It can be quite perplexing when choosing a floor for the kitchen even when you narrowed it down to just one and decided you wanted a tile. “But which tile? Should I choose Ceramic or Porcelain?  Aren’t they the same?” And then more questions run into your mind like “which color should I pick? Do I choose the brick or the word pattern? which is less expensive? Is it good quality? Geeze… where do I even begin?” 

Now let’s pause there for a minute. We understand that remodeling or any house renovation can be a confounding task. So, let us take a closer look between the Ceramic and Porcelain floor tile. Let us check the benefit of their application and find out some of the drawbacks. Hopefully, this information will shed some enlightenment and answer some of the questions you have in mind. 

A Careful Comparison Will Help

First, let’s identify the composition of each tile to know if they can handle what we expect from them. Although both may be a part of a large category of tiles, there are still specific differences or similarities between the two that are worth learning about before you decide which kitchen floor tiles you prefer to install. 

 

Ceramic Tile 

Ceramic is made out of coarse clay which is mostly found in the earth’s crust. It appears as red, white, or brown. It goes through series of process that includes, batching, mixing, drying, glazing and firing under intense heat temperature of least 2,372 °F for as low as 1 hour. Because Ceramic is made out of loose less dense material, it is much prone to water penetration. However, it can be alleviated through glazing. 

 

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain Tile is made out of refined white clay called ‘Kaolin’ and other natural elements. It undergoes the same process as Ceramic tile where it is placed in a kiln and molded and cut into floor tiles.  But unlike Ceramic, Porcelain tile is much denser, meaning the material is heavier, more compact, and less porous, the reason it absorbs less percentage of water by 0.5% compare to Ceramic tiles.  This is also proven by the Porcelain Tile Certification Agency (PTCA). You can be reassured that you are purchasing authentic porcelain tiles if you found their seal on them. 

 

Top Considerations When Making Your Choice

 

  • Design

There is no shortage in terms of colors and patterns available for the Ceramic tiles. You can pull off a lot of different design options that most resonates with you whether it’s a mimic of a natural stone such as marble or a unique wood grain as that of an oak or maple. This goes with its close relative, the Porcelain. Although, ceramics are more suitable for indoor applications like walls, patio, and walkways because it cracks easily during winter. However, both work perfectly for kitchen flooring and they are also heat-resistant and can be an appropriate material for countertops or splashbacks where it will be placed near a stove. 

 

  • Care and Upkeep

Ceramic Tile and Porcelain Tile are both very easy to maintain. Since both went through the process of glazing which serves as a protective coating that makes it resistant to stain and water splash. The same reason that either Ceramic or Porcelain can be a great option for kitchen floor tile. But its application does not stop there. Its use extends to areas that usually retain moisture like the laundry area, bathroom, or basement. 

Daily maintenance can be as simple as using a bucket of water and a mop. Just use mild dish soap and avoid high chemical-content cleanser as it may strip off the glazed coating that protects its layer from getting damaged and may cause discoloration of the tile. You can use a stiff brush to clean the dirt that is deposited in the grout and might be hard to remove or you can also try using vinegar or a baking soda. maintenance

 

  • Cost

Cost is one of the determining factors in choosing an item or material before we purchase them. Between the two, Ceramic is the most affordable material for kitchen tiles starting at $0.50 – $1.00 per square foot and ranges up to $7.00 – $35 while the price of porcelain is a little expensive as starts at $3.00 and ranges up to $35 per square foot depending on the specification, quality and difficulty of installation of the tile. The tiles used for outdoor areas tend to be a little more expensive than those tiles used for indoor. 

 

  • Installation

Installation of tile is intense labor. If you want your kitchen floor tiles to look smooth and seamless, especially if you have a complex layout pattern that you want for your kitchen floor, it is worth hiring a professional than doing it yourself unless you are skilled and you really know what you’re doing. You have to make sure that the subfloor is ready, thick, and even before laying down the tile floor and filling the gaps between the tiles with grout. Porcelain is harder to cut than Ceramic because it is a bit thicker and heavier. Cutting the tile to fit it in an odd corner would be difficult and tricky. 

 

  • Popular Brands

There are probably hundreds of tile companies that either manufacture or sell different brands of tiles. Large production of tile came from major producers in China, Italy, India, and Turkey. Countries like Australia and Brazil joined in and produce small-scale manufacture of porcelain tiles. 

 

  • Johnson Tiles is one of the longest manufacturers that offers a wide range of ceramic and porcelain tiles covering all types of finishes, colors, and shapes.
  • National Ceramic Industries Australia features different brands like Kamoana Tiles that mimic the texture of distressed timber, Emperor Tiles that resemble natural marble, and Stockholm Tiles that look like stained concrete.
  • Tile Power offers a wide array of sizes from 200mm to 600mm+, colors from single light tones to multi tones and special featured finishes. 
  • Metro Tiles offers a variety of budget and high-end ceramic and porcelain tiles.

Now, more or less, you have a basic know-how about the differences and similarities of Ceramic and Porcelain tiles. We hope this information fills in the blank and help you weigh your decision and reconsider aspects like durability or cost that you want to give more priority.