When remodeling or designing a new bathroom, one of the most important choices you must make is whether to go with ceramic or porcelain tiles. It’s crucial to research each, so you can make the decision that best suits your lifestyle and needs. The two types of tile are similar; both are derived of clay and fired in a kiln. Some would even argue that ceramic and porcelain are the same, the only difference being that porcelain is harder.
The Pros of Ceramic Tile
- Ceramic is softer to cut than porcelain because it is less dense. This makes it easy to cut by hand, with a tile saw that is wet, or a snap tile cutter.
- Ceramic tile is cheaper than porcelain tile. Current trends show ceramic tile costs about 62% of the cost of porcelain.
- Ceramic tile can be replaced easier than porcelain.
- Ceramic tile is easier to install.
The Pros of Porcelain Tile
- Porcelain tile is harder than ceramic. It is fired in the kiln at a higher temperature and for a longer time than ceramic.
- Porcelain offers greater design flexibility. Due to its strong nature, many sizes are available to choose from — small mosaic 1×1 to large slabs of 24×48 and many unusual sizes in between.
- Porcelain tile withstands cold climates, freeze/thaw weather.
- It has a low moisture absorption rate (.5 percent or less), porcelain is less likely to crack, or ruin by absorbing water off the bathroom floor.
- Porcelain is impervious to stains, which also makes for easier cleaning.
- When shopping and picking out porcelain tile, choose tiles that have “through body color.” Some tile companies use a ceramic glaze fired over the body of the tile. You want to choose one that does not. That way, if there is a chip, the red, tan, or white clay base doesn’t show.
- Porcelain can be rectified — cut to a precise size so all tiles are identical — which allows the tile contractor to set extremely tight grout joints.
- Porcelain has higher feldspar content, which makes it more durable.
Whether you decide to go with ceramic or porcelain tiles in your bathroom, try to think long term, as you probably won’t be remodeling again for a while. Weight what is best for your family and lifestyle, and budget. There are many surface finishes, textures, patterns, and colors to choose from, which is the fun part. The professionals at Irish Accents & Renovations can provide you with the highest quality materials and installation, and make sure you are happy with your new bathroom.