Porcelain and ceramic are the most popular material options when it comes to tiles, but it’s not always obvious which is best for your home. Choosing a tile depends not only on your personal taste, but whether or not the material is functional in the environment you wish to place it in. For this reason, Tile Monkey have helped produce this blog explaining the differences between porcelain and ceramic tiles.
These tiles are made from clay and exposed to high temperatures in a kiln to form a hardwearing tile. This process not only helps the tile become highly durable, but non-porous to result in water resistance and a long lifespan. Porcelain can therefore be used in bathrooms, kitchens and even outdoors without risk of damage. Similarly, they resistant scratching well and only need to be wiped clean, so are ideal in family homes or homes with pets.
Ceramic tiles are also made from clay so you can expect the same lifespan for these tiles as porcelain. However, they are cheaper as they are less water-resistant. This means they work better on walls than floors, and work best in rooms with limited moisture, such as kitchens as opposed to bathrooms. When cleaning, you must ensure that you use as dry a cleaning method as possible to limit damage. There are a variety of designs on ceramic tiles due to their popularity, so there is no need to worry about limited options.
Glazed or Unglazed?
The production method of the tiles allows a beautiful glaze to be fused to the tile on which different looks can be created. Glaze to most means shiny, but in the tile industry it refers to an enamel or liquid glass coat that is applied. Most tiles are glazed, and this glaze can be matt or glossy, with the addition of any pattern or colour combination you can think of. Alternatively, if no glaze is applied before putting the tile in the kiln, a more earthy and natural look is created by mineral deposits in the clay, to recreate stone wall tiles for example. Alternatively, natural pigments can be added to unglazed tiles. These pigments can form patterns to create a full body tile, rather than just having a pattern on the surface like a glazed tile. You may also polish unglazed tiles for a shiny effect.
Overall, glazed are the most popular as they are more water-resistant and do not stain, so are recommended for most environments. Unglazed can be protected with a sealant, but this requires re-coating. Unglazed tiles, however, are great for high footfall in the form of floor tiles, as they are heavy and retain their pattern once worn down.