If you are interested in covering up your floors with tiles, you must be aware of the difference between ceramic floor tiles and porcelain floor tiles. Both these tiles have topped the list of people’s favorites when it comes to tiles. The terms ceramic and porcelain are often used interchangeably but your sales person would come up with a plethora of differences between them. The market is flooded with various tile designs and materials. You come across them when you visit a store but porcelain and ceramic tiles have somehow managed to stand out. They both belong to the family of ceramics and it won’t be wrong to call them closed cousins. Now let’s have a look at the distinctive characteristics of porcelain and ceramic tiles.

1. Water absorption capabilities

According to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) a ceramic should have a water absorption rate of .5% or lower to gain the title of porcelain. It is the water absorption capacity that makes ceramics porcelain. This is the reason why porcelains are mostly recommended for bathrooms and other moisture prone areas.

2. Installation/cutting

Porcelain installation is comparatively difficult than ceramics. Due to its hardness, cutting and laying becomes very difficult. Precise cuts might be difficult to fit into unusual shaped spaces. As a result the cost of installation also increases with the increased difficulty in the procedure. It is said that the installation expenditure of porcelain ranges anywhere from 25% to 50% more than that of ceramic tiles. However with the advent of modern tools like waterjet technologies cutting porcelains in different forms have become easier than before but it did not affect the price that much.

3. Density and durability

Porcelain tiles are appropriate for heavier usage. The clays in porcelain tiles are also denser which makes it more moisture resistant than ceramics. Even when it comes to durability porcelain tiles win the game. Due to its high durability, longevity and water resistant nature porcelain tiles are recommended for outside usage.

4. Translucence

Porcelain tiles have a superior translucent quality. To understand its translucency, pick up a fine porcelain cup and put in up to the light, you will see how light passes through it easily. The designs of porcelain tiles replicate the look of marbles to a great extent.

5. Price difference

Porcelain tiles are more expensive than ceramic tiles. The price of ceramic tiles is about 60 to 70 % of the price of porcelain tiles. However, if you shop for the top 15 percent of ceramic and porcelain tiles, the price difference between them will reduce. In general porcelain tiles are always costlier due to its high manufacturing cost.

Now when you know how porcelain and ceramic tiles differ from each other you can make your choice easily based on your preferences and budget. Ceramics cost less and add decorative features on walls and backsplashes and even floors, as long as they are not outside and subject to temperature differences and discoloration.