Published at Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 - 07:12:17 AM. Porcelain Tile. By Marielle Barriere.
Ask a tile sales person whether porcelain tiles are stronger and more durable than ceramic tiles and in most cases the answer will be yes. But although porcelain tiles are indeed strong and durable, that answer is essentially incorrect. As I stated above, porcelain tiles ARE ceramic tiles. Porcelain is simply a type of ceramic clay. Porcelain tiles are those which have the lowest absorption rates of all the ceramic tiles available. To be classed as ”porcelain,” a tile cannot absorb more than .5 percent of it's total mass in water. Many porcelain tiles absorb less than that — down to as little as .1 percent. In the industry, these tiles are called ”impervious.” There is no confusion on this matter among installers. We call ourselves ceramic tile setters, not porcelain tile setters. It's just that as it turns out, most of the floor tiles we install nowadays are made from porcelain.
This ruggedness is why tiles made of porcelain are the ones most often found in floor applications for outdoor living spaces, it's because they are far better at handling harsh conditions. Tiles made of porcelain are practically a must for outdoor patios in cold weather climates, because unlike normal ceramic tiles, they are far less likely to crack. Not only can they endure the elements better, but the unique absorption rate and density of means that moisture and dirt have a hard time getting through the surface. That means that the tiles look cleaner and retain their color for a longer period of time.
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