Is there a difference?
Let’s start with this plain and simple fact: all tile is ceramic. They are not two different things.
Although both are made from clay and other naturally occurring materials that are fired in a kiln, the clay used to make porcelain tile is more pure and refined. Porcelain is an extremely dense and hard material because it is fired at a higher temperature and greater pressure.
Ceramic tiles are used in pretty much every tile application. These tiles are softer and easier to cut than porcelain, meaning that they are more susceptible to wear and chipping. They are usually suitable for very light to moderate traffic for this reason. Ceramic tile is easy to clean, durable, and available in many styles, colors, and textures. If you have kids or pets, consider light grouts and textured tiles, as these are not as slippery and a safer flooring option.
Porcelain tiles have been fired at a higher temperature, making it a denser tile. These tiles are much harder and are more wear and damage resistant than non-porcelain ceramic tiles. They are excellent for light traffic and heavy traffic. Full body porcelain tiles carry the color and pattern throughout the entire depth of the tile, making them nearly impervious to wear and are appropriate for any application. Porcelain tile can cost about 10% more than the regular ceramic tile.
Before choosing a ceramic or porcelain tile consider where you are going to use it. Stay with a good quality ceramic tile if it is going to be in a high traffic area such as an entry way or heavy used hallway. For bathrooms or laundry rooms, use a porcelain tile. Not only is porcelain tile more durable because of their hardness, they are more resistant to moisture. It is the best choice for tiling bathroom floors, bathroom walls, shower stalls, and when tiling around bathtubs.
Porcelain tile is also an ideal product for cold-weather climates where freeze/thaw conditions are a concern, especially outdoors. Due to its low moisture absorption rate (.5 percent or less), porcelain is less likely to crack after freeze/thaw and is more impervious to stains.
No matter what your design style is, there’s a tile flooring option to bring your vision to life. Tile is not purely a trendy choice, either. It’s been appreciated as flooring for years and will continue to be a great way to bring lasting beauty and value to your home. Whether you have a traditional, contemporary, rustic, or modern home, there is a color and style of tile that will immaculately match it.
For more information on Dalton Carpet One, stop by our showroom at 3690 Atlanta Highway, Suite 108 in Athens, Ga., call 706.353.0547 or visit www.daltoncarpetone.com. One of our talented designers in our expanded tile center would be happy to help you put new tile in your home- no matter the application!