Tile flooring in Medford, OR from Dave's Carpet & Vinyl Liquidators

5 Amazing Tiling Tips for Your Home: Porcelain vs. Ceramic

New flooring gives your home a fresh, updated look, but have you noticed the wide range of flooring options available today? You have an array of textures, patterns, and colors to choose from, not to mention the variety of flooring materials.

Have you considered tile?

Whether you?re looking for something trendy or you prefer a classic look,?tile floors?can beautify any room in your home. As far as materials go, you have options. Both porcelain and ceramic make an excellent choice for new flooring, but before you make your final choice, you?ll want to know about the subtle (and not so subtle) differences between the two.

Read on and explore the world of porcelain vs. ceramic tile.

1. All Tile Is Not Created Equal

It?s easy to assume all tile is made the same, after all, tile is tile. The truth is?the manufacturing process, while similar for both porcelain and ceramic tile, is what makes the significant difference between the two.

The manufacturing process for both types of tile begins with clay.

Both tiles end up baking in a kiln. That?s where the similarities end, and some of the not so subtle differences start. In a nutshell, here is what makes them so different:

Ceramic Tiles

  • Made from a mixture of clay, sand, and talc
  • Molded into squares or rectangles
  • Fired in a kiln
  • Most moisture removed during firing

Porcelain Tiles

  • Made from a mixture of sand, several types of clay, and feldspar
  • Formed under high pressure
  • Baked in a kiln at high temperature
  • Firing process removes almost all moisture
Porcelain tile cooks longer and at higher temperatures than ceramic tile, making it denser and harder. Next, we?ll look at why that matters when choosing between the two.

2. Which Tile Works Harder?

Maybe you?ve never thought of tile as a workhorse, like your furnace or the washing machine. Tile does work hard, especially in high-traffic areas of your home. It provides a safe and comfortable walking surface.

In terms of work, perhaps it?s better to look at porcelain and ceramic tile from the perspective of how well each holds up under the pressure of feet, furniture, and spills.

While ceramic tiles are durable, many homeowners prefer porcelain for use in kitchens, bathrooms, and hallways. Because it?s harder and denser, porcelain does a better job of withstanding wear and tear. Ceramic tends to crack or chip if someone drops a heavy object on it?something that frequently happens in the kitchen.

3. Water Absorbency Matters

When planning a tile floor installation in a kitchen or bathroom, you assume water will have an impact. It?s not only the kids dripping water all over the place after a bath. Adults do it, too!

You can?t forget about the spills. Everybody has a mishap with juice or milk at least once a week.

Next, imagine the water, mud, and snow people track in on their shoes. Even if you have a mat at the door, you?re bound to end up with water on the floor.

What you need is a waterproof flooring solution!

Many people assume that?s what they?ll get when they choose tile flooring. There?s a kernel of truth there, but neither porcelain nor ceramic tile can claim to be 100 percent waterproof.

If you go with ceramic tile, you?ll have a water-resistant floor. The glaze finish on ceramic tile helps prevent water damage. Water will, however, find its way into any cracks in the glaze, where it will absorb into the tile.

Due to the low absorbency rate of porcelain tile, water and other fluids spilled on it won?t have much of an impact.?

4. Low Maintenance or No Maintenance?

Wouldn?t it be fantastic if you could find a no-maintenance flooring solution? The reality is, even the most durable floors require care. We consider both ceramic and porcelain low-maintenance, but they do have unique cleaning needs.


Porcelain tiles can easily forgive scratches and spills. They?re also easy to keep clean if you sweep and vacuum 1-2 times each week. Do a deep clean once a month with either a?water and vinegar mixture?or a cleaning solution made for tile.

Stay away from bleach, ammonia, wax, and oil-based cleaning solutions. Also, avoid abrasive scrubbers. When you finish cleaning, rinse with hot water, and dry the tiles with a towel.


Like porcelain, you should sweep and vacuum ceramic tiles once per week as a prep for wet mopping. Mild dish detergent and hot water do the best job of cleaning. Use a string mop, and then dry with a towel quickly and thoroughly.

Whichever tile you choose, with regular care, you?ll have a beautiful floor for years to come.

5. The Cost of Porcelain vs. Ceramic Tile

Planning a flooring project always includes anticipating how much you?ll need to budget. When making your calculations for the cost difference between ceramic and porcelain floor tile, there are two things to consider:

  • Cost of Materials
  • Cost of Installation
If you select standard, residential grade ceramic tile, you?ll pay less than you will if you go with porcelain. Labor for?professional flooring installation?doesn?t vary nearly as much as the cost of materials.

You?ll calculate your cost of materials based on the square foot of the tile, not per piece. Most tile installers charge for labor by the hour.

If you choose your flooring strictly based on cost, ceramic tile usually ends up costing less than porcelain.

Need Help Choosing Your New Flooring?

We try not to play favorites when it comes to tile floors, so we?ve touched briefly on the pros and cons of ceramic tile and its cousin, porcelain. Are porcelain tiles better than ceramic? We love them both, but we?ll let you be the judge.

There?s no better way to settle your questions about porcelain vs. ceramic tile than to see both in person! Why not come on over?to our showroom?and let us help you decide? We're also happy to put together?a free estimate.