Published at Saturday, May 11th, 2019 - 06:24:21 AM. Porcelain Tile. By Yvet Crouzet.
As a tile professional and owner of an online tile store, the difference between ceramic tile and porcelain tile has become a common question that comes up on a daily basis. I often hear a consumer say, ”I need porcelain tile because if it chips nobody will notice because the color goes all the way through.” Well, this is only true in through body porcelain tiles, and they are not the most common porcelain tiles. The most common form of tile is glazed porcelain tile. It is the most affordable but the color does not go all the way through. When I hear a customer say something along these lines it is time to ask myself a question. Should I explain or educate? In this article I will attempt to do both.
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.
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