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Ceramic vs Porcelain Tile

Living in Arizona, tiling your home or outdoor areas is a great way to bring out the character of your home without having to sacrifice your budget. Tile is a great choice because its low-maintenance, price efficiency, and cooling properties. However, different tiles are made up of different materials and fired at different temperatures, resulting in a spectrum of options for your home. These differences are incredibly important when it comes to what kind of tile is going where but if you are still trying to figure out what type of flooring you want, check out these reasons for choosing tile. First let’s get a basic understanding of the main differences between the two most common styles, ceramic and porcelain tile.

 

Ceramic:

The word ceramic is derived from the Greek word keramo, meaning pottery; keramo is in turn derived from the Sanskrit word for “to burn”. Ceramic is typically comprised of clay, water and an array of other sedimentary materials. After the ceramic materials are molded, it is placed in the kiln, fired at around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, then varnished for the desired look. Due to its adaptiveness, ceramic tiles can have greater expressions and more depth than most artificial flooring options.

Ceramic tiles are the perfect wall and decorative tiles for any home. They excel at becoming accent pieces or complimenting a room. Decorative ceramic tiles are often seen on backsplashes in bathrooms or kitchens as well as the rise on a staircase, but their endless designs are not confined to any room.

Ceramic commonly rates between 0 and 3 on the PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) scale meaning it performs best in low-traffic areas or on walls, but ceramics should avoid the outdoors due a higher rate of water absorption. The versatility of ceramics makes the tile both easy to cut and are easier to install. Ceramic tiles start at $1.79.  Because of the array design and color options as well as the ease of installation, the options for ceramic tiles are endless.

 

Porcelain:

Similar to ceramic, porcelain retrieves its name and nature from older time. It is believed that porcelain was imported into Europe by China and was given the name Porcellana. The minerals in porcelain are grounded very finely then compressed incredibly densely resulting in a more durable tile suited for high foot traffic and moisture prone areas such as kitchens. Porcelain is then fired in a kiln at over 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit.

On the PEI scale, porcelain usually falls between 4 and 5 (high traffic and commercial use). The tiles are one of the most durable flooring options and can even be used outdoors. Due to their liquid resistance, they are not easily stained. Porcelain is highly recommended for those with pets or children because of their scratch, stain, and liquid resistance. Porcelain tiles are also very easy to clean, most cleaning agents are perfect but need only occasional sweeping or mopping at most for heavier foot traffic areas. For some porcelain care and cleaning tips based on the type of spill, check here.

Due to their increased durability, porcelain tiles are substantially thicker and heavier than their ceramic relatives; this can lead to more a more difficult instillation. Some of the thicker and denser porcelain tiles require a diamond blade wet saw to get the desired cut. The starting price for porcelain tiles is $1.49. Though they have a slightly elevated price over ceramic, these tiles have proven to stand the test of time as well as families with children and pets who are prone to accident. But in the rare case that a smudge is not coming off or some physical damage, here are some proven methods to clean/repair porcelain.

Both porcelain and ceramic are extraordinary materials but unfortunately there is no straight answer or “one-size-fits-all”. Each type of tile possesses a set of unique traits that have helped them find their ways into homes everywhere. Tiling your home also helps keep temperatures low during the hot summer months and the moisture resistance protects your family from any hidden mold. Tiles are also a great way to combat allergens in the home due to their less porous surfaces also making them one of the most hygienic floors. In the case that a piece of tile does break, repairing or replacing tile is not difficult. Thanks to improvements in technology, another reason tile is so popular is because new options such as wood-look tile, are coming out.

 

Still have questions? Check out these articles for more information on porcelain or ceramic tile or come down to our show room in Mesa to physically see and feel the difference.

 

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