Published at Friday, May 24th, 2019 - 12:26:24 PM. Porcelain Tile. By Quincy Delorme.
All of these characteristics seem to make porcelain the clear choice when it comes to quality, durability and easy of cleaning and maintenance. In reality the truth can be vastly different. The specifications regarding porcelain tiles are never verified or tested so any manufacturer can claim that their tiles are porcelain. Tile manufacturers can claim that they are manufacturing porcelain tiles without having them tested. In many cases tiles labeled as porcelain do not have the characteristics that make them quality tiles. There can be many quality issues regarding porcelain tiles that are sold at home improvement stores and discount tile stores. Many times these tiles are cheap imports that are vastly inferior with many quality control issues. Unwitting people thinking they are purchasing quality tiles that are superior to ceramic when in fact they are extremely cheap. These cheap tiles can present many problems in quality, durability and they can be extremely difficult to clean and maintain.
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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