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Porcelain and Ceramic: Which Option is Best for Your Project?

Porcelain and Ceramic: Which Option is Best for Your Project?

Those who don’t work in the tile industry will often use the words “ceramic” and “porcelain” interchangeably. The reality is that they’re actually quite different. No matter if you’re considering tiling your fireplace, patio, or kitchen backsplash, it’s important to understand how these two types of tiles vary. Read on to learn more and then contact Mission Tile West to get started on your project.

The basic difference between ceramic and porcelain

At its core, the main difference between the two types of tile is that porcelain is denser. As a result, you’re likely better off choosing a porcelain tile if you’re using it outdoors, you’re looking to tile a commercial space, or you’re tiling an area of your home that gets a lot of foot traffic, like the kitchen. On the other hand, ceramic is often more ornate.

Choosing a tile for outdoor use

When you need tile for an outdoor project, you should first think about the amount of foot traffic the area in question is likely to get. For example, if you’re going to be dragging furniture, grills, and other heavy equipment across it, or if you’re looking for tiles for a commercial patio, then you’ll want a stronger tile. Generally speaking, porcelain tile is less likely to become chipped or scratched.

On the other hand, if the area in question doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic, then you may want a tile that’s more ornamental. In many cases, ceramic will offer more colors, ornate designs, and a delicacy you may not see with porcelain.

Consider a tile that can handle moisture

Another factor to consider is how much moisture your tiles will come into contact with. If it’s going to be outside, then we’d recommend choosing a tile that’s certified porcelain, which will ensure it has a low absorption rate. To earn this rating, it is put through a vigorous test by the American Society for Testing and Materials, which includes being boiled for five hours and then sitting in water for 24 hours. It must go through that and not gain more than .05% of water compared to its dry weight.

The manufacturing processes are generally fairly similar

Generally speaking, both types of tile will have similar manufacturing processes. Ceramic tiles are made out of clay, minerals, and water. This mixture is shaped into tiles, fired in a kiln at a very high temperature, and then it may or may not be glazed to boost its durability. Porcelain is generally made out of a mixture that contains things like feldspar, clay, and quartz. Porcelain is heated at an even higher temperature than ceramic.

If you’re thinking of adding tile to any project then you owe it to yourself – and your project – to contact Mission Tile West at 626-799-4595. We offer a wide range of products, styles, and tiles. We look forward to helping complete a project for you that will amaze and delight you.