Porcelain vs. Ceramic Tiles:
Which Should I Choose?

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Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are great options when it comes to tile surfaces, however many homeowners have difficulty distinguishing the two. While there are some key differences, there are some similarities as well. Both porcelain and ceramic tiles are clay-based and kiln-fired. However, porcelain tile comes from fine kaolin clay which has a higher density and is fired longer at a higher temperature. Ceramic tile is made of coarse clay which means it’s less dense and needs to be fired for less time.

Here are some of the key differences between these two types of tile.


Ceramic tiles come in solid colors as well as patterns. Porcelain tiles, however, can now be made to mimic natural stones such as granite and marble, and even wood grains.


Porcelain is harder and less porous than ceramic, which makes it resistant to water. Porcelain also does a better job in “wet” areas such as showers or sinks.


Both porcelain and ceramic tiles have great resistance to heat making them both a good option for countertops. However, if you are looking for an outdoor tile, porcelain is a better option due to it being water resistant.


Porcelain is more durable due to its composition. Since it is fired in the kiln at a higher temperature, it makes this tile heavier and harder than ceramic and more resistant to cracks. While glazed ceramic tiles are also durable, porcelain tends to last longer and is more ideal in high-traffic areas.


Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are pretty easy to clean, both simply require a damp-mopping.


Ceramic tiles tend to be cheaper than porcelain tiles, however, some high-quality ceramics can be priced the same as porcelain tile. This can vary depending on the style and brand.

Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are suitable for flooring, walls, countertops, and backsplashes, your choice of material will affect your budget, installation, and maintenance.

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