Porcelain vs. Ceramic: Which one is a Better Option for Your Home?

Dola RC Dola RC
BLENDART Collection, Ceramica Sant'Agostino Ceramica Sant'Agostino Walls
Loading admin actions …

Usually, modern homes are decorated with porcelain or ceramic tiles in various ways. In fact, it is unthinkable for the modern homeowners to design a house without using porcelain tiles or their ceramic counterparts. China has mastered the production of porcelain more than a thousand years’ ago. Chinese kilns of Jingdezhen are still famous for their exquisite porcelain ware.

The production of ceramic tiles also gained momentum around the same time in Iran and Turkey. Ceramic tiles with arabesques became hugely popular in this part of the world. Some of the most delicate decorations with ceramic tiles can still be seen in the historical buildings of the region. Handcrafted ceramic tiles are still considered prized items of décor in places like Isfahan in Iran and Iznik in Turkey. 

The popularity of ceramic and porcelain tiles traveled fast. Soon homeowners in countries like the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Morocco started decorating their homes with colorful tiles. The popularity of tiles never showed any signs of waning. They are still considered an essential part of décor in contemporary residences of Canada.

Designs of ceramic tile and porcelain tile

Ceramic tile is available in a massive range of colors, shapes and motifs. The same applies for the porcelain tile. You are literally flooded by choices while buying tiles for your home. The following are some popular tile designs for residential buildings:

Stack bond tiles have the simplest of patterns. You can combine stack bond or straight tiles of different colors to create a patchwork design. This is ideal for kitchen backsplashes and bathroom feature walls. Diagonal tiles are said to make a room look more spacious. 

You may use diagonal tiles to deck up the hallways, bathrooms and kitchens. Herringbone is one of the most popular tile patterns. Use two different and contrasting colors of tiles in herringbone pattern to give the interiors of your home a very special look. 

Basket weave pattern is another variation of common herringbone patterns. You may use both these patterns to decorate the walls of your kitchen, dining room and bathroom.  

Windmill pattern is ideal for flooring in spacious rooms. Hopscotch is another traditional tile patterns which never seems to go out of fashion. Hopscotch and stretcher bond patterns mimic the look of exposed bricks on the walls. 

Use monochromatic tiles for a busy pattern like basket weave and hopscotch, especially if you have a small home. Otherwise, you may end up creating a cluttered looking space. When in doubt take suggestions from an experienced architect.

What is porcelain tile?

Porcelain tiles are made of clay mixture dominated by various small amounts of minerals. These tiles are fired in an extremely high temperature (more than 1600 degree Celsius) which makes them very tough and impervious to water. Modern porcelain tiles are tougher than natural stone tiles like slate and sandstone. Such is their durability that you can easily use them to decorate the flooring of your garage space. You will not about to fear the destruction of the beautiful flooring.

Difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles

Porcelain and ceramic are two terms that are used interchangeably. But they are quite different from each other. Ceramic tiles are fired at a lower temperature. Consequently they are porous and less durable than their porcelain counterparts. Porcelain tiles are fired at a higher temperature which makes them extremely dense and long lasting. Traditional tiles produced in China are porcelain. On the other hand, traditional Turkish and Iranian tiles are ceramic. However, their production is now not limited to these countries alone.

Pros and cons of using porcelain and ceramic tiles

Let’s mull over the pros and cons of using tiles in your home. Tiles are primarily favored for their moisture resistance nature. They come in a range of colors and patterns which make designing with them a real fun. Tiles, both ceramic and porcelain, are more affordable than some other flooring materials like natural stone and wood.

Porcelain tiles in Canada cost as low as $3 CAD per square feet. Ceramic tiles are available at an even lower price. Also, are easy to clean and maintain. They do not retain grease and stain like some other materials which make them very suitable for kitchens and bathrooms. 

There are not many disadvantages associated with the use of tiles. Be careful about using floor tiles for the flooring. Using glazed wall tiles for flooring could turn out to be dangerous as they are not skid free. Floor tiles are tougher than wall tiles as well.

So, porcelain or ceramic?

Porcelain or ceramic, which tiles to opt for in the interiors? Or, porcelain vs. ceramic, is there a reason for choosing one above the other? Questions like these bothers many. While selecting the tile type keep in mind where you wish to install them. Ceramic tiles can easily be used to decorate the walls of the balconies, hallways and other parts of your building. Porcelain tiles, on the other hand, are excellent for kitchen, bathroom, swimming pool deck area and garage floor.

Porcelain floor

Now that you have a clear idea about where to use porcelain and where to use ceramic tiles, let’s find out how to build your porcelain floor. This is a job for the experts and should be left for the expert floor installers. Gaps between tiles may result in seeping and accumulation of moisture in the under floor area. This will damage the entire structure eventually.

If you are planning to have porcelain floor in your bathroom, then make sure you are investing in skid proof tiles. Characteristics of porcelain make it very slippery and, consequently, a dangerous option in high moisture zones. Porcelain floor in a kid’s room should be covered with plush rugs so that your kid doesn’t get hurt from accidental falls.

Ceramic floor

Characteristics of ceramic make them an ideal option for covered terraces, balconies, living room, bedroom and other parts of your home. Ceramic floor with hand painted tiles can create a special ambience in the interior of your house. Ceramic floor is not as tough as porcelain floor. So you should avoid using them in places where you have heavy furniture or in garages which undergo greater than usual wear and tear.

Best tile for the bathroom

Choose always skid proof tiles for your bathroom. You can opt for a variety of colors and motifs. Contemporary homes have a preference for tiles soaked in shades of white or grey. You may even opt for tiles having a natural stone or wood like appearance. It is better to choose more colorful motifs for kid’s bathrooms. Bathroom tiles in Canada cost between $2 CAD and $16 CAD per square foot.

Best tile for the kitchen

Like bathrooms, kitchens are often decorated with porcelain or ceramic tiles. You may consider wood or stone effect tiles in this space. Porcelain tiles with stone like appearance are easy to clean and almost as tough as natural stone. Kitchen wall and floor tiles cost between $2 CAD and $22 CAD. Prices vary depending on their appearances and quality. Certain patterns like basket weave, herringbone, hopscotch and subway tiles look especially charming in the kitchen interior.

Alternative to porcelain or ceramic tiles

To decorate the interior of your home, you may also opt for natural stone and mosaic tiles. Both of these options give your home a very decorative feel. Mosaic tiles are available in a range of colors and patterns as well. Mirror or glass tiles can add glitter in the kitchen or bathroom interior. Terracotta tiles are ideal for country style homes.

How do you plan to use tiles in your home?

Need help with your home project?
Get in touch!

Highlights from our magazine