Porcelain and ceramic may belong to the same family, but they are two slightly different products. 

Both porcelain and ceramic can be used to cover walls, ceilings, countertops, showers and backsplashes. 

Ceramic Tiles

Credit: Cruzine.com  

Credit: Cruzine.com

 

Ceramic Tile is a mixture of clays, sands, water and other natural materials. The special clays are mined from the earth, shaped, molded to form square or rectangular tiles and then baked in a kiln to remove most of the moisture.

Traditional ceramic tile can be naturally colored and left unglazed like terra cotta.  

Traditional ceramic tile can be naturally colored and left unglazed like terra cotta.

 

Or they can feature colored or highly designed surfaces which can be glazed (finished with a glass surface) either in a high gloss or matte finish.  

Or they can feature colored or highly designed surfaces which can be glazed (finished with a glass surface) either in a high gloss or matte finish.

 

Porcelain Tiles

Credit: Surface.fr

Credit: Surface.fr

Porcelain tile is a newer form of ceramic tile.

Porcelain tiles are composed of fine porcelain clays and fired at much higher temperatures than ceramic tiles. This process makes porcelain tile more dense, less porous, much harder and less prone to moisture and stain absorption than ceramic tiles. 

Porcelains fall into two broad categories:

 

Through body porcelains: They have the color all the way through the body of the tile and as such do not have any glazing on the top to wear off.

Glazed porcelains have the porcelain clay with a glazed top like most non-porcelain ceramic tiles.

PROS AND CONS

Pros:

-Porcelain can safely be used indoors or outdoors.

-Porcelain  is less likely to crack due to freezing.

-Porcelain tiles are more dense so they absorb less water.

-Porcelain tile are less prone to stain absorption than ceramic tiles.

-Porcelain tiles are also harder and have higher breaking strengths due to their density.

-Ceramic tiles are easier to cut,  so easier to use when working in an oddly shaped area that requires a large number of special cuts.

 

Cons:

-Ceramic is designed only for indoor use.

-Ceramic tile is more susceptible to freezing- and thawing-related cracks. 

 

By Anaïs Gibaud