Porcelain Tile vs. Ceramic Tile

When looking to renovate your kitchen or bathroom, adding in tiles can showcase your design style and give you a unique look. Make your space as functional as it is beautiful by choosing tiles that align with your daily home life. But which is better: ceramic or porcelain tiles? Learn more about what these tiles are and where they make the most sense in your home.

What Is Ceramic Tile?

Ceramics aren’t just one type of material. To create a ceramic, an inorganic, nonmetallic substance (like clay) needs to be shaped and then baked. The ceramic tiles we use in our homes are fired at a lower temperature than porcelain and contain less refined materials. The result is a more affordable tile that’s less durable and more porous. Finding a finished or glazed ceramic tile can make it less susceptible to water damage and increase its longevity.

Use Ceramic Tiles In…

Porcelain tiles are recommended for use indoors on floors and walls. This includes use in bathroom and kitchen floors, decorative tile strips, and kitchen backsplashes. Ceramic tiles do tend to absorb more water, which makes them a bad idea for outdoor areas. Finding a finished or glazed ceramic tile can minimize water absorption for use in spaces that might get wet. You’ll still want to clear away spills whenever possible to extend the longevity of your tile.

Pros of Ceramic Tiles

  • Ceramic tiles tend to be more affordable than porcelain tiles.
  • Glazes can add great color options, durability, and a smoother feeling.
  • Great for use on walls and in kitchen backsplash designs.
  • These tiles are easier to cut, letting you achieve clean statement walls easier.
  • Ceramic tiles are cooler to the touch, which can be welcome in warm summer weather.

Cons of Ceramic Tiles

  • Not for outdoor use. Their lower durability and water absorption can cause problems in patios or outdoor kitchens.
  • Unfinished ceramic floor tiles may feel harsher on feet. A glazed finish will help smooth things out.
  • If a glazed tile cracks, you may see the unfinished tile color underneath. Grab an extra box or two of tiles when you choose them; you can store these in case you need to swap any out.
  • Lower durability makes this tile type less ideal for areas with lots of foot traffic.

What Is Porcelain Tile?

Porcelain is a type of ceramic made from kaolin and fired at high temperatures. The substances used are ground much finer than the materials used in ceramic tiles, resulting in a dense, hard, and smooth finished texture.The porcelain tiles that we use in our home are almost always glazed, offering even more durability. They tend to be more expensive, making them less of an option for areas with a lot of square footage. Their durability and low water absorption make them perfect in many situations, including high-traffic and outdoor areas where ceramic tiles aren’t recommended.

Use Porcelain Tiles In…

Porcelain tiles can be used in flooring, shower walls, backsplashes, and outdoor spaces. Being more durable than ceramic tile, it can stand up to scratches, cracks, and water pretty much anywhere you put it. Because porcelain can be a little more expensive, you might want to save porcelain for areas where you need the durability or want to make a statement.

Pros of Porcelain Tiles

  • There’s a good selection of styles to choose from, including porcelain tiles that mimic wood, marble, and other natural textures.
  • The durability of porcelain tiles is ideal for high-traffic areas like tiled kitchens and entryways.
  • Being less porous than ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles are preferred for outdoor areas or spaces that are likely to get wet.

Cons of Porcelain Tiles

  • Glazed porcelain tiles can be slippery under your feet. Avoid using glossy porcelain for flooring.


Visit Our Showroom to Compare Porcelain and Ceramic Tile Options!

Straight Line Construction provides concierge-style home renovations in North Florida. We’re beside you through every step of the process – including selecting the right products for your needs. At our Gainesville showroom, you can see available options of ceramic and porcelain tiles and ask our experts about what you should choose for your renovation. From interior design advice to getting the work completed, you’ll love the renovation process as much as the finished results!

Visit our showroom in Gainesville to take a look at some of our tile options. Our showroom staff can explain the differences and make recommendations based on your vision and needs. Text or call us anytime to schedule a free consultation or get your construction questions answered!