Tile flooring from Gowdy Flooring in Amarillo, TX

What is the difference between ceramic and porcelain tile?

When planning a renovation involving tiles, it’s essential to understand the basic differences between ceramic and porcelain, to choose which one is right for you. While many people use the terms interchangeably, the truth is, they are simply not the same. As such, to better comprehend which one would be most ideal for your application, our showroom experts have come up with the following guide.

Porcelain versus ceramic: The main differences

As mentioned, porcelain and ceramic tile flooring while being incredibly similar, are indeed two different materials. While they’re both water-resistant, these tile types both have different criteria for repelling water. Consequently, ceramic is slightly less impervious to porcelain, and as such is less likely of water infiltration, though the degree of impermeability is nearly identical.

And now, the similarities –

Porcelain and ceramic tiles fall under the same category, known as ceramics. When compared to other types of tile materials, such as natural stone, glass tile, and quarry tile, ceramic and porcelain are the closest in structure and material.

Rate of water absorption

The following process is what determines the water absorption rate:

  • First, the tile is fired then weighted.
  • After sitting in boiling water for 5 hours, it then stays in room temperature water for 24 hours.
  • Then, it is weighted again, and if the structure weighs less then 1% more because of the absorption of water, it is deemed to be porcelain.

Where can I install these tiles?

In all honestly, the answer to this question all depends on who you ask – and often, where you live. While some experts believe porcelain works well in exterior applications, others believe that’s not the case at all, and suggest quarry tile, natural stone, and concrete, for instance, as alternatives. 

What many agree on, however, is that ceramic should never be used outdoors, as it is not capable of enduring various climate conditions. Particularity, this is true if in a climate that can dip below the freezing point, as ceramic – with the ability to take on some degree of water – can crack in sub-zero weather.

Gowdy Flooring

Come visit our showroom in Amarillo, TX to view our impressive array of tile options. Serving the Amarillo, Canyon, Dumas, Borger, and Hereford, TX areas, we’re the leading tile retailer in Amarillo, TX with on-site specialists who are ready to answer all your makeover questions.