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Home » The Difference Between Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles

The Difference Between Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles

Even though they belong to the same clan, porcelain and ceramic tiles can be considered cousins rather than twins.
Many people mistakenly use the terms porcelain’ or ceramic tiles interchangeably. However, there are some important differences. This can mean that one of these terms might be more suitable for your project. Keep this in mind.

Porcelain or ceramic tiles may be more appropriate depending on how you intend to use the space. Here are some differences and the best places to use them.
A Quick Comparison

The main difference in porcelain and ceramic tiles is how much water they absorb. Ceramic and other non-porcelain ceramic tiles absorb more water than porcelain tiles. Porcelain tiles absorb less that 0.5% of water.

This is due in part to the materials used to produce porcelain tiles. The clay is denser and therefore less porous. It affects the way tiles behave and how they can be best used.

How are ceramic tiles created?

Ceramic tiles are made with natural red, white or brown clay. After the clay has been fired at high temperatures to reduce water content, then the glaze and pattern are applied. Your product is now complete.
What is the process of making porcelain tiles?

Porcelain tiles are made from a specific clay with finely ground sand or feldspar. The tiles are fired at a higher temperature that ceramic to ensure porcelain tiles are extremely durable.


Ceramic tiles are usually more cost-effective than porcelain.

For a basic square tile of white tile made from ceramic, it will cost approximately PS24.00/m2, while porcelain will cost approximately PS35.00/m2. This is important to remember if you don’t want your house to be robbed by tiling.
Density & Durability

Porcelain tile is denser than ceramic tiles and thus less porous. This means they are more durable, harder and can absorb less water. This makes them better suited for high footfall areas, which will see heavy wear.

Ceramic is just as good, however. It is also less dense so it is easier to work. You DIY-ers out there: Make your life easier by using ceramic.
PEI Ratings

The Porcelain Enamel Institute rating or PEI rating is a quick way to identify which tile will work in your home. This rating is based on how frequently the area you are tiling has been walked over.

The hardness of the tile will determine the grades.

PEI0 – No foot traffic on walls tiles
PEI 1- Very little traffic (e.g. bathroom)
PEI 2 (e.g. bathroom and bedroom
PEI 3- Light to moderate traffic (suitable of most domestic floors).
PEI 4- Moderately heavy to heavy traffic (suitable as a domestic floor and for some commercial purposes)
PEI 5 – Heavy traffic (suitable all domestic and business uses with heavy footfall).

Ceramic floor tiles in ceramic are generally graded between three and four. Porcelain tiles usually have a rating between three and five.
What tiles can I use? How to tell which tiles are different

It is easiest to find out if your porcelain tiles are ceramic tiles by checking the box or visiting the manufacturer’s site. This seems simple enough, right?

Porcelain or Ceramic Tiles for…
The shower

Porcelain tiles, which are almost impervious to water, are the best material for installing a wet space because of the high levels of moisture.

Ceramic can be used all over standard bathrooms, thanks to the large selection of designs that are available.
A tight budget

Ceramic tiles are a great option for those with tight budgets. Ceramic tiles are less expensive and can be used in a variety of styles. Ceramic tiles can be found in a variety of styles and designs to suit every style. There’s something for everyone.
High foot traffic

Because they are resistant to scratches, scuffs and other damage, porcelain tiles are perfect for high traffic areas. Porcelain is extremely durable and can be used in any area of your home, including the kitchen or hallway.

Ceramic tiles can still be a long-lasting and hard-wearing option when compared with laminate or carpet.
DIY projects

Ceramic tiles are a great choice for DIYers who enjoy being hands-on. Minoli tiles are ideal for areas that require many cuts in order to properly install them. Porcelain requires special tools and skills. It is also more difficult to cut.
Your patio or outdoor space

Porcelain has a high level of water resistance, making it perfect for weathering any type of nature that might throw at your patio. In cold conditions, ceramic might crack. This means that you’ll need a replacement flooring much sooner than expected. In these cases, porcelain can offer you some peace of mind.