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Difference Between Ceramic Tiles and Porcelain Tiles | Megan Cera

Difference Between Ceramic Tiles and Porcelain Tiles

So you’ve decided to upgrade your space with new tile floors or walls. Great choice - tile is a classic, stylish option that lasts for decades. Now comes the tricky part: do you go with ceramic tile or porcelain tile? At first glance, they may seem quite similar with their clay base and glossy glazed finish. But there are some key differences you need to understand before you start shopping.

Ceramic tile is more porous, softer, and budget-friendly, while porcelain tile is nearly non-porous, harder, and more durable. For high-traffic, high-moisture areas like kitchens and bathrooms, porcelain may be better. Ceramic can work great for bedrooms or living rooms. At the end of the day, you need to weigh the pros and cons for your specific needs and choose what fits your home, lifestyle, and budget. Ready to dive into the details? Here’s what you should know about ceramic and porcelain tile.

Main Differences Between Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles

The main differences between ceramic and porcelain tiles come down to their composition and durability.

Difference Between Ceramic Tiles and Porcelain Tiles

Ceramic tiles are made from clay, shaped and fired at high temperatures. They’re budget-friendly but less durable. Porcelain tiles also contain clay, but are fired at much higher temperatures, making them denser and more durable.

  • Composition: Ceramic tiles typically contain 20-30% clay, while porcelain tiles contain 50% or more. The higher clay content is what gives porcelain its strength.

  • Water absorption: Porcelain tiles absorb less than 0.5% of water, while ceramic tiles absorb 3-8% or more. The lower absorption means porcelain tiles won’t stain, scratch or crack as easily.

  • Durability: Porcelain tiles have a PEI rating of 5 or more, indicating high durability and scratch resistance, while most ceramic tiles rate 3 or less. Porcelain can handle heavier residential and commercial traffic.

  • Appearance: Porcelain tiles come in a wider range of styles resembling natural stone, wood or cement. Ceramic tiles typically have a more basic, uniform appearance.

In the end, it comes down to how and where you want to use the tiles. For high-traffic, commercial areas or outdoor use, porcelain tiles are probably your best bet. For light residential use, ceramic tiles will work great and cost less. Either way, with some TLC your tiles can look fantastic for years to come.

Pros and Cons of Ceramic vs. Porcelain Tile

When deciding between ceramic or porcelain tile, there are some pros and cons to consider for your needs.


Porcelain tile is more durable and dense, resistant to moisture, scratches, and stains. It can handle heavy foot traffic and drops without damage. Ceramic tile is more prone to chipping and wearing over time. For high-traffic, commercial areas porcelain is probably your best bet. For residential floors and walls, either can work well if properly sealed.

Difference Between Ceramic Tiles and Porcelain Tiles


Both come in a variety of styles, colors, and finishes. Porcelain tends to have a smoother, shinier surface that closely resembles natural stone. Ceramic tile has a slightly textured, matte finish. If you want a rustic, handmade look, ceramic tile may be preferable. For a contemporary, minimalist space, porcelain could be a great choice.


Porcelain tile is typically more expensive than ceramic tile. If budget is a concern, ceramic tile could save you 30-50% on materials. However, Porcelain's durability means potentially lower maintenance and replacement costs over the lifetime of the installation. Consider your needs and how long you plan to keep the tile to determine if the higher upfront cost of porcelain is worth the investment.


Both ceramic and porcelain tile can be difficult to install for a DIYer. Porcelain tile is denser and harder to cut, requiring special tools. For either, it’s best to have a professional handle the installation to ensure the best results. Professional installation may increase the total cost of your project but will provide a quality, long-lasting tile floor or wall.

In the end, weigh all these factors for your specific needs and space. With the right choice and proper care, you’ll enjoy your new ceramic or porcelain tile for years to come.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Ceramic or Porcelain Tiles

When deciding between ceramic or porcelain tile for your home, several factors should influence your choice.


A porcelain tile is usually stronger and denser in comparison with a regular ceramic tiling. It’s a lot less porous and therefore retains lesser moisture than oak. In addition, it does not stain, crack or scratch easily. Most often porcelain tiles are utilized on busy commercial sites. While ceramic tile is still durable for many residential purposes, it will wear out eventually – especially in heavily trafficked areas such as the kitchen and bathroom.


Available in an array of styles, colours, shapes and sizes, both the ceramic and the porcelain tile. While ceramic normally involves typical, classic designs and porcelain a lot of modern styles. In the same manner, porcelain can often appear as naturally occurring marbles or granites stones. Go for the styles that suit your décor as well as looks you desire to come through.

Difference Between Ceramic Tiles and Porcelain Tiles


Porcelain tiles are usually costlier compared to ceramic tiles in general. The production of porcelain utilizes better clays along with denser glazes in order to achieve a smoother and shinier appearance than normal pottery, which is made using common clays. Porcelain is cheaper to maintain than other materials in the long run. Ceramics are budget priced materials that can look good even in budget-friendly projects.


Similar methods, materials, and hand/power equipment are used in installing both ceramic and porcelain tile. On the other hand, the porcelain tile is more thicker and harder to cut, which probably will add to the time necessary for the installation as well as the expense. This means that the porcelain may also need a varying type of setting material in order for it to stick properly on the floor or wall surface. Choose a tile type according to your DIY skills or budget for the professional tile installation.

Considering in the end, you must take into account all these factors to make a final decision whether ceramic or porcelain tile suits your needs, style, money etc. Both of them are appropriate in giving your home an attractive lasting finishing surface. Make sure it is not soft or hard, just right for you.

Buy High Quality Tiles at Best Price


Therefore, here we are; the crucial attributes that distinguish ceramic and porcelain tiles to keep in mind when considering a new home improvement activity. In the last analysis, it boils down to the number of people walking through that area, in addition to your resources. Ceramic tiles might be well suited if you are looking for an affordable, low maintenance option for a place not subjected to frequent traffic. Porcelain tile should be your go-to option for high-traffic and outdoor spaces; although this choice may appear slightly pricey.

Regardless you should go to local tile shops and check out their prices for yourself. There are various styles, colors and patterns available in ceramic and porcelain products that will surely fit your requirements as well as your pockets. What counts is that you have a completed.result that makes you happy and gives you a space you enjoy for years to come! Now go forth and tile your space with confidence.

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