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Porcelain vs. Ceramic Tile

Porcelain vs. Ceramic Tile

Before you buy tile, it's important to decide what material you want to use. Porcelain and ceramic tile are the most common types of tile, and each one has its own benefits. To help you choose between the two, we've put together some useful tips.

Porcelain tile and ceramic tile are both technically "ceramic" because they are made from a mixture of clay and other natural material. Porcelain tiles, however, are composed of a finer porcelain clay and are fired at higher temperatures than ceramic tile. The result is tile that performs very differently from ceramic tile.

Ceramic Tile

ceramic tile

Ceramic tile is usually made from white or red clay, which is fired and given its color from a layer of glaze.Ceramic tile has many more color options and designsthan porcelain, however if the tile is chipped, then the clay color underneath will be exposed. Ceramic tile is easier to cut than porcelain tile, which means it is easier to install, making it a popular option with DIYers and installers. It is also a popular option because it is usually more cost-effective than porcelain tile.

Ceramic tile is ideal for interior wall applications, particularly in areas that will not be exposed to standing water. Use ceramic tile on walls in kitchens, bathrooms, backsplashes, showers, and commercial areas.

If you are looking for high-quality ceramic tile, you'll want something that meets international quality standards. Our Subway Ceramics collection adheres to European ceramic tile standards and is CE EN14411 certified. Visit the Subway Ceramics website to learn more.

Porcelain Tile:

Porcelain tile comes in two forms: glazed and full-body color. Glazed porcelain tile is similar to ceramic tile because it gets its color and pattern from a layer of glaze that is applied to its surface. Full-body porcelain tiles carry their color and pattern throughout the entire tile, helping to prevent any visible wear and tear on the surface. Since porcelain tile is made of finer clays, it is denser than ceramic tile and more durable, but this also makes it harder to cut. While some ceramic tile can be installed by a homeowner, porcelain tile typically requires expert installers who can manage cutting the tile properly. Porcelain tile is generally more expensive to buy than ceramic tile.

Because it is typically more durable than ceramic, porcelain tile is ideal for flooring and heavy-traffic areas. It is also more water-resistant, making it a great option for areas like bathroom and kitchen floors.  Our porcelain floor tile collection is called Subway Mosaics, and it includes historically-authentic glazed and unglazed porcelain tile.

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types of tile

Ordering Your Ceramic and Porcelain Tile

Whether you choose ceramic, porcelain, or another material for your tile, it is important to refer to manufacturer guidelines to determine where your tile can be installed and directions for installation. Form more information, you can access each collection's Design Guide and Installation Guide. For more information on our ceramic and porcelain tile options, please contact our team today or visit our Samples page.

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