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Ceramic or Porcelain Tiles – Friends Turned Rivals?

Buying Guide

​Great tiles can make the floor look trendy, stylish and offer a distinct finish to the flooring. While there are multiple varieties you can pick from this article is focused on ceramic and porcelain tiles and will hopefully help you make an informed buying choice.


  1. Ceramic tiles are constructed using red, brown or white clay while porcelain tiles are constructed using white clay.
  2. These tiles tend to be reasonably priced, keeping in mind the total cost of the materials, installation, maintenance and possible repairs or replacements that can occur.
  3. In fact, these tiles can be considered a more economical choice for floor, wall and façade covering.


  1. Porcelain tiles tend to be more durable as they are made from more refined clay. This also makes them ideal for harsher applications such as commercial or outdoor flooring.
  2. These tiles are less likely to absorb moisture due to a higher density, making them resistant to staining.
  3. They are usually found in floor applications, outdoor and cold weather areas where freezing can occur.
  4. This is due to their low absorption capability making them less likely to crack in cold weather.
  5. Having said so they do cost more than traditional, porous, standard clay tiles.

porcelain tiles

Porcelain Tiles

ceramic tiles

Ceramic Tiles


Moisture Resistance

  1. Apart from giving a real wood feel, these porcelain tiles help resist moisture in the washroom, kitchen, basement, any area of the house where water collects.
  2. As a tip,using grout to seal the tiles will help to make the tile resistant to water and mold buildup.

Lesser Maintenance Issues

  • Wooden looking porcelain tile won't need regular polishing, and they are easy to clean.
  • Using just a mop and bucket or even a spray cleaner and mop are good for scrubbing dirty spots using a brush.
  • Regular sweeping with a broom and mopping will extend the life of the tile.

Hot and Cold Balance

  1. Owing to the porcelain composition, these tiles offer a warmth to the decor, while remaining cool when touched.
  2. If you reside in colder climates then it would make sense to install radiant heating under this wood looking tile floor.
  3. It is possible to recreate a spa-like feel in the bathroom.

Multiple Design Options

Different sizes of tiles and unique patterns, such as staggered, brick, or herringbone layouts can be experimented with

Advantages of Glazed Ceramics?

wood look porcelain tile
  • To many, glazed ceramic tiles are a combination of the aesthetic qualities and care that ceramic tiles provide along with the durability and surface hardness that a vitrified porcelain body provides.
  • Glazed porcelain tile can be used both indoor and outdoor as they are suitable for both commercial and domestic applications.

A sealer on ceramic or porcelain tile ?

  • Glazed ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles need not require sealing. But most unglazed tiles need sealing.
  • It is a good practice to check the manufacturer’s recommendation before proceeding.
  • Bear in mind that natural stone such as marble, granite and limestone DO need to be sealed before grouting.
Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic Tiles

What are the advantages of porcelain tile?

  • Porcelain tiles are available in a wide range of colors and textures.
  • In fact you can get them in choices that accurately replicate the look of natural stone, granite, slate, travertine, limestone, marble, quartzite, terracotta and even wood and metal.

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