Ceramic vs Porcelain

What is better, ceramic or porcelain?

You have a dream project involving tiles, but you don’t know which type of tile is best? Here is what you need to know to make the right decision.

Ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles are similar in many ways and you can’t always tell them apart at a quick glance. They are both elegant and versatile surfaces. Before picking the style for you, understanding the difference between porcelain tiles and ceramic tiles is a must.

What's the difference between porcelain and ceramic tiles?

To understand the difference between both these these products, we must first understand the process they go through when they are made. 

When you are making a ceramic tile, a complicated mixture of clay, powders and water are combined and then shaped into the size of choice.  Once it’s been shaped, it goes into a high temperature oven, also known as a kiln.

porcelain tile is made of refined clay is mixed and shaped, to then be fired at very high temperatures, even higher than ceramic. The high temperature will decrease the moisture in the clay, and this will result in a denser tile. 

We can then conclude that the primary difference between the two is density. The denser the tile, the less permeable it is to water and the heavier the stress they can handle.

Fun fact : Did you know both porcelain and ceramic tiles can be installed on your walls? If you want a fancy backsplash, an accent wall or simply tile your entire shower, both are great options to bring your walls to life.


That’s good to know, but how do I know which one to choose?

The difference in ingredients and production methods creates types of tiles with unique characteristics. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages in the porcelain tile vs. ceramic tile decision. 

Considering the similarities between these products, you need to ask yourself a couple questions to determine what is best for your project. Here is a list of questions to take into consideration before making your final choice.

Will the tile be exposed to a lot of water?

Ceramic tiles have a higher absorption rate than porcelain tiles, which make them the lesser choice for showers and outdoor patios. Porcelain tiles, on the other hand, are very resistant to water and can receive much higher water traffic making them the best choice to tile your shower floors.

What is your budget?

This is a tricky question, we know you want your project to be perfect, but also within your set budget. Ceramic tiles are the most affordable choice, it’s easier to install yourself and is cheaper by the square foot. Porcelain tiles, on the other hand, are more costly and precise equipment is required to customize the tiles. Only a wet saw with a diamond blade can be used to cleanly cut them. If you factor in the equipment, your budget will take a hit. It’s even better to hire a professional to install them and cut them, but we all know that is a costly alternative as well.

Are you naturally chilly?

If your goal is comfort, it’s important to consider that both these tiles are naturally cool. It’s great for warm climates but can get uncomfortable in colder environments. If you have chilly feet, consider installing heated floors.

Pro tip

Although both are great choices, porcelain tiles will pay off with their durability, lasting beauty and density. If you’re looking for a higher quality result, you can’t go wrong with porcelain tiles.