just always a good idea to weigh your options before making a decision.

At Avalon Flooring, we want to make sure you’re happy from your first step in our showroom to your first step on your new flooring—and as your partner in home design, we’ll be there every step along the way. Consider us your “One-Stop Shopping” destination for all things flooring…(and window treatments)!

Our design consultants are equipped with the knowledge to guide you through the wide selection of products we offer, and our expert installation team is professionally trained to make sure everything gets installed the way you envision. We know your home is an expression of your sense of style, and we’re here to make sure you’ll be proud of it for years to come.

If you have any questions, please email us.

Updated on 6/8/22