You may be wondering about the suitability of a porcelain floor tile finish. Many homeowners are turning to porcelain over ceramic floor tiles. The material used to make ceramic tiles is the same used in the manufacture of porcelain tiles. The difference is that material used in porcelain tiles is a lot more refined than ceramic. Porcelain tiles are also subjected to higher temperatures than ceramic. This yields tiles that are much denser than ceramic tiles. Below is a comparative analysis of porcelain versus ceramic floor tiles.
Porcelain Floor Tiles
Benefits—Porcelain tiles enjoy a high resistance to moisture. This reduces the likelihood of stains developing. Water often causes rot and disintegration to set in tiles. The low absorption property of porcelain makes them ideal for outdoor installations in cold climates. You can confidently use them on the patio or sidewalk without worries of cracks developing due to freezing. The high density of porcelain makes the tiles more durable. They are a cost-effective choice in the long-term. Porcelain is also resistant to allergens and bacteria, making it a hygienic material to use in household applications. Porcelain tiles are tougher and more durable than ceramic tiles. You can use them in high traffic areas as they hold up well. Porcelain is also a low maintenance material. With minimal maintenance, it will keep its fine appearance for many years to come. Simply clean using water and a mild detergent. You do not need to do regular sealing with porcelain.
Disadvantages—Porcelain tiles cost more than ceramic. Porcelain is hard and feels cold when walked upon with bare feet. This may be more of a problem during cold weather periods. You may want to place rugs or mats on the floor to reduce the cold feel. Porcelain tiles are quite heavy. It is a good idea to have somebody help you during installation. This will help ward off the danger of falling tiles, especially with the larger sizes.
Ceramic Floor Tiles
Benefits—Ceramic tiles cost less than porcelain, but are an equally attractive look. They are available in various colors, styles and designs. Ceramic tiles also give you versatility in border options. You can combine ceramics with wood or carpeting for a truly unique look. You can use them both for indoor as well as outdoor applications. Installation is a fairly comprehensive process. You can undertake it on your own and save on costs.
Disadvantages—Ceramic tiles absorb more water than porcelain. This makes them more subject to wear and tear. Rot also develops quicker in ceramics than porcelain. Ceramic tiles are not as durable as porcelain tiles. They are more subject to breakages especially in high traffic areas. More maintenance is also required with ceramic tiles. You need to do sealing 3 to 4 times a year to maintain the structure and fortify against wear and tear. Spills on ceramic tiles cause them to be slippery. This can easily trigger an accident. They also generate noise when walked upon with hard shoes.