Updated: Mar 5, 2019
What is the difference between porcelain and ceramic tiles?
We get that question very often, and sometimes it gets confusing to explain to someone the difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles, especially from an expert to the average consumer.
In Kuwait, almost twenty years ago, we used to always hear our parents talk about how ceramic tiles were the new fancy material used in houses instead of carpets. Houses that had ceramic tiles in their living rooms and bedrooms back then were one of the coolest things to see in the ’90s and early 2000s.
Ceramic tiles looked really fancy. As kids, we preferred the shiny polished ones so we could slide across them with our socks on. The common size was the small square one, and the tiles came in many colors and sizes. People were matching the color of their walls with the ceramic color.
Porcelain, on the other hand, was something known to be used for bathrooms and kitchens. Even the colors and textures did not look that interesting; mostly white, beige, or really pale colors. They are also square-shaped but smaller than the ceramic tiles we see in the other rooms.
Some differences are somewhat obvious for those that get into building and renovating. Some other factors are based on the way the tiles are made, especially when the advancements in the technology we witness nowadays.
Ceramic and porcelain both come from the ceramic family. The difference is in the ingredients and the production process. The temperature used in creating ceramic tiles is not as hot as the temperature used for porcelain tiles. As a result, porcelain tiles become stronger, more durable, and more resistant to the different elements.
Most people, especially back then, use water absorption as a way to differentiate between the two tiles. The density of the porcelain tiles makes them more appropriate to be used in outdoor areas or wet areas.
Also, ceramic is easier to cut most of the time and they can be used for both walls and flooring, but not all types are suitable for flooring because some of them can break easily.
The fact that ceramic tiles are more budget-friendly is not entirely true. With the new technology used to create those tiles you can get different prices depending on the quality of the tile and the amount of work put into it.
Pecchioli Ceramica is a good example of beautiful tiles that are handmade and known for their very beautiful colors. Their prices are much higher than the average price of porcelain tiles.
Below are some of the references to the technical standards for both ceramic and porcelain tiles, they usually take a few tiles to test them in order to measure the percentage for each of the standards. The tests involve, water absorption, strength, resistance, heat resistance, stain resistance, slipperiness test, etc.
If you would like to know more about the material used to create the two types of tiles, you can always visit our store and inquire about the different types. Our sales team is always happy to help and guide you through the different options offered in our showroom.