Ever wondered about the difference between porcelain and ceramic tiles?
In general, porcelain tile is harder than ceramic. It has a low water absorption rate, meaning that porcelain is more suitable than ceramic for wet areas such as bathroom floors and showers. This is also why using ceramic tiles outside is generally not recommended – it would simply absorb too much water! And with a climate like New Zealand’s, we all know how wet it can get.
Porcelain is denser than ceramic. Porcelain clays are less porous, meaning that the tile is harder and more impervious to moisture than ceramic tile. The clay used to make porcelain is also more refined and purified.
Porcelain has a through-body composition, which is why is considered to be more durable and better suited for areas of heavy usage. If a porcelain tile is chipped, the colour keeps on going and the damage is nearly invisible. Ceramic tile, by comparison, has a different colour underneath the top glaze and any chips are more noticeable.
Porcelain is fired at a higher temperature and for longer times than ceramic. Porcelain also has a higher PEI (many are primarily PEI 5) than ceramic, meaning that it can be used in areas with heavy residential and commercial use.
Ceramic tiles are softer and easier to cut, and generally cheaper. This makes them great options for walls, feature walls, and decorative purposes. Although there are ceramic tiles that can have a PEI of up to 5, they are generally at the lower scale.
We offer a broad range of both porcelain and ceramic tiles from Spain with something to suit all budgets and ideas!
(Thanks to https://www.thespruce.com/porcelain-tile-vs-ceramic-tile-1822583 for their informative website!)