Porcelain tile vs ceramic tile

Most of my clients in San Antonio are not sure which tile  to use and where. To be honest, most people can’t tell the difference between the two just by looking at them.  Since porcelain tile are more water resistant (water absorption rate of less than 0.5%), we use them in showers,  “wet areas” and outdoor patio’s of homes that we build and remodel.  Both ceramic tile and porcelain tile come in two forms, glazed and unglazed. The glazed ceramic tiles are a bit slippery than the unglazed ones and they are more suitable for wall applications than for flooring. On the other hand, glazed porcelain tiles are less porous and require low maintenance than the unglazed ones.  Check with the manufacturer to see if the tile is pre-sealed.  You will need to at least seal the grout to keep water and stains from penetrating.   All glazed tiles, whether porcelain or ceramic, have a PEI rating which will tell you how resistant the glazed surface is to scratching and chipping. A tile with a PEI of 1 will scratch and chip easily and should only be used on walls. A PEI of 2 is good for light residential areas like bathrooms. A PEI of 3 is good for all residential applications. 4 is used in commercial applications and 5 for heavy commercial applications like a mall.  Be careful when seeing those “blowout sale tile $.49” as they are usually discontinued colors and very thin.  Being the construction business, I can tell you that if you order flooring online, you can save a lot of money.  Most stores in your area do the same thing, but they have overhead to pay and they pass that cost along to you.  I order all my flooring online and have it shipped to the clients home.  It saves me time and money from having to go pick up it and deliver it myself.  Here is a link to when I order from:  ceramic tile.

What is the difference between ceramic tile and porcelain tile?

Ceramic and porcelain tile are very similar. In fact, a porcelain tile can be considered a special type of ceramic tile. The difference between these two types of tiles lies in the manufacturing process and the type of clay used in their production.  The main difference between porcelain and ceramic tile is that porcelain tiles are made from a clay, known as ‘porcelain clay’ that is more refined and purified than the one used for manufacturing ceramic tiles. The other difference is that porcelain clay contain a higher proportion of kaolinites, which is a silicate mineral. In addition, porcelain tiles are manufactured by heating at a higher temperature and for a longer duration than ceramic tiles. Therefore, they are harder and denser than ceramic tiles.  The next thing you will need to consider is cost.  Porcelain tile are usually more expensive than ceramic tiles.  It is not unusual to use both ceramic and porcelain tiles when remodeling or building a home.

The majority of my clients here in San Antonio are budget conscious, so we use a combination of both ceramic tile and porcelain tile in our flooring budget.  Since porcelain is more expensive, we use it sparingly in showers and jacuzzi tub areas.  We use ceramic tile in areas such as kitchens, hallways, foyers, living rooms and even bedrooms.”  Danny Garcia, owner of Rhino Design Build, LLC in San Antonio, Texas.

Ceramic tile comes in either glazed or unglazed surfaces. The glazed surfaces are like glass and are best used on walls as they are too slippery for floor applications. Glazed ceramic tiles are also a little more susceptible to cracking.  Talk to your contractor about his/her opinions or visit a local flooring store.  Take home samples and lay them in the areas you considering installing them.  For reputable flooring contractors in your area, visit the Better Business Bureau for recommendations.