You may have recently heard about ‘porcelain tiles’ as you started the hunt for some tiles to renovate or build your new home. Many wonder what exactly the difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles is. The word ‘ceramic tiles’ is often used to refer to a wide range of tiles, sometimes even referring to porcelain tiles making the distinction even more unclear. But it’s important for you to know what the difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles is so that you can make an informed decision for your new project as the difference between the two is significant.
Advantages and disadvantages of ceramic tiles
Ceramic tiles are the type of tile which have been produced for centuries since the middle ages. The ceramic body is baked in a kiln and it mostly comes with glazing which adds beautiful colours and patterns to the surface of the tile. They are still being produced by most tile manufacturers around the world, including top Italian tile manufacturers, due to the comparatively low production costs and for its relatively easy installation process because of its softer body. It’s a great option for wall coverings as you will have a wide range of colour and pattern variations to choose from. They are light and also they are easy to cut and drill holes through.
At TFO, you’ll see some stunning ceramic wall tiles at by far the lowest prices in Sydney. One of the most popular ceramic tiles we sell is gloss white rectified wall tiles in a size of 300x600mm. They are extremely versatile making them suitable for any existing colour scheme in your room. The rectified edge allows you to have a minimum grout joint of 1.5mm which makes for a modern and sleek looking space.
Advantages and disadvantages of porcelain tiles
On the other hand, what are porcelain tiles? Porcelain tiles are a newer type of tile produced using the same principle as ceramic tiles. They are produced with ceramics (or clay) which is more refined than that of ceramic tiles. They are also produced at a much higher temperature. What’s the result? Porcelain tiles have a much denser body compared to conventional ceramic tiles. That means they’re not nearly as porous as ceramic tiles and have almost no water absorption at all – just like glass. They’re obviously a lot stronger than ceramic tiles too once they are securely installed.
Porcelain tiles have made many things possible that were previously impossible. For example, because porcelain tiles have extremely low porosity, they can be produced without a layer of glazing, they can be honed or polished showing the original colour and pattern of the tile body. This has made it possible for tile manufacturers to produce tiles that nearly look like natural stone tiles. Polished or honed products that do not have a layer of glazing often have a depth in their character.
Porcelain tiles have also made it possible to produce large format tiles without increasing the thickness. The biggest porcelain tiles at TFO come in 1.8m x 900mm size while the thickness is only 5.5mm. Other large format tiles such as 600x600mm and 800x800mm are also extremely popular as large tiles enhance the look of a room by making it look more spacious compared to using smaller tiles.
Because of porcelain’s very strong body, its applications are also very versatile. Most commercial buildings prefer to use porcelain tiles for its durability. Porcelain tiles are also used in outdoor areas as they can withstand many more damaging elements than ceramic tiles. Most porcelain tiles produced with outdoor use in mind have an R11 anti-slip rating. You should definitely look out for the R11 sign if you are looking for outdoor porcelain tiles.
One type of porcelain tile that’s gaining momentum now is timber look porcelain tiles. They are usually produced in sizes between 900x150mm to 1200x200mm, which are only possible because of porcelain’s strong body. TFO now deals with more than 3 leading Italian tile manufacturers to source the world’s best timber look tiles produced with innovative technology and sensational design philosophies. While other tile retail stores are charging more than $100 per square metre for Chinese made timber look tiles, at TFO, you’ll find Italian top quality timber look tiles for less than $50 per square metre.
As you can see, while ceramic tiles have a very long history and are still being produced worldwide, the innovation of porcelain tiles has brought much diversity to the tile industry. They both have advantages and disadvantages. So, it pays to consider the different performance of each tile to ensure that you are getting the look you are after while not neglecting the practicality that is essential to you.
Here at TFO, we encourage you to shop around as we are confident that you will come back to us in the end. We have by far the biggest turnover of stock in Sydney with about 22,500 square metres of tiles sold every single week at our one location. The products are directly imported from manufacturers in Europe and are sold direct to the public at wholesale prices. We have friendly staff who have over 100 years of combined experience in the tile industry.
So there is no time to hesitate. Visit TFO today or go to our online tile store now.