Ceramic vs Porcelain Tiles For Your Floors, Showers, And More

This Is What Our Clients Around Tucson, Arizona Consider Before Choosing Tiles For Their Home
Shower with tile walls and floor

Knowing the difference between ceramic tiles vs porcelain tiles is important. It can make a difference in which you choose to put where.

In this post, you can find out what ceramic and porcelain tiles are. You can also find out their pros and cons and which works best where in your home.

Which Should We Choose?

“Tile is in so we’re definitely using it in our home,” Amber points out.

Justin smiles. “I agree. The porcelain tile is going to look great.” Amber frowns. “Don’t you mean the ceramic tile is going to look great?” Justin shrugs. “I guess. It’s not like there’s a huge difference between ceramic vs porcelain tiles.”

Amber pulls out her phone and starts searching on Google. “I’m not sure about that. It might be best to look it up, just to make sure, as we did with hardwood vs engineered flooring. Don’t want to put the wrong tile in the wrong place.”

Justin walks over so he can see too. “I like the way you think. I wonder which we’ll end up choosing.”

After searching for a while, here’s what the two find out about ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles.

What Ceramic And Porcelain Tiles Are

Tile backsplash in kitchen

Ceramic tiles are made by mixing sand, water, and clay. You then fire them in a kiln so they harden.

Porcelain is technically a subtype of ceramic. The clay in it is denser and needs a hotter kiln to harden.

Ceramic vs Porcelain Tiles

Ceramic tiles are easier to stand on, chip more easily, are more customizable, and some say more artful than porcelain tiles.

Porcelain tiles are more durable, more water-resistant, pricier, and harder to work with than ceramic tiles.

Ceramic Tiles Pros And Cons

Tile shower wall with nook

Ceramic tile is great for walking and standing on because it’s a softer material.

It’s very customizable too. You can find ceramic tile that looks like wood, stone, and with many designs and even textures! It’s also cool to the touch, making it great for warmer climates.

Ceramic tiles also have a lower price point than porcelain tiles. This is because it’s softer, not as water-resistant, and not as strong.

While ceramic tiles wear down a bit faster, they’re still a great option for bathrooms and kitchens.

Porcelain Tiles Pros And Cons

Tile shower floor and seat in shower

Porcelain tiles are heavy, durable, and water-resistant. They’ll last for a long time and look good doing it.

Since it’s the same color all the way through, even if it chips you won’t be able to see it easily.

All of these benefits do make it more expensive. It costs more to make because it uses better material and it takes longer to make.

This also means you need special tools for cutting it. This rules out the DIY option.

Ceramic vs Porcelain Tile Durability

A common question we get is “is ceramic or porcelain tile more durable?” 

Porcelain tiles are more durable than ceramic tiles, which wear down more quickly. This is because porcelain is made with denser clay.

Is Ceramic Or Porcelain Tile More Expensive?

Porcelain tiles are more expensive because they:

  • Are harder to make
  • Take special tools to cut
  • Are more difficult to work with

Ceramic vs Porcelain Flooring

Many people want to know ‘is ceramic or porcelain tile better for floors?’ They’re both great for floors, just in different areas.

Ceramic flooring is better in kitchens and other areas that don’t get were very often. It’s easier to stand on because it isn’t as hard as porcelain.

Porcelain flooring is better in bathrooms. It’s more water-resistant and thus wears down less quickly than ceramic.

Ceramic vs Porcelain Tiles For Shower Walls

Is porcelain or ceramic tile better for showers?

This comes back to the water-resistance of porcelain over ceramic. Porcelain, being more water-resistant, is better for showers.

You can use both if you’d like. Mostly, people use ceramic for the walls and porcelain for the floor.

Ceramic Or Porcelain Tiles In The Bathroom

Ceramic tiles are great for the walls and floors because they’re less expensive and easier to stand on.

Porcelain tiles are best for shower floors because they’re more water-resistant.

Is Ceramic Or Porcelain Tile Better For Outdoor Use?

As porcelain is more durable than ceramic, it’s definitely the better choice for outdoor patios and other outdoor tilings. It works better in freezing temperatures too.

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“So it seems to come down to cost and durability, maybe comfort too,” Justin sums up. Amber nods. “Now that we know this, let’s see what else we can find out.”