Some people believe that ceramic tile and porcelain tile are the same thing. They are often even used interchangeably when speaking about tile. However, ceramic and porcelain actually have some very distinguishing characteristics. Depending upon your exact needs, it could be very important that you know what these differences are.
It’s true that there are some similarities between ceramic tile and porcelain. Both are made of clay, both are fired in a kiln to achieve their density, and both receive a final glaze for a finished tile product.
However, there are some specific differences between these two very similar tiles. Ceramic is made of a lower grade clay which is covered in a brightly colored glaze. This means that if ceramic tile is cracked or chipped, it is easily visible because of the differences in coloration.
Porcelain tile, on the other hand, is made with high-grade clay that is the same color through and through. Glazes on porcelain are often clear, so that even a heavy chipping will not be very noticeable.
Porcelain is also fired at much higher temperatures than ceramic, and is therefore denser and harder. Because it is denser, it has a lower permeability, and is therefore more resistant to spills, moisture, water and humidity. Porcelain is a great choice for bathrooms, kitchens and foyers because of this fact.