You see a 20×20 ceramic tile in the showroom for $2.00 per square foot. Right next to it, exactly the same size and similar color, is a porcelain tile for $3.00 per square foot. You wonder “Why does the porcelain cost more when it looks the same? What’s even the difference between the two?”Those are great questions and, unfortunately, many floor buyers don’t know what the difference is and why they’re paying more for the porcelain. But we at Superior Floors believe in an educated buyer, so let’s answer those questions.
First of all, ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles are usually made up of the same materials. They’re both fundamentally ceramics. What makes a “porcelain” tile different is the firing process. All tile, when being made, undergoes a process known as firing where the clay is baked to harden and strengthen the tile. Porcelain tiles are fired at higher temperatures and for a longer amount of time, resulting in denser, harder, and lighter colored tiles.
So what does this mean for you, the buyer? This means porcelain is usually more durable and resistant to absorbing liquids. Some porcelains, if specifically designed, can even be used outdoors since they don’t tend to soak up water. Ceramic, however, should not be used outside. The color of a porcelain tile runs all the way through, so if you chip it, it’ll look the same underneath. But if you chip a ceramic tile you’ll see that the color underneath isn’t the same. That being said, because ceramic is softer, it is much easier to cut. However, porcelain tiles are also sometimes rectified. This means the tiles are cut out of a larger piece rather than made individually through molds. Because it’s cut, the edges come out clean and flush as opposed to rounded and uneven. So which one is for you, ceramic or porcelain? It all depends on your needs.
Come visit us at Superior Floors and we’ll help you find a tile that fits your needs, your style, and your budget. Because here at Superior Floors, “We Speak Floors”!
By Jarek Rodriguez